Learn the Korean Alphabet

We’ll start by learning all the consonant characters in the Korean alphabet.  Every Hangul letter has a name and it’s own sound.  Some characters even have multiple sounds depending on whether or not they’re at the beginning of a word, beginning of a syllable or the end of a word.

Here are the Hangul consonants, their names and the sounds they make.

giyokGiyok (기역):

Start of word: k like in kite

Start of a syllable: g like in go

End of a word: k like in talk

nieunNieun (니은):

Start of a word: n like in no

Start of a syllable: n like in no

End of a word: n like in no

digeutDigeut (디귿):

Start of a word: t like in talk

Start of a syllable: d like in find

End of a word: t like in not

rieulRieul (리을 ):

Start of a word: r like in run

Start of a syllable: r like in run

End of a word: l like in feel

mieumMieum (미음):

Start of a word: m like in mom

Start of a syllable: m like in mom

End of a word: m like in hum

bieupBieup (비읍):

Start of a word: p like in pool

Start of a syllable: b like in back

End of a word: p like in lap

siotSiot (시옷):

Start of a word: s like in show

Start of a syllable: s like in show

End of a word: t like in not

ieungIeung (이응):

Start of a word: no sound

Start of a syllable:no sound

End of a word: ng like in king

jieutJieut (지읒):

Start of a word: ch like in chop

Start of a syllable: j like in jar

End of a word: t like in not

chieutChieut (치읓):

Start of a word: ch like in itch

Start of a syllable: ch like in itch

End of a word: t like in not

kieukKieuk (키읔):

Start of a word: kh like in khaki

Start of a syllable: kh like in khaki

End of a word: kh like in khaki

tieutTieut (티읕):

Start of a word: t like in tip

Start of a syllable: t like in tip

End of a word: t like in not

pieupPieup (피읖):

Start of word: p like in pit

Start of a syllable: p like in pit

End of a word: p like in nap

hieutHieut (히읕):

Start of word: h like in hot

Start of a syllable: h like in hot

End of a word: no sound


There are also a couple of double Hangul consonants in the Korean alphabet.  They are as follows:

ssang-giyokSsang Giyok (쌍기역):

Start of word: g like in gone

Start of a syllable: g like in gone

End of a word: g like in gone

ssang-digeutSsang Digeut (쌍디귿):

Start of word: d like in dog

Start of a syllable: d like in dog

End of a word: d like in dog

ssang-bieupSsang Bieup (쌍비읍):

Start of word: b like in bird

Start of a syllable: b like in bird

End of a word: b like in bird

ssang-siotSsang Siot (쌍시옷):

Start of word: s like in some

Start of a syllable: s like in some

End of a word: t like in not

ssang-jieutSsang Jieut (쌍지읒):

Start of word: j like in Jim

Start of a syllable: j like in Jim

End of a word: t like in not


The vowels in Hangul, the Korean alphabet don’t have names like the consonants do, instead they just have one sort of simple sound.  A lot of the vowels have very similar sounds so do your best to try to figure out the difference. You’ll notice that adding another line to it essentially ads a y to the sound and adding a ㅗ or a ㅜ is like adding a w sound to the vowel.


like in hah


like in run


like in dough


like in moon


like in good


like in meet


like in at


like in get


like in yawn


like in yum


like in yoke


like in view


like in yak


like in yes


like in wand


like in wax


like in wonder


like in wet


like in wait


like in week


like in quey


Now that you’ve had an introduction to the Korean alphabet you’re ready to start combining these characters into syllables and start writing words!