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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Jae here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Korean questions.
The question for this lesson is…
Why do 입니다(ipnida) and 합니다(hapnida) sound like imnida and hamnida?
If you’ve just started studying Korean, you may have a little difficulty pronouncing Hangul, the Korean alphabet.
You may have also noticed that sometimes the pronunciation of some combinations is different than they might appear on their own. Why? Because Korean has four nasal consonant sounds.
When the nasal consonant sounds are paired with non-nasal consonant sounds, the pronunciation changes. For example, if you just read the Hangul on their own, you might want to say [입니다 (ip-nida)] and [합니다 (hap-nida)]. But the correct pronunciations are actually [임니다 (im-nida)] and [함니다 (ham-nida)
The nasal consonant sounds in Korean are-- ㄴ (nieun), ㄹ (rieul), ㅁ (mieum), and ㅇ (ieung).
If you pair them with a non-nasal consonant sound – for example, ㅂ (bieup) – the pronunciation changes. This makes them easier to pronounce. So, if you pair ㅂ (bieup) with ㄴ (nieun), you can pronounce ㅂ (bieup) as ㅁ (mieum). Finally, you will get 임니다 (imnida) instead of 입니다. (ipmida)
Let’s do another example. 국물 (gongmul) is the Korean word for “soup.” The consonant ㄱ (giyeok) is for the “G” sound in English, so you can read it as 국 (guk). But it's paired with the nasal sound ㅁ (mieum) so it changes the pronunciation from a “G” sound to an “NG” sound, and you'll need to read it as 궁물 (gungmul).
Just remember that if you see two consonants next to each other, check if one of them is nasal. If it is, both of them will have a nasal sound.
Pretty interesting, right?
I hope that answers the question! Please leave any more questions in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
See you next time. 다음 시간에 만나요. (Daeum-sigane mannayo.)