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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…
Is the consonant ㅇ always silent?
Usually, the consonant 이응 [ieung] works as a placeholder and doesn’t have any sound. However, when placed in the 받침[batchim] position, which is the final consonant in a Korean word, it has an “-ng” sound.
We’ll break it down with a few examples. Let’s take the word 아이[ai], which means “child.” In this word, the ㅇ[ieung] in each syllable works as a placeholder and only the vowels are pronounced.
Another example is the word, 강[gang], which means “river.” Please note that in this case, the ㅇ is at the end, so the word 강[gang] ends with an “-ng” sound.
The last example has ㅇ in two places, one at the beginning and the other at the end. That word is 왕[wang], which means “king.” In this case, you don’t pronounce the ㅇ at the beginning of the word. Only say the ㅘ[wa] and pronounce the ㅇ[ieung] at the end of the word as -ng.
So all you need to remember is that if the ㅇis at the beginning of the word, it has no sound, and if it’s at the end of the word it has an “-ng” sound. It’s that simple!
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
See you next time. 다음 시간에 만나요. (Daeum-sigane mannayo.)