Level 1: Learning “Hangul” Part 3 – Korean Alphabet Double and Combo Letters

안녕하세요!

This … has been a while coming. I should have posted this sooner but I really wanted to talk about some Podcasts and start showing words and such. I know this is needed and a must when it comes to learning Korean, but c’mon – I know everyone wants to jump in! I thought I could get away with those basics and then start some words. But the “Beginner words” INCLUDED some of these letters!

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I know! Makes it a bit hard when I am saying that I am breaking away from Romanization ASAP, right? Not even sure how to say those letters in particular! So, we are going to fix that now and work on learning the last bit of Hangul!

And it actually isn’t that bad.

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First:

Double Consonant!

ㄸ ㅉ ㄲ ㅃ ㅆ

These are actually a lot easier than you would think they would be! There are only 5 (yes, just 5) and with what we have already memorized, it is actually easy to get these as well! They look similar to others we have already learned, right? Good. Let’s start there.

 

Looks familiar? It should. I looks like a double version of ㄷ right? Similar sound. “D” sound from door for ㄷ, so what do you think this sounds like?

A strong version of it. “Duh”. (No, I am not insulting you. Give me more credit that that!) A way to think of it – If you noticed that your friend, after making an amazing speech went to make a dramatic exit and you noticed that the door is shut, wouldn’t you yell “DOOR!” so they realize it and not crash into it? Well, how strong did you say that D while yelling? (Not the volume, pay attention to the stronger sound.) That is the type of sound you should think of when you see ㄸ.

Easy right? The rest of the double consonants are the same way. Wanna see?

I figured you want me to do the same explanation for all of them: it is easy to see what they are “doubling” and figuring out the STRONG SOUND that is supposed to come with it. So I figured a speed run would work:

ㅉ – Strong “j” from jug.
ㄲ – Strong “g” from gun.
ㅃ – Strong “b” from bed.
ㅆ – Strong “s” from seashell.

Now, the PDF for the 90 Minute Challenge from 90 Day Korean says this about how to say it “properly”:

To pronounce them correctly, all you need to do is tense up your tongue and pronounce the sound with a little more force. Just double it up!

Doable, right? I thought so! Onto the next section!

This is the section that I refer to as
Combo Letters!

ㅐ ㅒ ㅔ ㅖ 의

(Now, that last one isn’t quite a combo letter, but worth mentioning sound-wise. I am glad that they did so and so I am sharing with you as well!)

Let’s get this started!

Now, they did a break down that didn’t work as well for me, so I am just going to explain the sound this “combo letter” makes. Wait, why do I call it a combo letter? Okay, maybe I SHOULD break it down.

This letter is kind of a combo of two vowels: ㅏㅣ
Funnily enough, the sound doesn’t quite make the combo of both. You want to know what the sound is like?

Say the word “Egg.” Now, take off “gg”. That’s right.
This letter has the “E” (or “Eh”) sound like in Egg. Eh.


Now, remember how with the vowels, when you added a second line, all it did was add the “yuh” sound? Same effect!

The sound of this letter is like “Yeh”.
If you need a word association to go with it, try this:
Say “Yesterday.” Notice how you say the first two letters: “Ye” from Yesterday. Yeh.

This next part is kind of fun/funny.


I know, combo letters were a bad way to describe them, but you can see why in a way, right? See these by themselves, you would guess a particular sound. Now you know better. Or about to anyway.

These look similar to – Not going to do that again. The sound for this letter will be one you don’t quite expect:

Say the word “Egg.” Now, take off “gg”. That’s right.
This letter has the “E” (or “Eh”) sound like in Egg. Eh.

Wait. What? Yup. ㅔ sounds like ㅐ pronunciation wise. (Or so I have learned so far. Maybe the farther along I get, I may be corrected. But for now, that is what I have taken.)

I think what makes it different mainly is how you would write it Romanized. But we know how I am approaching that, right? But wait, what does it mean when you add the second line?


Now, remember how with the vowels, when you added a second line, all it did was add the “yuh” sound? Same effect!

The sound of this letter is like “Yeh”.
If you need a word association to go with it, try this:
Say “Yesterday.” Notice how you say the first two letters: “Ye” from Yesterday. Yeh.

Yup. Fun right?

One more Sound/letter I am going to show you.


ㄸ

Now, this one is not a letter. It is actually ㅡ and ㅣ combined together to make a special sound. How does this sound?

First, say the word “Chop Suey”. Now, make sure you do NOT emphasis SU. Emphasis the END. “Chop suEY.” Now, how are you saying “EY”?  This combo has an “eu” sound that sounds like what we just worked on.

Weird Note:
(Now, I think it is more of the “uEY” sound that they are focusing on, but I think of “oui” -like the French way to say Yes- but take out the “o”. But that might not help some of y’all, so I made it as a weird personal note rather than the actual teaching. You can ignore this.)


That’s it!

That is all I have for you! That should be ALL of the Hangul/Korean Letters!

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Good job! Now, eventually I will cover on how to READ it. It is simpler than you may think. It makes sense once you see it. Until then:

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Next time on TTLK: Level 1: Reading Hangul!

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2 thoughts on “Level 1: Learning “Hangul” Part 3 – Korean Alphabet Double and Combo Letters

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