Sunday, 21 August 2011

Korean Writing: The Hangul

It has been a tough week, I fought through the Korean language exams last week and I got results that can be considered, satisfactory, not really impressive marks, just enough to breathe above the waterline. Learning Korean is really tough for me as I just started to learn it last year. It took me almost my whole life to get to this level in English so perhaps I need more time to spice up my Korean a bit. Nevertheless, as a blogger, I share stuff that’ beneficial to readers. I don’t write diaries but stories of me are embedded in my posts. Lovely eh? I want to talk about Hangul; the Korean writing.

"Seoul Subway" by Adzrin Mansor with a LG Optimus One
In the days of old before the grandparents of Girls Generation were even born, Koreans receive a lot of influence from the Chinese in terms of culture, and a lot of things. The Koreans had a language of their own when speaking but when writing they adapted the usage of the Chinese character system. These Chinese characters are dying hard to learn. They are pictures, each character has its own meaning and sound that has to be memorized. As today there are 3000 characters identified. That is why it is so hard compared to learning Roman letters where a character represents a sound and when grouped together it only makes up a word and makes sense. Then came a much beloved king named Sejong, who ruled Korea in times of peace and harmony, he had no war to fight, he already set up a strong economy for his country so he switched focus on knowledge. He made the Korean writing with his group of scholars, making a very systematic writing system, the Hangul. Most of the strokes were actually pictures of the shape of the tongue and the mouth when pronouncing it.

Let’s get started. I know, K-pop fans are going crazy saying, ‘Yay, I can read the lyrics while listening to K-pop’ and all. Yeah, it is great to get to know a new language. We will start into consonants first. As you go through the letters, memorize it and the sound it makes.

’ pronounced ‘k’ in the beginning of words and ‘g’ in middle of words
’ pronounced ‘n’
’ pronounced ‘t’ in the beginning of words and ‘d’ in middle of words
’ pronounced ‘m’
’ pronounced ‘b’ and sometimes ‘m’
’ pronounced ‘s’
’ pronounced ‘ng’ if it is placed at the end, but have no sound if it is at the front
’ pronounced like ‘j’ or small ‘ch’
’ pronounced ‘h’

Then there is some extra consonants;
’ pronounced as a strong ‘k’
’ pronounced ‘kh’
’ pronounced as a strong ‘t’
’ pronounced ‘ph’
’ pronounced as a strong ‘j’
’ pronounced ‘ch’

Got the consonants? Let’s move into the vowels. In writing them, the vowels never stands alone. It always comes with a 'ㅇ' that is not pronounced.
’ pronounced ‘a’
’ pronounced ‘ya’
’ pronounced ‘aw’ as the English word ‘awe’ and ‘yaw’
’ pronounced ‘yaw’
’ pronounced ‘o’
’ pronounced ‘yo’
’ pronounced ‘u’
’ pronounced ‘yu’
’ functions like the English‘e’ in the world ‘Lucifer’. Sounds like ‘er’ with a silenced ‘r’
’ functions like the English‘ee’ in the world ‘mee’. Sounds like the use of ‘I’

In real writings, there are times where they use multiple vowels to represent another type of sound.
’ pronounced ‘wa’
’ pronounced ‘ae’ which sounds like the word ‘air’
’ pronounced ‘ae’ and sometimes ‘yae’
’ pronounced ‘ae’ which sounds like the word ‘air’
’ pronounced ‘yae’ which sounds like the word ‘yea’
’ pronounced ‘wear’ which sounds like the English verb ‘wear’
’ pronounced ‘wear’ which sounds like the English verb ‘wear’
’ pronounced ‘wear’ which sounds like the English verb ‘wear’
’ pronounced ‘wi’ like the sound when we say ‘Nitendo Wii’
’ pronounced like the ‘’ in most times but sometimes we take the sound of ‘’ and gathers it with ‘’ forming an ‘ei’ like sound.


Remember not to forget your 'ㅇ' with vowels okay.

Now we can go into basic words. Don’t worry, they are read from left to right just like Roman. Sometimes, the characters are arranged in blocks. Those are read and written in a clockwise direction.
아이’          ayi ‘baby’
'의사'           eisa 'doctor'
다리미’       tarimi ‘iron’
비디오’       bidio ‘video’
나비’          nabi ‘butterfly’
사랑’          sarang ‘love’
아리랑’       arirang, a Korean folk song
’             wang ‘king’
스포츠’       sephoche ‘sport’
’             talg ‘chicken’
빨리’          palli ‘quick’
’             pang ‘bread’
생각’          saengak ‘think’

Remember to be careful of near similar pronunciations like;
’         kho phi ‘nose blood’
커피’          khaw phi ‘coffee’
피자’          phi ja ‘pizza’
비자’          bija ‘visa’

 More,
시계’          shigae ‘watch’
돼지’          dwear ji ‘pig’
샴푸’          syamphu ‘shampoo’
카메라’       khamaera ‘camera’
이민호’       ee min ho
카라’          kha ra
소녀 시대’  so nyaw shi dae
’         big baeng

Oh that’s enough for me I think. For more simple words and vocabularies you can search it online. Now is the challenge, try to follow the following song while reading the lyrics I provided below. Good luck! I would like to hear from you guys, so you can like my Facebook page by clicking on the Facebook badge at the sidebar of this page. You can contact me directly and perhaps propose more interesting things for me to write soon. Expect more Korean language tutorial posts in the future! See ya!




지금 내가 하는 얘기 널 아프게 할지 몰라 
아마 날 죽도록 미워하게 될꺼야 
내가 예전 같지 않다던 네 말 모두 틀린 말은 아니야 
나도 변해버린 내가 낯 설기만해 

너무 착한 넌데 넌 그대로인데 오 
I don’t know I don’t know 
내가 왜 이러는지 
그토록 사랑했는데 넌 여기 있는데 오 
I don’t know 
이제 날 찾고 싶어 

Baby I’m sorry 너와 있어도 난 Lonely 
사랑하긴 내가 부족한가봐 이런 못난 날 용서해 
I’m sorry 이게 너와 나의 Story 
사랑이란 내겐 과분한가봐 네 곁에 있어도 
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely  
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely 
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely  
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely 

네가 잘못한게 아냐 내가 이상한거야 
이미 오래 전부터 난 준비 했나봐 이별을 
정말 잘해주고 싶었는데 하필 사랑 앞에서는 왜 
이렇게 한없이 작아지고 외로운지 

너무 착한 넌데 넌 그대로인데 오 
I don’t know I don’t know  
내가 왜 이러는지 
그토록 사랑했는데 넌 여기 있는데 오 
I don’t know 
이제 날 찾고 싶어 

Baby I’m sorry 너와 있어도 난 Lonely 
사랑하긴 내가 부족한가봐 이런 못난 날 용서해 
I’m sorry 이게 너와 나의 Story 
사랑이란 내겐 과분한가봐 네 곁에 있어도 
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely  
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely 
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely  
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely 

Cuz I’m just another girl 
이 밤이 외로워 난 더는 견딜 수 없어 Good bye 
Cuz I’m just another girl 
너무나 외로워 지금 네 곁에 있어도  
Baby I’m so lonely 
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely  
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely 
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely 
Baby I’m so lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely

Blog: The Life of Adzrin Mansor

1 comment:

Wan Azril Syazrin said...

tough as hell to memorise the consonant bagai....

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