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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…
What is the correct pronunciation of ㅡ (eu)?
There’s no English equivalent for this sound, so it may be a little difficult to pronounce. The vowel ㅡ (eu) has the same tongue position as the Korean vowel ㅜ (u), but the shape of your mouth is wider. You may find it easier to compare it to the “e” sound in the words “broken” and “eaten” or the “o” sound in the word “button.”
One insider tip is to pull your lips wide to the sides and expose your bottom teeth as you say (eu). It may seem silly at first, but you’ll get the hang of it!
Let’s break it down with some examples, so you can understand the pronunciation of ㅡ (eu) more easily.
Let’s use the word 하늘[ha-neul], meaning “sky,” as an example. Many people mispronounce the last syllable as “nul.” So be careful! Let’s say the word 하늘[ha-neul].
Another example is the word 크다[keu-da], which means “to be big.” Again, be careful with the first syllable. It’s not pronounced like “ku.” Listen one more time. 크다[keu-da].
One last example is the word 가르치다[gareuchida], meaning “to teach.” One more time, it’s not pronounced 가루치다[ga-ru-chi-da] but 가르치다[gareuchida]. Again, this vowel ㅡ (eu) is much wider than the vowel ㅜ (u). Listen one time slowly. 가르치다[gareuchida].
Because the Korean vowel ㅡ[eu] doesn’t exist in English, it can be difficult to distinguish when you hear Korean. Please listen carefully to the pronunciation of native speakers to completely understand how this vowel is pronounced.
How was it? 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.)