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Lesson Transcript

Hi! Welcome to Introduction to Korean. My name is Alisha and I'm joined by...
Hi everyone.
I'm Jaehwi!
In this lesson, you'll learn the basics of Korean writing.
The Basics.
Similar to English, Korean also uses an alphabet. However, there is a big difference in the way Korean is written.
Unlike the English alphabet where each letter stands alone, Korean consonants and vowels are combined and are grouped together into blocks. Each block represents 1 syllable.
You can think of each block as a square which you need to fill in, using consonants and vowels, until you've created a syllable.
Every block will require a minimum of 1 consonant and 1 vowel, to create a syllable.
Usually though, Korean syllables will consist of three parts—the initial, medial and final.
Initials are written at the top left of the block. Initials will always be consonants.
Keep in mind though, that this doesn't mean that syllables in Korean will always start with a consonant sound. It only means that vowels cannot be written in the initial position. A silent consonant could take this position, thus starting the syllable with a vowel sound.
Medials on the other hand, will always be a vowel. It could be a single vowel, or a double vowel, in which case it'll have gliding sound sometimes perceived as a Y or W sound.
The most basic Korean block then, would consist of a consonant-vowel combination.
가 (ga)
Sometimes, a block may include a final. Finals, are always consonants, and are positioned below the vowel at the bottom of the syllabic block.
This means that the initial-medial-final structure would be a combination of a consonant, a vowel or double vowel, and a consonant.
Here's a useful phrase which includes various syllabic block structures we've just discussed.
반가워(ban-ga-wo)
As you can see, the first block contains the consonant-vowel-consonant format we just mentioned.
반(ban)
The second block is the basic consonant-vowel format. The vowel is a vertical one, so the consonant is written on the left.
가(ga)
The third block contains a double vowel, so the structure is initial-medial, with the initial being a consonant, and the medial a double vowel.
워(wo)
Altogether it's...
반가워(ban-ga-wo)
Writing Korean Characters
There are 3 basic rules for writing Korean characters—they are written from left to right, top to bottom, and from outside to inside.
This means that when you start writing a syllable in Korean, you would start at the top left corner of the block.
Start at the top left corner and work down to the bottom right. Usually, the topmost horizontal line would come first, followed by any vertical strokes. If the consonant starts with a vertical stroke, you would start from the top left and work your way down, followed by any horizontal strokes.
As the first consonant is a 'ㄱ'(gieuk), you would start from the top left and move toward the right for the first stroke, then move downward.
With Korean vowels, similar rules apply—you go from left to right and top to bottom. Most vowels in Korean start with a vertical stroke, however, so you would usually work your way from top to bottom, then left to right.
We said initials, or the consonant, were written first. So if you put these two characters together...
With a horizontal vowel, you would write the initial, or consonant first,
followed by the vowel below.
together...
구(gu)
If you had a final consonant, then the order would be..
반(ban)
And should the medial be a double vowel, with both horizontal and vertical components, the horizontal vowel would be written first, followed by the vertical vowel to the right.
워(wo)
There you have it. Now you know how to write Korean characters within a syllabic block!
In this lesson, you learned the basic rules of Korean writing. You learned that Korean consonants and vowels are grouped together to form syllabic blocks. You learned that there are usually three parts to a syllable—the initial, which is always a consonant, a medial, which can be a vowel or double vowel, and a final which is always a consonant. And lastly, Korean characters are written from the top left to the bottom right.
That's all for this lesson. If you'ld like to learn more about Korean writing, check out our 'Hana Hana Hangul' series!
In the next lesson, you'll be entering Korean boot camp, where you'll learn useful beginner phrases to get you speaking Korean right away!
See you in the next lesson. Bye!
Bye!

306 Comments

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KoreanClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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We've covered only the very *basics* of Korean writing. If you have any questions, leave a comment below!

Arwa
Saturday at 06:57 AM
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My name is Arwa how it will be written using Hangul ?

kumkum
Monday at 01:57 PM
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hi what will be my korean name

my name is kumkum

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Friday at 08:36 AM
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Hi Dayanara!


Thank you for your comment.

Your name in Hangul would be 데야나라(de-ya-na-ra).

Please let us know if you have any other question. Thanks!


Best,

Jiye

Team KoreanClass101.com

Dayanara
Saturday at 12:11 PM
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Hi, how can I write my name in Hangul my name is Dayanara

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:03 PM
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Hi Shelby!

Thank you for your posting.

Your name in Hangul would be 셸비(shel-bi).



Hi Abdulqudus!

Thank you for your posting.

Your name in Hangul would be 압둘쿠두스(ab-dul-ku-du-seu).



Hope this helps you.

Feel free to ask if you have any question. Thanks!



Best,

Jiye

Team KoreanClass101.com

Abdulqudus Bammodu
Thursday at 10:46 PM
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Hello, how Can i write and spell my name?

My name is Abdulqudus

Shelby
Wednesday at 06:16 AM
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Hi! I want to know how to write my name, Shelby in Korean! Thanks!

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 10:51 AM
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Hi Biangis!


Thank you for your comment.

Your name in Hangul would be 비안지스(bi-ahn-ji-seu).

Please let us know if you have any other question.

Thanks!


Best,

Jiye

Team KoreanClass101.com

biangis
Wednesday at 11:29 AM
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hello :) quick question, how would you write my name in Hangul ?

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:07 PM
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Hi Safae!


Thank you for your comment!

Your name in Hangul would be 세이피(se-ee-pee).

Regarding 'F' sound, please see this lesson: 'F and V in Korean'.

(https://www.koreanclass101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-questions-answered-by-jae-11-how-do-i-say-f-and-v-in-korean/)


Feel free to ask if you have any other question. Thanks!


Best,

Jiye

Team KoreanClass101.com