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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Korean Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn the pronunciation of tensed consonants.
These are also called 'double-consonants' because they look like two consonants next to each other.
These tensed-consonants sound like the unaspirated versions, but have a heavier and more stressed sound.
Take a look at the two examples from English words.
Pa. Spa.
Although both words have a P, it sounds different when it's placed after S letter. It's more stressed. Let's take another example.
Top, Stop
You can notice that when the consonant is placed after 's' sound, it has a heavier and stressed sound. That's how you'll read the tensed consonants in Korean.
Okay. Let's practice the pronunciation one by one.
The first consonant is..
ㄲ / (slow) ㄲ
It sounds like the second syllable of the word 'School.' Hold your breath for a second, and read it as you read the unaspirated consonant. Make sure air comes out of your mouth strongly. Listen to an example word.
토끼 / (slow) 토끼
Did you notice that there was a small pause between the first and second syllable? It's because you need to hold your breath to make the stressed sound. Listen to the word again.
토끼 / (slow) 토끼
The next consonant is..
ㄸ / (slow) ㄸ
It sounds like the second syllable of the word 'stop.' As you read the letters for the D and T sounds, put your tongue between your upper and lower teeth like you read a 'th' sound in English.
Listen to an example.
뚜껑 / (slow) 뚜껑
Did you read it right? Listen one more time.
뚜껑 / (slow) 뚜껑
The next consonant is...
ㅉ / (slow) ㅉ
You can say it like the letter J, but with a heavier sound.
Listen to an example word.
김치찜 / (slow) 김치찜
Did you hear the short pause before the tensed consonant? Listen to another example using this letter.
찍다 / (slow) 찍다
The next consonant is..
ㅃ / (slow) ㅃ
It sounds like the P sound in the word SPY. Listen to an example.
오빠 / (slow) 오빠
If you accidentally say this letter as the unaspirated version, the meaning will change.
오바 / (slow) 오바
The first word means 'older brother' and the one without the tense means 'over.'
The last consonant is..
ㅆ / (slow) ㅆ
This letter sounds like 's' in English but with a heavier sound. Listen to an example.
글씨 / (slow) 글씨
When you read this letter without stress, it will sound like this.
글시 / (slow) 글시
Now, let's review the aspirated consonants with their names. Do you remember the names of the unaspirated versions? When you read tensed consonants, you just need to add this word, meaning 'twin', at the beginning.
Have you noticed that sometimes the consonants are not pronounced as you'd expect? In the next lesson, you’ll learn about the exceptions that you need to read consonants correctly. Have you been able to keep all these different variations straighten your head? Let us know in the comments. See you in the next Ultimate Korean Pronunciation Guide lesson!


Please to leave a comment.
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KoreanClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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So far, which of the Korean consonants pronunciation is your favorite?

Tuesday at 06:01 AM
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Hi Kara,

Thanks for posting! Yes, practice makes perfect, so keep up the good work!



Team KoreanClass101.com

Saturday at 03:35 PM
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I agree with Angie, I can't detect the difference between s and ss (romanized). I'll have to hear and practice more!

Tuesday at 05:18 PM
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Hello Hope,

Thank you for your comment.

We also encourage our students to learn Hangul as soon as they're able to.

Please check out this series:


Thank you for studying with us!



Team KoreanClass101.com

Friday at 03:30 AM
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The romanization throws me off. I really don't like it because it confuses me and makes me think of the English pronunciation of the letters. 😞

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 01:23 PM
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Hi Nguyen,

Thanks for posting and we'll definitely consider your recommendation to improve our lessons. Let us know if you have any questions.



Team KoreanClass101.com

Tuesday at 10:20 PM
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During the time I use the Fast Fluency Checklist, I just see that the lesson should have the audio part for the example. That can help the learner practice easier.

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:55 AM
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Hello Angie,

Practice makes perfect! :)

Keep up studying well and soon you'll get great results!

And, in case of any questions, please feel free to contact us. We're here to help!



Team KoreanClass101.com

Wednesday at 10:57 AM
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The difference in pronunciation between ssi and si is so hard for me. I can barely hear a difference. I need a lot more practice with that one 😅

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 07:20 PM
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Hi Monica,

Thank you for posting.

There's a 7-day free trial with complete access to all Korean lessons but you'll always have access to newly published Korean lessons for 3 weeks on KoreanClass101.

Best Regards,


Team KoreanClass101.com

monica moreno
Thursday at 07:34 AM
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Why does it have 7 days free trials??? I tohugh this is a life time ??