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The Korean alphabet has to be the most logical alphabet in the world. Prior to 1443 the Korean language was written using Chinese characters. The Korean alphabet was created during the Joseon dynasty. As a relatively new alphabet, it has not been subject to changes in pronunciation and orthography and the introduction of new words from other languages to the same extent as more ancient alphabets.
The Korean alphabet, called Hangeul, is therefore extremely logical, and very easy to learn. There are 14 consonants and 10 vowels, although some vowels can be used in combination to produce a new vowel sound. In Hangeul, each “block” of letters represents one syllable. For example:
New Zealand in Korean is pronounced “nyu-jil-laen-deu”. In Korean, you can see that each syllable is written as a separate “block”: 뉴 질 랜 드.
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An individual syllable can be made up two or more individual letters. This is the same as in English – for ex-am-ple each sy-lla-ble in this sen-tence is made up of a diff-er-ent num-ber of let-ters.
A syllable block is read from left to right and from top to bottom. If we analyse the word New Zealand 뉴 질 랜 드 we will see the first syllable is made up of ㄴ+ㅠ, then ㅈ+ㅣ+ㄹ, then ㄹ+ㅐ+ㄴ then ㄷ+ㅡ.
The Korean alphabet is much simpler and more logical than the English alphabet. Get started learning the alphabet today with the video below.
Because the Korean alphabet is so simple, you will find classes at the Language Hub are very quickly written in Hangeul only – and when you take notes you will also only be writing in Hangeul. Don’t be too strict with yourself – but aim to be writing Korean 100% in the Hangeul alphabet after 10 weeks of classes.