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Korean Spelling

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Korean Spelling

Postby maxiewawa » August 29th, 2007 11:55 am

I've been having a hard time with Korean spelling. And I don't mean remembering the Hangul, (although I've been having a hard time with that) I mean remembering in which order the Hangul go. Korean seems to be not quite as phoenetic as I thought it was.
For example, I can't remember if it is 한국어 or 한구가, and they sound the same to me.
I was just wondering if I have to memorize how words are spelt, like English. I already have a hard time remembering that there are two ㄴ
in 안녕하세요, and whether a word has ㅐ or ㅔ.
Like a lot of people, I've come from Japanesepod, and Japanese has an almost 100% phonetic system. Korean is taking a little getting used to!

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Postby hyunwoo » August 30th, 2007 2:30 am

Yeah, I agree.

It takes a little getting used to. But as you learn more and more words, you will be less and less confused about the spelling, because for example, you get confused between 한국어 and 한구거 and maybe even 항구거 maybe because you're not familiar with the word '한국' yet, and you won't really have to wonder whether to choose between 안녕하새요 and 안녕하세요 once you understand that 하다's honorific polite form is 하세요. :D

It's not 100% phonetic, so dictation tests are considered to be very important in elementary school. :D But once you're over a certain stage, everything will be much easier. And it won't take very long either ^_^

If you have any questions about spelling, please feel free to ask!!

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Postby steved » August 30th, 2007 3:03 am

It seems like Koreans take great pride in the fact that they have a very high percent literacy rate. But even though Korean is a phonetic language there is a learning curve for spelling. Even Koreans will ask each other "is it 아 이 or 어 이?" to determine whether the proper spelling is 애 or 에 if it is unclear. And there are exceptions like the possessive particle 의. (is it 아 이 or 어 이? :) )

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Postby hyunwoo » August 30th, 2007 3:12 am

You've got a very good point, Steve. :D 의 will have to be 으 이 :D

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Postby Keith » August 30th, 2007 11:37 pm

hyunwoo, great point on the dictation tests. it would probably be a good idea for us to implement that into Koreanclass101 ^^

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Why is it spelled as ㅅ instead of ㄷ?

Postby maesan898097 » December 14th, 2011 5:05 pm

For example, 다섯 instead of 다섣 when the pronunciation is daseot? Does this hold the same argument as ㅁ is spelled as ㅂ as well?

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Postby jaehwi » December 15th, 2011 3:46 pm


This is Jaehwi from

In Korean, you can only pronunciate those seven sounds "ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅇ" when any consonants are placed on the bottom as 받침. (under the other consonant)

The rules are like below.

/ㅍ/ → /ㅂ/
/ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅌ/ → /ㄷ/
/ㄲ, ㅋ/ → /ㄱ/

For example, 섯 has the batchim 'ㅅ', so it sounds like ㄷ.

You can find the same rule in the words like 앞(front) which sounds like 압, and 같다 (same) which 갇다.

I hope this helps.

Thank you.

- Jaehwi /

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Postby trutherous » December 15th, 2011 4:50 pm

Wow! A post resurrected from August of 2007! For a minute I thought Hyunoo was back and I was shouting "HooRay!".. but then I realised the awful hoax --it was an old thread.

I actually spelled better in Korean before I could speak it well - the little I knew I had basically memorised -- but now I often get similar vowel sounds mixed up and other errors. The best way to get around this is to copy book/lesson pages by hand the more you write it out the easier it becomes to remember how it should be spelled.

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Postby maesan898097 » December 16th, 2011 9:55 am

Hi Jaehwi,

Ah, okay. I get it now. So that rule is called batchim? Thanks a lot. This helps.

Thanks for the tips as well trutherous.


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Re: Korean Spelling

Postby jeanlouisnadia_233500 » January 21st, 2018 4:10 am

How do i know im spelling a word right in hangul.? If i want to spell the english word "candy", how would i translate it in hangul. Because i would think i would use ,ㄱ to start it off .

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Re: Korean Spelling

Postby contactus_231994 » January 28th, 2018 11:47 am


Thanks for posting. First, you would need to know the consonants and vowels, and how they are pronounced, and how to create a syllabic block. Here is a lesson series that may be of help: ... to-korean/

Hope this will be of help!


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