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Lesson Transcript

Minkyong: 안녕하세요. 민경입니다.
Keith: Hey, Keith here. Hello, everyone. And welcome to our third installment of our pronunciation series.
Minkyong: These pronunciation lessons are specially constructed to help Korean students enhance their pronunciation.
Keith: And that’s Korean learners of all levels, newbies, beginners, intermediate and advanced.
Minkyong: Basically, everyone.
Keith: Yes. All right. So, Minkyong, what did we take a look at already?
Minkyong: Lesson 1 of this pronunciation series introduced some similar sounds that are actually different between English and Korean. And Lesson 2 introduced some sound that are hard to distinguish for the non-native Korean speakers.
Keith: Great. So, what are we taking a look at in this lesson?

Lesson focus

Minkyong: In this lesson we’ll look at some sound that combine together to make different sounds.
Keith: Consonant combinations. So, before we get started, an important word that we need to go over is 받침. Minkyong, what does that mean? What is a 받침?
Minkyong: You know, when you write 한글, that’s one block, 한 글자.
Keith: And that’s one block of 한글, and that stands for one syllable.
Minkyong: So, when that 글자 has a consonant at the bottom, that’s called a 받침.
Keith: And, the reason we want to go over this quickly is because in Korean the 받침 sometimes affects the next 글자, the next syllable, it carries over to the next syllable. All right. So, Minkyong, what consonant combination are we taking a look at right now?
Minkyong: We’re going to take a look at ㄴ and ㄹ.
Keith: And, most of the time, it usually matters which one is the 받침 and which one starts the other 글자.
Minkyong: But here, these two affect each other in the same way.
Keith: Exactly. So, you don’t have to pay attention to the order that these two appear in. All right. So, when the two consonants ㄴ and ㄹ are next to each other, they both can be pronounced as?
Minkyong: ㄹ.
Keith: And, we do this to make the pronunciation easier. Actually, that’s the purpose of all of the consonant combinations in this lesson. We want to make these syllable changes to make pronunciation much easier.
Minkyong: Yes.
Keith: To make the explanation as simple as possible, basically because the sounds ㄴ and ㄹ in Korean are made at different positions in the mouth. It’s difficult to pronounce them smoothly, that’s why we change the pronunciation to make speech flow much smoother.
Minkyong: Let’s go into our first example. Let’s take a look at the word 진리.
Keith: “Truth.”
Minkyong: 진리.
Keith: Yes, if you try to do that quickly, how about you give that a try?
Minkyong: 진리, 진리, 진지...
Keith: See? It’s pretty tough. So, that’s why, naturally, it just kind of changes to ㄹ, the ㄴ changes to ㄹ.
Minkyong: So, it becomes 질리.
Keith: And that’s when the 받침 is ㄴ. What happens when the 받침 is ㄹ?
Minkyong: We can look at the word 칼날.
Keith: “Knife blade.”
Minkyong: Here, the 받침 is ㄹ and the next consonant is ㄴ. So, that means we change ㄴ to ㄹ. So, instead of 칼날, we say 칼랄.
Keith: And, for more examples, please take a look at today’s lesson notes PDF. All right. Let’s move on to our next combination. What do we have?
Minkyong: ㄴ and ㅁ.
Keith: And, we also have ㅂ and ㅁ. When the consonant ㄴ or ㅂ is immediately followed by ㅁ, all consonants in this example, all become ㅁ. So, why don’t we move on to our example?
Minkyong: 신문.
Keith: “Newspaper.”
Minkyong: Instead of 신문, it becomes 심문. You change the ㄴ which is the 받침 to ㅁ.
Keith: And, if you, folks, try it out at home, you’ll notice that you’ll have to move your mouth more when you say 신문. But, if you say 심문, you’re moving your mouth less and that’s the aim here. We just want to move our mouth less and less. Korean people are really lazy.
Minkyong: No, we’re not. We’re just really efficient.
Keith: Ok. Well, speaking wise, lazy. No, ok, efficient is a good word. But, the same things happens for ㅂ and ㅁ.
Minkyong: Right. We just went over it, ㄴ and ㅁ, but the same rule applies to ㅂ and ㅁ.
Keith: When these two consonants ㅂ and ㅁ, when they collide, ㅂ turns into ㅁ. So, what do we have for an example?
Minkyong: 십만.
Keith: “One hundred thousand.”
Minkyong: Instead of 십만 we say 심만.
Keith: Minkyong, I got a good exercise. Say 십만 ten times fast and be sure to pronounce the ㅂ.
Minkyong: 십만, 십만, 십만...
Keith: Say, sounds like, you find yourself, you have to stop when you say 십 and then move on to the next syllable 만. So, it’s kind of tough, isn’t it?
Minkyong: Yes, it’s tough.
Keith: So, I think the reason is because your natural tendency is to try to move on to the next syllable, as I just said, as fast as you can. And, when you say 십만 you’ve got to pause and, you just couldn’t do it fast, if you actually want to pronounce 십 correctly. But, we want to move on quickly to the next syllable.
Minkyong: We have to be efficient.
Keith: Right. In any case, we don’t want to have to stop and go, we just want to move on as quickly as possible.
Minkyong: Ok. Now, we’re going to take a look at our next example.
Keith: And, that’s dealing with unaspirated consonants turning into aspirated consonants. Minkyong, do you remember that?
Minkyong: Yes, that was in our last pronunciation series. If you hold a paper in front of your mouth and it’s an aspirated consonant, the paper will move. And, if it’s unaspirated, it won’t move.
Keith: Ok. So, let’s review really, really quickly. What’s an unaspirated consonant, just any unaspirated consonant?
Minkyong: ㄱ as in 가.
Keith: And the aspirated version of that?
Minkyong: ㅋ as in 카.
Keith: Ok. So, right now we’re going to focus on making those unaspirated consonants like 가 into aspirated consonants like 카. Ok. Let’s move on to our example.
Minkyong: 좋지요.
Keith: It sure is good. Let’s break that down by syllable. The first syllable is?
Minkyong: 좋 and the 받침 is ㅎ.
Keith: The magic ㅎ. It’s there in writing. Ok. And now, what’s our next syllable right after that?
Minkyong: 지.
Keith: And that’s an unaspirated consonant, but because our 받침 from the 글자 before, the consonant before, is the magical ㅎ.
Minkyong: The ㅈ in this syllable becomes aspirated. Instead of 지…
Keith: Which is unaspirated.
Minkyong: It becomes 치.
Keith: Which is now aspirated. Let’s take a look at a few more examples with this because the unaspirated consonants, they’re affected by this is...
Minkyong: ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, and ㅈ.
Keith: And, as you can tell, there’s four different unaspirated versions that turn into aspirated versions, so it happens quite often in Korean. So, let’s have an example for ㅂ.
Minkyong: Let’s look at 북한.
Keith: “North Korea”. The 받침 there is ㄱ and next, of course?
Minkyong: The magical ㅎ.
Keith: You like saying that, right? And, just a quick notice, may sound like some really technical linguistic jargon, but I’m going to venture and say that the magical ㅎ is not technical.
Minkyong: 네, 아니에요.
Keith: Ok, I’ll be honest. I just made it up. Well, anyway, when those two ㄱ and ㅎ combine, what do we have?
Minkyong: ㄱ plus ㅎ equals ㅋ. So, instead of 북한, we say 부칸.
Keith: All right. So, let’s move on to our next example with ㄷ. How about the word “to be good”?
Minkyong: The word is 좋다.
Keith: Well, let’s hold off on the actual aspiration, you just did it right now. What should it be if you read it syllable by syllable?
Minkyong: 좋다.
Keith: And, once again, in 좋, the magic ㅎ, it’s there in writing. Ok. Now, when that combines with ㄷ of 다.
Minkyong: It becomes 타. So, that’s why we already say 조타 instead of 조다.
Keith: That just sounds really unnatural. Ok. We have two more examples of forcing unaspirated consonants to be aspirated consonants. What’s the next one?
Minkyong: ㅂ. And that becomes aspirated with the magic ㅎ, of course. They combine to become ㅍ.
Keith: For example, let’s take a look at the word 급하다 – “to be urgent”.
Minkyong: So, the first syllable is 급 and the 받침 there is ㅂ.
Keith: And, of course, the consonant immediately following that is ㅎ in 하다.
Minkyong: So, ㅂ and ㅎ becomes ㅍ instead of 급하다 it becomes 그파다.
Keith: All right. And, finally, what’s our last unaspirated consonant?
Minkyong: ㅈ.
Keith: And, of course, with the magical, amazing, fascinating ㅎ, what does ㅈ become?
Minkyong: ㅊ.
Keith: So, how about we take a look at the word 그렇지만?
Minkyong: So, the first two syllables are 그렇.
Keith: And, there, that last syllable 렇, that ㅎ is there again, and immediately after that we have?
Minkyong: ㅈ.
Keith: So, like we mentioned, when the sounds of these two are combined, it becomes ㅊ.
Minkyong: So, instead of 그렇지만 we have 그러치만.
Keith: Exactly. All right. Well, I think that’s going to do it. We went over a lot of examples, many, many examples, and I think this is really helpful. Minkyong, did you learn anything new from this lesson?
Minkyong: Well, actually, all Koreans know about these pronunciation changes. Everyone’s aware of it.
Keith: How do you know?
Minkyong: Well, for example, when you’re chatting, sometimes you type it in like it sounds, so instead of typing ㅎs in like 그렇지만, you’ll just type it like we say it.
Keith: Yes, spellings were a bit tough for me until this sort of stuff clicked in my head, so I think this pronunciation lessons will not only help you with your pronunciation, but it’ll also help you out with your spelling as well.
Minkyong: But, if you want to practice your spelling, please remember to stop by KoreanClass101.com and comment.


Keith: And, if you want to practice speaking, we have a video homework where you can practice your pronunciation with your fellow Korean students. Remember to stop by KoreanClass101.com and find out some more.
Minkyong: 여러분, 수고하셨습니다.
Keith: Thanks for listening.