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Korean Alphabet

Korean is like Japanese as a verb- or adjective-final language. There are 8 simple vowels:

ㅣ, ㅡ, ㅜ respectively: e, eu, ooh
ㅔ, ㅓ, ㅗ respectively: eh, aw, o
ㅐ, ㅏ respectively: a, ah

An additional stroke makes each of the six single-letter vowels into a “y” dipthong:

ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ, ㅒ, ㅖ

Additional “w” sounding dipthongs are created by adding the simple vowels, ㅗ, ㅜ, and ㅡ, to ㅏ, ㅐ, ㅣ, ㅓ, ㅔ, ㅣ:

ㅘ, ㅙ, ㅚ, ㅝ, ㅞ, ㅟ, ㅢ

There are nine consonant letters:

ㅁ: this represents the lips
ㄴ: this represents the tongue touching the frontal palate (gum/teeth line)
ㅅ: this is the same position as ㄴ, except you force air out between your gum line and tongue (like an “s”)
ㄱ: this is the back of the tongue touching the posterior palate, like stopping yourself from swallowing (“k” or “g” sound)
ㅇ: this is a throat sound, similar to the “ng” in present progressive word endings (goi”ng”)

Derived from these nine consonants are as follows to make a total of 19 consonants:

ㅁ–> ㅂ –> ㅍ and ㅃ
ㄴ–> ㄷ –> ㅌ, ㄸ, and ㄹ
ㅅ–> ㅆ and ㅈ –> ㅊ and ㅉ
ㄱ–> ㅋ and ㄲ
ㅇ–> ㅎ

For a total of 21 vowels and 19 consonants.

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