Happy New Year in Korean

Date: 4 Jan 2011 Comments:Comments Off

English: Happy new year!

Hangul: 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Romanized: Saehae bok mani badeuseyo!

Korean alphabet reference – hangul (한글)

Date: 25 Jul 2010 Comments:Comments Off

The Korean alphabet is called hangul – 한글 – and is provided below for reference (South Korean version).  It is grouped by consonants (regular and doubles), and then vowel.

giyeok (기역)
nieun/niŭn (니은)
digeut (디귿)
rieul/riŭl (리을)
mieum/miŭm (미음)
bieup/piŭp (비읍)
siot (시옷)
ieung/iŭng (이응)
jieut/chiŭt (지읒)
chieut/ch’iŭt (치읓)
kieuk/k’iŭk (키읔)
tieut/t’iŭt (티읕)
pieup/p’iŭp (피읖)
hieut/hiŭt (히읗)
Letter South Korean Name North Korean name
ssanggiyeok (쌍기역) toen’giŭk (된기윽)
ssangdigeut (쌍디귿) toendiŭt (된디읃)
ssangbieup (쌍비읍) toenbiŭp (된비읍)
ssangsiot (쌍시옷) toensiŭt (된시읏)
ssangjieut (쌍지읒) toenjiŭt (된지읒)


Doubles (sang/쌍) - these are pronounced with more emphasis than there non-doubled versions:

Hangul Korean Name
ssanggiyeok (쌍기역)
ssangdigeut (쌍디귿)
ssangbieup (쌍비읍)
ssangsiot (쌍시옷)
ssangjieut (쌍지읒)


Hangul Name Hangul Name
a (아) ae (애)
ya (야) yae (얘)
eo (어) e (에)
yeo (여) ye (예)
o (오) oe (외)
yo (요) wae (왜)
u (우) wa (와)
yu (유) wi (위)
eu (으) wo (워)
i (이) ui (의)
we (웨)

Another way to show the list is to include the doubles near their base consonant form:


g n d r m b s - j ch k t p h
kk tt pp ss jj

The tables above were adapted from the Wikipedia versions.  There also is a table-view of the vowels combined with every consonant. This allows practicing of reading, writing, and pronouncing the basic blocks of the language. We have this in hand-written form and will post it online shortly (typed).

Introduction To Hangul – The Korean Alphabet

Date: 16 Nov 2009 Comments: 2 so far

Korean Alphabet and Its History Inauguration Korean

Hangul (Hangeul S.Korea/ Joseongeul N. Korea) is the official script and national alphabet of both North and South Korea. It is considered to be an efficient alphabet that has received praises from language experts for its design and effectiveness. Hangul is written in phonemic alphabet system consisting of organized and syllabic blocks composed of 24 letters (14 consonants and 10 vowels). These syllabic blocks contains at least two Hangul letters (jamo) which can be written either horizontally (left to right) and vertically (top to bottom, columns left to right).

History of Hangul

The Korean alphabet, Hangul was created by the 15th century wherein most Koreans were illiterate and had a difficult writing system. It was King Sejong the Great, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty founded the importance of keeping record and making communication through a writing using the sounds of the Korean language. By 1444, Hunmin Jeongeum which means the “correct sounds for teaching the people” was invented and it was officially declared as the new writing system in 1446.

To promote the use of this new writing system, teachers were departed to the countryside to teach the common people in using it thus increasing the literacy rate of Koreans in both reading and writing.  This new writing system faced opposition from intellectuals and the aristocrats and was labeled with many names such as Amgeul a script referring to female inferiority, Ahaegeul a childish script, and Eonmun an improper or vernacular script. After Sejong’s reign the new writing system was abolished King Jungjong.

A modified version of Hunmin Jeongeum was created and became popular by the 19th Century and this writing system was later renamed as Hangul or the “great Korean script”. The modified writing system became the national pride that represents the independence of Korea from the rest of the world although four letters were no longer used at this time.

By 1910, Korea was annexed by Japan and Hangul was banned since the Japanese culture was imposed to be adopted instead of Korean culture. Despite that, Hangul continued to be unofficially taught. In 1949, North Korea re-established the use of Hangeul as its official writing system while South Korea also used Hangeul alongside Hanja (a foreign writing system adapted by Korea during the period of Japan annex).

Koreans take pride on their national writing system thus there is a declining use of Hanja. Hangeul symbolizes national independence of Korea over invasion of foreign cultures in their land. To show pride of Hangeul, North Korea and South Korea have a national holiday every 15th January and 9th October


Here is a rap-style music video introduction to the letters of the Korean alphabet (if you are on a mobile device you can click the YouTube video link):

And you can learn more in our earlier “Learn The Korean Alphabet” post with more videos to help learn the alphabet.

Counting to 10 in Korean Language

Date: 5 Aug 2009 Comments:Comments Off

Here’s some clips to help you count better… but did you know that the Korean Language uses 2 different counting systems?  Yes, in Korean culture the counting is in native Hangul, plus Chinese.  And telling time is in both language (but telling time is another story).

Counting Numbers in Korean 1 to 19:

(about 2 min. long)

Counting Numbers in Korean 1 to 10:

Just 16 seconds of pure counting bliss!

Korean Number Song Cartoon:

The best for last:

Where is the bathroom or restroom?

Date: 3 Aug 2009 Comments: 1

A video clip on asking the most important question:
Where is the bathroom?

(Hwa-jong shil audi ay yo?)

The clip is 2 minutes long.

And to help get the sound of the question into your head, here is another person’s video, along with a nice explanation of the writing of the question in Korean & English letters.

The video continues with “Where is the subway station?”, “Where is the convenience store?”, “Where is the exit?”, the important “Where is my husband/wife?” and other phrases such as “Where is the hospital?”.  This takes longer and it’s 8 minutes long.

Learn the Korean Alphabet

Date: 2 Aug 2009 Comments: 1

There are many videos to help learn the Korean alphabet, and our alphabet page will have many of them.  The video below focuses on the pronunciation of the alphabet.

The video is 8 1/2 minutes long, and shows the hangul (Korean characters/letters) along with the English letters spelling the pronunciation.
Another video showing the Korean characters is below:

The video is almost 10 minutes long.

For more of our latest posts, visit our Korean Language homepage.

Korean Language quiz – video

Date: 27 Jul 2009 Comments: 2 so far

Several Korean language business-related terms are overviewed in this video, followed by a video quiz:

One quiz would never be enough – here is a Korean vocabulary quiz site.  And, speaking of business terms, this post has a list of South Korean business attitudes/tips.

Korean Words Pronounced Similar to English Versions

Date: 18 Jul 2009 Comments:Comments Off

Words that are “close” to English (Konglish):
rent-a-car = rent-car
orange juice
coffee = koh-pea
Teddy Bear

More Korean Words That Are The Same In English

Date: 13 Jul 2009 Comments:Comments Off

Want to learn Korean fast?  Here’s some more words that are the same in pronouciation as their English equivalents – no translation needed!

  • jogging
  • piano
  • mouse (as in: computer mouse)
  • king
  • diet

along with several juices such as pineapple juice.  Others such as apple juice share usage with their Korean version, but both are understood (at least in Seoul).

Some Easy Korean Words

Date: 16 Jun 2009 Comments:Comments Off

Here are words that are the same in Korean (in sound) as they are in English:

  • lipstick
  • taxi
  • pilot
  • tshirt
  • smoothie

There are more being posted as part of a larger list, and this post will be updated with a link.