Hangeul- Korean Alphabet
To learn Korean, the first thing you need to do is how to read and speak Korean letters. So here they are. Korean letters consist of 14 basic consonant letters(ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅎ), 5 double consonant letters(ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, ㅉ), 10 basic vowel letters(ㅏ, ㅓ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅡ, ㅣ, ㅐ, ㅔ, ㅚ, ㅟ) and 11 compound vowel letters(ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ, ㅢ, ㅒ, ㅖ, ㅙ, ㅞ, ㅘ, ㅝ).
When you see Korean letters and its equivalent of the sound in English, you can easily grasp how to pronounce them, although the sound of Korean letters is not exactly the same sound of English letters.
Step 1. Sound of consonants
Firstly, check how to pronounce the sounds of Korean consonants.
(1) ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅅ
(2) ㅇ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅎ
(3) ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, ㅉ(double consonants)
Step 2. Sound of basic vowels (ㅏ, ㅔ, ㅣ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅓ, ㅡ, ㅐ, ㅚ, ㅟ)
Secondly, check how to pronounce the sounds of basic vowels “ㅏ[a], ㅓ[eo], ㅔ[e], ㅒ[ae], ㅗ[o], ㅜ[u], ㅡ[eu],ㅣ[i], ㅟ[wi], ㅚ[oe],” which are most commonly used to make words.
Step 3. Combinations of consonants and vowels
(1) Two letter combination
Korean words are made up of some combinations of these consonants and vowels. For example, you can combine the consonant “ㄱ[g]” and the vowel “ㅏ[a]” to make “가[ga],” and the consonant “ㄷ[d]” and the vowel “ㅏ[a]” to make “다[da],” of which the word “가다[ga-da]” is made up, meaning “go” in English.
→ Play and Repeat after me! (Korean sound of “가다”)
(2) Three more letter combination
A lot of Korean words are three more letter combinations of these consonants and vowels. For example, you can combine the consonant “ㄱ[g],” the vowel “ㅏ[a],” and the consonant “ㅇ[ng],” to make up the word “강[gang],” meaning “river” in English.
→ Play and Repeat after me! (Korean sound of “강”)
So, you need to practice speaking not only these individual consonants and vowels but also the combinations of them to read and speak Korean fluently. That’s what Korean Phonics is for.