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What and Why?

Romanization is the representation of hangeul using English letters. Many different schemes have been used and standardized.

Word of Caution

Romanization should be considered something only useful for people who don't know Korean, never want to know, or are learning the alphabet. Otherwise, it is suggested that you rely 100% on native hangeul. Relying on romanization can become a crutch and impede correct pronunciation since Korean sounds don't perfectly correspond to sounds in the Roman alphabet.


Example of inaccuracies in pronunciation.

  • The "sh" sound ( IPA: ʃ ) is never romanized properly. The jamo ㅅ becomes an "sh" sound instead of an /s/ sound when followed by the following vowels: 이, 유, 요, 야, and 여. These cases are ignored in all systems of Korean romanization. For example 신도림(the first syllable should be pronounced like shin) is romanized as 'Sindorim' instead of 'Shindorim.'
  • Eo
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