Korean Language/Writing System

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Unlike what most people might believe, Korean is not as hard as it seems. Courteously, Korean has a simple alphabet, 14 basic consonants and 10 basic vowels, which can be learned swiftly.

As seen in Korean pronunciation, the language has a sound for each letter.

  • ㅁ - 'm'
  • ㅏ - 'a' as in ah (the sound your doctor asks you to make)
  • ㅗ - 'o' as in oats

However, there is more to Korean than that. It's really quite interesting, and makes this language unique. Let's say you wanted to now write 'mam' (would sound like mom) in Korean. It's not "ㅁㅏㅁ," It would be "맘." Korean, in a way, stacks letters to create a character.

Stacking Positions[edit | edit source]

There are three basic methods as follow. Two letters must be included to form a character; letters by themselves have no real meaning.

The positioning of letters in characters.

Vertical (Way 1)[edit | edit source]

If the vowel in the character is ㅓ, ㅏ, ㅣ, ㅕ, ㅑ, ㅐ, or ㅔ. As you can see all these vowels are vertical.

Horizontal (Way 2)[edit | edit source]

If the vowel in the character is ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅠ, ㅛ, or ㅡ. All these vowels are horizontal.

W (Way 3)[edit | edit source]

This method is only used when there is a "w" sound added to the character. For example, the character '원' is stacked in this manner: position 1 'ᄋ', position 2 'ᅮ', position 3 'ㅓ', and position 4 'ㄴ' (see diagram).

References[edit | edit source]