The Korean writing system, created by King Sejong the Great with a little help of Confucian scholars. Easy to learn and fun to use. Hangul words are arranged in syllables, thus "hello" would be written like this:

he l
l o

Cool, eh?
Hangul is a Korean script created by King Sejong which is celebrated every year with a holiday. It replaced Chinese ideograms which only highly-trained Confucian scholars could learn.

Hangul is one of the most scientific alphabets; the shape of each symbol indicates the position of the lips and tongue used to form the sound.

Recently the most popular Hangul word processor was nearly pulled from the market due to a Microsoft market manipulation.

Legend has it that after King Sejong had invented the Hangul he wanted to find a way to implement it. After some thought, the king when out a night and drew the Hangul on some large leaves in honey. Overnight, ants ate away at the parts covered in honey, leaving the symbols of the Hangul written in the leaves. In the morning, King Sejong took the leaves to the kingdom's religious leaders who declared them to be a sign from heaven.

한 글
han gul

As always, you'll need to install Korean fonts and have a Unicode-capable browser

Hangul is the Korean alphabet. It was devised by King Sejong sometime around 1446, when he realized that Chinese was simply too complex for the average joe to learn. Its brilliance is only apparent when you study Korean: it's 100% phonetic (*) , the characters themselves are simple to write. Indeed, one of the initial criticisms of Hangul (1) was that it was too simple to learn - REAL men learned Chinese ideograms. For this reason, widespread use of Hangul did not come about until the 20th century, as a result of national pride.

Hangul is, as another noder put it, easy to learn, given the proper attitude. The first step is to execute that anal-retentive English teacher that lives in your forebrain as Korean is nothing like English. If you want to learn Korean, the first step is to throw out any English grammar you've learned.

The second step is to remember, you are learning an alphabet; by themselves, these are not individual words or any of that crazy Japanese stuff

The third step is to practice writing hangul. Remember, hangul is phonetic, which means that you can approximate English words fairly easily.

Ready? Good

Hangul is written by clustering letters to form syllables. It's read from left to right, just like English, and each syllable cluster is read left to right, top to bottom.


g/k (depending on where it appears in the syllable)
as in: kite, c



If it starts a word, it's 't' as in 'toy'. 
If it ends a word, it's 't' as in hot' 
Otherwise, it's 'd' as in 'dog'


'r' as in 'run'. 
If it ends a word, it's 'l' as in 'Balrog'


pool, bay, lap

ㄸ d as in 'dog' ㅃ b as in 'bird' ㅅ s as in 'show' if it begins a word. If it ends a word, 't' as in 'hot' ㅆ s as in 'sang'. If it ends a word, 't' as in 'hot' ㅇ This one's weird; it's used as a 'placeholder' consonant for words that begin with a vowel. If it ends a word, though, it's 'ng' as in 'sing' ㅈ ch as in 'chip' ㅉ harder 'ch' as in 'jihad' ㅋ k as in 'khaki' ㅌ t as in 'toss' ㅍ p as in 'pit' ㅎ h 'hand' 'hi' etc. Vowels ㅏ a 'mah' 'yah' etc. etc. ㅓ uh 'gun' ㅗ o 'roll' 'mold' ㅜ u 'moon' ㅡ eu To make this sound, punch yourself in the gut. (to get an idea of what it sounds like, of course) ㅣ i 'reek' ㅔ e 'yes'

There are more vowels, of course, but they are combinations of these base vowels. In the interest of keeping this writeup simple, I will omit these vowels and suggest you go to the link below. As I am no 선생, the below link will teach you far better than I can.

행운을 빕니다!

* as far as I know


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