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Hangeul and the Korean Alphabet

In the Take It Further sections, we’ll expand on what you’ve seen so far. We might break down some of the expressions, phrases, or sentences we’ve just seen, or we might look more closely at additional words that were introduced or expand on some of the more intricate points of grammar. You’ll also get a basic introduction to words and constructions that will be covered more in detail in the following lessons. Before we expand on grammar or vocabulary, however, let's start by looking at the Korean writing system and alphabet.

The Korean writing system is called Hangeul. Sounds are represented by symbols (jamo), and the jamo are combined into syllables. Either two or three characters are combined to form a single syllable, on rare occasion, four jamo will be combined in one syllable. Before we see how this works, let's first look at the individual letters of the Korean alphabet.

Consonants Vowels
giyeok a
ssanggiyeok ae
nieun ya
digeut yae
ssangdigeut eo
rieul e
mieum yeo
bieup ye
ssangbieup o
siot wa
ssangsiot wae
ieung oe
jieut yo
ssangjieut u, oo
chieut wo
kieuk we
tieut wi
pieup yu
hieut eu