Up until now to keep it simple, we've only learned about syllables that only ended with a vowel, basically two letters put together to make a sound. Now we'll be learning about the final consonant that goes at the bottom of the syllables block, this final position is called a batchim. The sentence example below shows the characters in the final position (batchim) in blue:
This step will introduce you to the sounds in the final syllable position, some which are very different from their normal sounds. For now we are only going to include the characters ㄴ and ㅁ in the final position (batchim) since ㄴ and ㅁ do not change sounds in this position. Just remember each block of letters is pronounced as a syllable. Let's try some simple examples to help you understand.
몸매 (shape, figure)
안주 (side-dish for alcohol)
If a consonant in the final position is followed by a vowel, the sound shifts over to the next syllable. The only sounds that don't shift over to the next syllable are ㅇ since it is weird to begin a word with a "ng" sound and ㅎ becomes silent when followed by a vowel.
Pronunciation When Followed By a Vowel
If the final position has ㅇ, there is no syllable shift.
If a consonant in the final position and it is not followed by a vowel (meaning it is the last syllable of the word or followed by another consonant), then it may have a different pronunciation. You will notice from the tables below that many characters share the same sound when in the final position.
Also as you will notice, there are also the letters ㄲ and ㅆ below which we haven't learned yet. Don't worry as they are pronounced like some of the letters you have already learned when in the final position, so for now don't worry those letters until the next section.
Below you will see the name's of the consonants letters in Korean. As you can see they begin and end with the same letter, however you may notice most of the sounds at the beginning and end are different. You will also notice that even though some of the last syllables end in a different letter, they make the same sound as other letters. See the examples below, then go in detail about the difference in sounds.
Name of letter
Note: ㅃ, ㄸ and ㅉ can't appear in the final position.
The /k/ sound is cut short.
ㅋ and ㄲ do not commonly appear in the final position. In fact only a handful of words even have ㅋ in the final position.
악, 앜, 앆 all pronounced the same
억, 엌, 얶
옥, 옼, 옦
욱, 웈, 욲
익, 잌, 읶
묶다 (to tie)
The /p/ sound is cut short.
ㅂ appears in the final position more often than ㅍ.
높다 (to be high)
덥다 (to be hot) / 덮다 (to cover something)
맙소사 (Oh no! Oh my god)
접시 (dish, plate)
춥다 (to be cold)
In the final position ㄹ sounds like an /l/ sound instead of an /ɾ/ as we previously learned.
However if ㄹ is followed by a vowel it is a /ɾ/ sound.
Also if there are two consecutive ㄹ together, the second ㄹ also takes an /l/ sound.
걸리다 (to be hung)
열리다 (to be opened)
/ŋ/ sound ("ng" sound like in ring or hang)
Normally ㅇ acts as a placeholder for a consonant and makes no sound, only in the final position does it make a sound.
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ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅌ, ㅎ
The /t/ sound is cut short.
ㄷ, ㅊ, ㅈ, ㅌ don't frequently appear in the final position.
Although ㅎ is supposed to be a /t/ sound, it often mixes with the consonant it follows causing it to have another sound. This will be discussed later in step 7, so just keep it in mind for now.
앋, 앗, 았, 앚, 앛, 앝, 앟
얻, 엇, 었, 엊 엋, 엍, 엏
옫, 옷, 옸, 엊, 엋, 엍, 엏
욷, 웃, 웄, 웆, 웇, 웉, 웋
읻, 잇, 있, 잊, 잋, 잍, 잏
곧 (right away) / 곳 (place)
멋쟁이 (stylish person)
있다 (to exist, to have)
찾다 (to find)
Compare the sounds of the final syllable when followed by a vowel, and when it's not followed by a vowel.