Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Korean project : How to read 한글 ?

En français
As more and more things are written in Korean on this blog and as I hate transliteration, I think it is about time to show you how to read 한글.
I hate transliteration for several reasons :
- It looks absolutely awful
- It is very difficult to read contrary to the real thing
- There is no basic rules to transliteration in Korean as you can find in Japanese or Mandarin
- Some people separated each syllable while writing instead of words so it's not understandable
- It's pretty stupid to learn a language without learning how it is written.

And 한글 is so easy to read ... It take me 4 days to learn it, because I wanted so badly to do it well that I was doing it very slowly. Trust me ... It is also called the morning alphabet as you can learn it in one morning...

한글 was invented by the king Sejong scientifically so it's just perfect for Korean.

The consonants

There are 19 consonants in Korean.
Here is the approximated pronunciation :

ㄱ g, (ㄲ k tense), ㄴ n, ㄷ d, (ㄸ t tense), ㄹ l, ㅁ m, ㅂ b, (ㅃp tense), ㅅ s (ㅆ s tense), ㅇmute or ng, ㅈ j (ㅉ tz tense), ㅊ tsh aspirated, ㅋ k aspirated, ㅌ t aspirated, ㅍ p aspirated, ㅎ h aspirated.

The vowels
There are also 21 vowels
ㅏa, (ㅐ a , ㅒ ya ), ㅑ ya, ㅓ u (cut) (ㅔ é, ㅖye), ㅕyu, ㅗ o (ㅘ wha, ㅙ wa , ㅚ oi), ㅛ yo, ㅜ oo (ㅝ oowho, ㅞ ouai, ㅟ oui), ㅠ yoo, ㅡ oo or eux (ㅢ), ㅣi

The writing

The characters are formed in two different ways :
Consonant + vowel : 가 ka, 더 tu, 니 ni, 무 moo, 쉐 souai ....
Consonant + vowel + consonant : 감 kam, 문 moon, 쉡 souaib ....

You have to read from left to right and from top to bottom.
When a syllable begins with a vowel sound you have the mute ㅇ before : 안, an, 울, ool ...

For more detailed explanations see wikipedia

Now try to read the map

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