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Korean Alphabet (Hangeul)

Most English speakers think Korean has thousands of characters, like Chinese, but it actually has a very simple and logical alphabet, which you can learn in a few minutes. The alphabet was invented in 1443 during the reign of the Great King Sejong. There are 14 basic consonants and 10 basic vowels. Letters that have similar sounds also have similar shapes, so it is easy to learn.

Korean alphabet

You can hear how the letters are pronounced on other web sites, such as indiana.edu/~koreanrs/hangul.html.

The letters are grouped into syllable blocks containing an initial consonant (which may be silent or double), one or two vowels (below or to the right), and sometimes a final consonant (below).

Now, can you "decode" these words?

Try to write your name in Korean. You can look up your name in Korean on other websites, such as chinese-tools.com/names/korean.

You can find a lot more Korean on the web. Even if you are like me and don't know any Korean words, you can have still have fun "decoding" some words in a Korean text, such as words borrowed from English, the names of famous people, place names, and product brand names.


Keith Enevoldsen's Think Zone