Level 1: Learning “Hangul” Part 1 – Korean Alphabet Consonants

I honestly debated about where I wanted to start. I jumped in with hearing some words and listening to the TTMIK podcast. But I was also trying to figure out Hangul on the side. On a previous entry, I mentioned the 90 minute challenge PDF.

And good on my word, I checked it out as well.
Let me say:

Makes a lot more sense and it just overall phenomenal. I am going to do a “light” version of what they do here in this entry. They help a bit more with pronunciation and such, but I’ll show the gist of what I got.



ㅂ ㅈ ㄷ ㄱ ㅅ ㅁ ㄴ ㄹ ㅎ ㅇㅋ ㅌ ㅊ ㅍ

Those look a little intimidating, right? The way they broke it down so I can remember them is just brilliant. Here we go!

I am going to go from left to right. I am unsure of what is ‘alphabetically’ correct in regards to order, but I am more focused on being able to read/say them. They arrange it much better in that PDF I talked about, but anyway –

(PS: Thank you Korean Wiki Project!)

This letter has a sound like “B” in bed. Buh.
The way to remember it? I looks like a:

Seems too easy? I thought so too. But it helps!

This letter has a sound like “J” in jug. Juh.
Now the picture they used didn’t quite ring with me quite a first, but I do remember it. So I am going to share it here for you. A “jug” with a cap on top:

Straight from their PDF.


This letter has a sound like the “D” in door. Duh. Deh.
What it reminded them of was a hinge in a door. Or even a ‘pattern’ in a door. So to remember it, imagine:

See what I did there?.. The blue.

This letter has a sound like “G” in gun. Guh.
Sometimes if you say it a certain way, it can resonate with a “kuh” sound if you force the air right. Seeing as I am learning as well, I cannot promise which one is closer. But for this, remember more of a hard G.
Way to remember this one worked for me:

It is a cartoon gun… similar shape!

This letter has a sound like “S” in seashell. Suh.
How they described it to help you remember is that they compared it to a seashell.

I had to show you the way they showed it, because otherwise I couldn’t imagine it.

This letter has a sound like “M” in mail. Mmm.
Easy way to remember it, it looks like an envelope:

Is there such a thing as it making too much sense?

This letter has a sound like “N” in northeast. Nuh.
Way to help you remember this (seriously, the brilliance they have to make this) is imagine that symbol on the compass. It is at the “North” and “East” section. Hence, northeast:

I can just see it in my mind.

This letter has a sound like “L” in ladder. Luh.
Though, I remember a note stating it is a bit more like a ‘hard’ “L”. Where you press the roof of your mouth a little bit more. Try it. Say “Ladder” regularly, then try it when you put your tongue more on the roof of your mouth. Difference? Yup.
Good way to remember this? They said it resembles the wrings in a ladder:

Don’t worry, I didn’t see it at first either.

This letter makes a sound like “H” in hat. Hoh.
The way to remember this is that this symbol looks like a man wearing a hat:

This letter makes a sound like “K” in key. “Kuh”.
Way to remember this is that the letter looks like the top of a skeleton key.


This letter makes a sound like “T” in “Teeth”. Tuh.
Good way to remember this? I keep thinking of sideways teeth, not going to lie.

Adorkable. Right?

This letter makes a sound like “Ch” in church. Ch.
A way to remember it? I had to really look at their picture and it did make sense. The original symbol they used in the PDF is more like the one that you see on the left. it does appear from time to time, but I have found that usually the letter/symbol shown/used is the one on the right. So I am using that letter to show the picture for learning purposes. But once you get more comfortable with the letters, you’ll recognize either version.


This letter sounds like “P” in Pi! (You know, the number 3.14 etc?) Puh.
This letter threw me for a loop when I was trying to find it in the keyboard, not going to lie. I was used to the symbol on the left because it actually resembles the sign Pi in a sense. But the main focus was the top and bottom lines with two lines in the middle. But it will always stick in my mind as “P” because I first associated it with:

Well now that I look at it, that second symbol makes SO MUCH SENSE.


But not least. This letter I saved until the end because it is a “Special” one. It isn’t like the others because this one depends on if it is before a vowel or at the end of the syllable. First, let me show it to you:

This letter’s sound depends on placement. If it is BEFORE a vowel (we’ll get to those next entry) it makes NO SOUND.
Yeah, that’s right.
Before a vowel, this is purely just a PLACEHOLDER. It makes no sound.

Now, if it is AFTER other letters (ends the syllable), then it makes an “NG” sound. It’s the same sound as “-ing” that we use in English, without the “i”. In my mind, it sounds like “neeng”. But, if my pronunciation doesn’t help, then just say “-ing” first, then start removing the i and start with the n.

I know.


It seems like it can be a lot of info, but think back on it, it was actually useful (I hope!) And like I said, I didn’t provide all of the cool stuff like the PDF I recommended. But did quick mention of the sounds, and how to associate them. They had a couple of ‘practice’/’check-ups’ to test you out in-between that I was glad to practice with.

I also made my own flashcards to help me as well so I can practice and write notes that helped me.

Next time, we will work on the vowels! Until then, keep practicing! And of course:


Next time on TTLK: Level 1: Learning “Hangul” Part 2 – Korean Alphabet Vowels


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