Learn to read and write Hangeul (Korean Writing System) – Part 1 by TalkToMeInKorean.com
[in Korean] Hello. [in English] Hey everyone. Welcome to Part 1 of the video series “How to Read and Write Hangeul”. This series is brought to you by: And: And I’m your host Hyunwoo Sun. Throughout these five videos in this Hangeul series, I’ll introduce how to read and write in Hangeul. And yes, Hangeul is the name of the writing system in the Korean language, or the Korean alphabet. Well, at first, before actually learning Hangeul, a lot of people think that writing Hangeul is just like drawing a bunch of lines, squares, and circles, therefore it is almost impossible to learn. But once you get to know how writing in Korean works, it’s not so difficult anymore. So let me show you how step-by-step. So, like most languages in the world, Hangeul has consonants and vowels. These are the main consonants; 14 of them. And these are the main vowels; 10 of them. And they sometimes form compound consonants or vowels. And what you do when you write in Hangeul is you put them together in a certain order and shape so that basically form a square shape with at least one consonant and one vowel. And that’s how a syllable in Hangeul is made. Any consonant or any vowel on its own without forming a square shape like this cannot make a sound. Okay, from now on we will be looking at the individual consonants and vowels and the sounds they make depending on which shape or which combination you put them together into. And since there are 24 main letters to learn and also some extra compound letters to learn, we have quite a few letters to go over. But don’t worry about it now, it won’t be as difficult as it seems at first. And you will soon realise that knowing one letter will often be useful in understanding how another letter works. So in this video let’s look at these 4 vowels and these 5 consonants. So basically, all Korean vowels can be made out of these 3 simple elements. The long horizontal line symbolises the earth. And the long vertical line symbolises a human being. And the dot, or a short line, symbolises the sky. And depending on which element is combined with which other element or which other elements, different vowels are formed. So the first vowel that I would like to introduce is this one: This vowel has the sound value of [a]. [a] [a] Very easy to write! [a] [a] A long vertical line and a short line to the right. This is [a]. But in Hangeul, since independent letters cannot make sounds on their own, if no consonant sounds like d, m, p, or, t, is attached to a vowel, in Hangeul, we use this circle-like letter, called “ieung” in Korean, to fill the gap. So now, although you know this is [a], you can’t really just write it like this if you want to express the sound so what you do is add the circle and you write [a]. [a] Okay, now let’s look at a consonant. This letter, this consonant, resembles the shape of your tongue when you say [g/k]. [g/k] And this is a little stronger than the English [g] sound so it’s between g and k so it’s often romanized in both ways as in 감사합니다 which means “Thank you” being romanized using sometimes g and other times k Okay now let’s put it together with the vowel you just learned. This letter plus this vowel becomes [ga/ka]. Repeat after me now: [ga/ka] [ga/ka] [ga/ka] [ga/ka] And as you can see the shape of this consonant changes a little bit depending on the font or your handwriting style but it’s basically just the same letter So now you can read these two combinations right? First: [a] [a] And [ga/ka] [ga/ka] [a] [ga/ka] [a] [ga/ka] Now let’s look at another consonant. This consonant is similar to the English [n] but you have to put your tongue between your upper teeth and lower teeth when you pronounce it. Now let’s combine it with a vowel. So the only vowel we’ve looked at so far is this one. So combine these together and you get: [na] [na] [na] So now you can read these 3 combinations. [a] [ga/ka] [na] [a] [ga/ka] [na] And now, let’s learn one more vowel. This is [u]. [u] A long vertical line and a short line below. [u] [u] But in principal, in order for you to read it, it should be like this, remember? So this is [u]. [u] And now, what was this? [ga/ka] And now, how about this one? Can you read this? Yes, it is [gu/ku]. [gu/ku] [gu/ku] And how about this one? Yes, it is [na]. [na] And now can you guess what this sounds like? [nu] [nu] [nu] Excellent! Now you can read these 6 combinations. [a] [ga/ka] [na] [u] [gu/ku] [nu] Now one more vowel. Similar to this one, which is like [u] but upside down, is [o]. [o] [o] Now you can combine it with other consonants and write [go/ko] [no] So–so far you can read and write: [a] [ga/ka] [na] [u] [gu/ku] [nu] And: [o] [go/ko] [no] Alright, now let’s add one more consonant to this collection. This consonant here has all 4 sides blocked, so think of it as having your mouth closed. [m] [m] So it’s a [m] sound. Now, can you read this? Yes, it’s [ma]. [ma] [ma] And how about this one? [mo] [mo] And: [mu] [mu] So let’s read everything from the beginning: (left to right) [a] [ga/ka] [na] [ma] [u] [gu/ku] [nu] [mu] [o] [go/ko] [no] [mo] Great! Just by watching this video for a few minutes, now you can read 12 different combinations in Korean. So now let’s add one more vowel and one more consonant to this group. The next vowel is this one.
(* I think he might mean consonant) And it sounds like th or d in English. Now can you think of this as a face turned to the left-hand side from your viewpoint and upper teeth and lower teeth touching one another and your tongue being in-between? Just like the English th sound. So combine with other vowels, it can become: [tha/da] [thu/du] And: [tho/do] [tha/da] [thu/du] [tho/do] Okay now let me introduce the last vowel for this video. Here you go: A long vertical line alone. This one looks like a capital i in English, doesn’t it? And yes, it is pronounced as [i]. [i] And now you can also read these combinations: [i] [thi/di] [mi] [gi/ki] [ni] And after watching this video up to this point, if you’ve been repeating after each letter all the time now you can read all of these combinations Let’s review together. [a] [a] [tha/da] [tha/da] [ma] [ma] [ga/ka] [ga/ka] [na] [na] [u] [u] [thu/du] [thu/du] [mu] [mu] [gu/ku] [gu/ku] [nu] [nu] [o] [o] [tho/do] [tho/do] [mo] [mo] [go/ko] [go/ko] [no] [no] Okay, so that’s it for this video, but before we go, let’s have a quick video quiz. Here’s how it’s done: You’ll see some people holding up Hangeul consonants and vowels to form combined letters and it’s your job to read them out loud before you hear the letter being pronounced. Ready? Here we go! [ga/ka] [ga/ka] [na] [na] [nu] [nu] [ma] [ma] [mo] [mo] [mu] [mu] [mi] [mi] [thi/di] [thi/di] [gi/ki] [gi/ki] Alright! Thanks for watching and be sure to download the .pdf for this video which is available free-of-charge in the description box for this video on Youtube or in the lesson post for this video at talktomeinkorean.com. And for more sample audio files and much more useful information about the Korean language visit koreanwikiproject.com. And, of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask us at talktomeinkorean.com. Thank you! (in Korean) Thank you!