How to Write in Korean: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Write in Korean: A Beginner’s Guide

You’ll not be able to read Korean if you don’t know how to recognize the characters in the alphabet. That’s why learning how to write in Korean is the most effective way to learn how to read it.

In South Korea, Hangul is used to write the Korean language. It was founded in 1443 by King Sejong the Great, who wanted to provide Koreans with an easy-to-learn alphabet. Also, it is one of the most rational and simple writing systems in the world.

While learning to read and write in Korean can be daunting at first, some tips and tricks can help make the process easier.

Steps in Korean Writing Practice

If you’re starting out learning Korean, you may be wondering how to write in the language correctly. 

Here are the four steps to help you get started.

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1. Learn the Basics: Korean Vowels & Consonants

A good place to start learning the writing system is with the easy: the vowels and consonants. It’s the same as English. In the Korean alphabet, there are 19 consonants and 21 vowels.

Unlike the English language written from left to right, Hangul is written vertically, starting at the top-left corner of a page and moving down. Each letter in Hangul corresponds with one phonetic sound to spell out Korean words.

First, all Korean vowels are made up of three different parts:

  1. Vertical lines (ㅣ)
  2. Dash (-)
  3. Horizontal line (ㅡ)

Every vowel in the language is made up of those parts. So, here it is:ㅣ: “i”

ㅏ: “a”
ㅓ: “eo”
ㅡ: “eu”
ㅜ: “u” or “oo”
ㅗ: “o”

You can combine the pure vowels from the first set’s symbols to create diphthongs, or a single sound made up of the merging of two vowels:

ㅜ + ㅣ = ㅟ ㅜ + ㅔ = ㅞ ㅗ + ㅐ = ㅙ ㅗ + ㅏ = ㅘ ㅜ + ㅓ = ㅝ ㅡ + ㅣ = ㅢ

On the other hand, the pronunciation of many Hangul consonants is similar to that of their English counterparts. Here’s a quick rundown:

ㄱ: “g”
ㄴ: “n”
ㄷ: “d”
ㄹ: is between “r” and “l”
ㅁ: “m”
ㅂ: often “b” but sometimes also an aspirated “p”
ㅅ: “s” or sh
ㅇ: silent or “-ng”
ㅈ: “j”
ㅊ: “ch”
ㅋ: “k”
ㅌ: “t”
ㅍ: “p”
ㅎ: “h”

2. Write Korean in Syllable Blocks

After learning all of the Korean consonants and vowels, you can go over to one of the fascinating elements of the Korean writing system: fitting the symbols together.

Korean Hangul isn’t like most alphabets in English or even character systems. The letters or characters in most systems are simply placed next to one another to form words. However, Korean is unique in that the “letters” are not written in alphabetical order but rather in syllable blocks. That is, one syllable equals one block.

3. Follow the Korean Writing Rules

It’s vital to remember that every Korean word must begin with a consonant. This makes it simple to distinguish between the beginning and end of syllables.

On the other hand, syllables that begin with a vowel are not allowed. Because there is no effect on pronunciation, the syllable is also transcribed as a zero.

Furthermore, it’s also crucial to remember that a particular Korean syllable ends in a consonant. When there are two consonants in a word, this happens. One consonant marks the end of one syllable, and the other marks the beginning of the next.

4. Work on Conjugation and Connectors

The more proficient you are with Korean connectors and conjugations, the better your writing. Go over with different sets of connectors and conjugations to write the same sentence differently. 

5 Tips to Improve Your Korean Writing Skills

Korean letters resemble Chinese characters or Japanese writing in appearance. Korean, on the other hand, is a lot easier to learn. Consider these tips to help your writing practice more efficiently and fast.

Engage more active writing

Writing each Korean letter will improve faster if you read more. However, it is critical to engage in active writing rather than just reading. You can look for tools to help you in the process. Besides that, using your mobile phone to input some texts in Korean is helpful.

Improve reading skills

More than merely writing Korean characters, practice is required to obtain fluency and competency. You should also work on your speaking and pronunciation skills. The more you practice using your language skills, the more natural it will become to talk in any situation.

Play with the Korean language

Try to come up with fresh ways to use language patterns and new ways to build sentences. You won’t get beyond a certain level if you don’t play with the language and stick to what you know.

Don’t stick to English translations

While you could hire a translation to help you interpret the language, it could be pricey in the long run. Just remember the Korean alphabet letters, and you’ll be able to communicate effectively with native Korean speakers. 

Make it a habit

You’re probably feeling motivated and excited but also a little overwhelmed. So now that you know some basics of writing in Korean script, it’s time for you to start practicing. Also, remember to take your time and be patient with yourself.

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