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Lesson Transcript

Tim: Hello everyone. I’m Tim.
Debbie: And I’m Debbie!
Tim: Thanks for joining us today for part two of our ALL ABOUT series.
Debbie: So, Tim, specifically, what’s today’s topic?
Tim: Hmm… I will give you 2 hints. Hint # 1 is ‘Korea’.
Debbie: Okay, next?
Tim: Hint #2 is ‘Language’.
Debbie: Okay. “‘Korea’ + ‘Language’”! So it must be “KOREAN”!
Tim: 딩동댕! Yes, today we’re going to take a deeper look at the language itself.
Debbie: That sounds great, but more specifically, what are we going to talk about?
Tim: Well, many listeners want to know about the“Korean Writing System – Writing system of ‘Hangeul’”.
Debbie: So are we going to have a look at that today?
Tim: Yes! We’re going to explore the Korean writing system.
Debbie: Great! Okay, I’m ready. Ready to take a look at today’s lesson?
Tim: Absolutely! Let’s start talking about the Korean Writing System!
Tim: Before we start talking about the writing system, let’s start with a quiz.
Debbie: A quiz? I love quizzes! What's the first question?
Tim: What’s the name of the writing system in Korean?
Debbie: Well that's easy! (자신있게 with confidence) Hiragana and Katakana!
Tim: Oh, Debbie…You’ve been studying too much Japanese.
Debbie: Ahh! My mistake! It’s actually“한글 (Hangeul)”.
Tim: 딩동댕!“Hangeul” is correct.
Debbie: So, Korean uses 한글 as its writing system.
Tim: Yes, and actually 한글 did not always exist.
Debbie: Yes, like we mentioned in the last lesson, we have King-Se-Jong to thank for inventing 한글. He introduced it to the public in 1446.
Tim: Yes, thanks to him! It’s hard to imagine writing Korean without 한글.
Debbie: Right, that would be a total disaster! so before the invention of 한글, people used the borrowed characters from Chinese that had the closest sounds to the Korean sounds, but this was not the best way to write Korean.
Tim: I think a major strength of 한글 is that it is very easy to learn, to read, and to write.
Debbie: Yeah, so there’s no reason not to learn it, really.
Tim: Exactly! 한글 is so easy to learn that you can learn it within a few days.
Debbie: or even hours!
Tim: Right! So, if you're planning a visit to Korea, you have plenty of time to learn it.
Debbie: What’s more, in Korean, there are many loan words that come from English, hmm…such as ‘taxi’, ‘bus’, ‘camera’, and…
Tim: ‘computer’ etc…
Debbie: That’s right. So you will find yourself understanding the words in the signs or menus just by knowing how to read 한글.
Tim: That’s right! So, how about looking at the basic letters of Korean now?
Debbie: Okay! Anyway, what are the basic letters of Korean?
Tim: Since you like quizzes, here is my quiz for you, “How many basic consonants are in 한글?”
Debbie: Hmm… (조용히 카운트하며 counting silently “ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ…”)
(자신있게 with confidence) 14! There are 14 basic consonants.
Tim: 짝짝! Great! Then, “how many basic vowels are in 한글?”
Debbie: Hmm… (조용히 카운트하며 counting silently “ㅏ, ㅑ, ㅓ, ㅕ…”)
(자신있게 with confidence) 10! There are 10 basic vowels.
Tim: 짝짝! Excellent!
Debbie: There are compound consonants and vowels too - those are formed by combining those basic consonants and vowels. So the neat thing is that if you know and understand those “14” basic consonants and “10” basic vowels, which are just “24” of them, you can basically read and write everything in Korean!
Tim: That’s right! How great is that?
Debbie: So why don’t we take a look at the consonants?
Tim: Sounds good!
Debbie: Like we mentioned earlier, there are 14 consonants. Each one has a name, too. They are
(Tim says)
ㄱ (기역 giyeok), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘g’
ㄴ (니은 nieun), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘n’
ㄷ (디긋 digeut), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘d’
ㄹ (리을 lieul), (Debbie says) which is pronounced in between the letter an ‘r’ and an ‘l’.
This sound is in between an R and an L. Takes some practice for English speakers.
ㅁ (미음 mieum), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘m’
ㅂ (비읍 bieup), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘b’
ㅅ (시옷 shiot), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘s’
O (이응 ieung), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as ‘silent’ at the beginning of syllable or ‘ng’ at the end of syllable
ㅈ (지읏 jieut), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘j’ or sometimes 'z'
ㅊ (치읏 chieut), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as ‘ch’
ㅋ (키윽 kieuk), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘k’
ㅌ (티읏 tieut), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘t’
ㅍ (피읍 pieup), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘p’
Last consonant, ㅎ (히읏 hieut), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the letter ‘h’
Tim: Okay, now let’s take a look at the ten vowels.
Debbie: Tim will say the sound in Korean, and I will say how it is written in romanization.
(Tim says)
ㅏ (아 a), (Debbie says) which is spelled ‘a’
ㅑ (야 ya), (Debbie says) which is spelled ‘y-a’
ㅓ (어 eo), (Debbie says) which is spelled ‘e-o’
(like the "o" sound in the American English pronunciation of dog)
ㅕ (여 yeo), (Debbie says) which is spelled ‘y-e-o’
ㅗ (오 o), (Debbie says) which is spelled ‘o’
(like the "o" sound in home)
ㅛ (요 yo), (Debbie says) which is spelled ‘y-o’
ㅜ (우 u), (Debbie says) which is spelled ‘u’
ㅠ (유 yu), (Debbie says) which is spelled 'y-u’
(like the english word "you")
ㅡ (으 eu), (Debbie says) which is spelled ‘e-u’
(keep your mouth almost closed and relaxed and make the vowel sound in American English's pronunciation of "good")
ㅣ (이 i), (Debbie says) which is pronounced as the Romanization ‘i’
Debbie: Forming letters using the consonants and vowels that we just talked about is “very easy". You just combine letters by putting them into a square shape. It's hard to explain using just audio, though, so we strongly recommend looking at the Lesson Notes to see what we mean. By the way Tim…
Tim: Yes, Debbie?
Debbie: I am impressed that we just covered the sounds of the entire Korean alphabet in less than 10 minutes.
Tim: Yes, and some people say they've mastered the writing system in less than a day!
Debbie: What! Mastered the entire writing system in less than a day? That’s unbelievable!
Tim: Yes, 한글 is just THAT easy!
Debbie: I really agree! I mean, I see Romanized Korean and just think to myself…Why not just learn the real thing?
Tim: Yes - Romanization can be helpful, but learning Hangeul is the BEST way.
Debbie: Well, that’s all for today’s lesson. I hope this lesson convinced you that learning 한글 is actually NOT THAT hard at all.
Tim: I am sure many listeners are already convinced!
Debbie: Thanks for listening!
Tim: See you next time. Bye!