KDrama recommendations


You can watch it on Drama Faver, Drama Cool, Kiss Asian, Viki Drama

Boys over flowers    ****

You are beautiful   ****

The Heirs   ****

My love from the star   *****

The moon embracing the sun   *****

The girl who sees the smells   *****

Doctor Stranger   *****

Secret Garden   ****

Dream High 1   *****

Dream High 2   ***

Doctors  ***

Vampire Detective   ****

The King of Highschool   ***

Oh my ghostess   ****

Cheese in the trap   ****

Three days   ****

W-Two worlds   *****

Scarlet heart Ryeo   *****

Descendants of the Sun   *****

Cinderella and four knights   ****

White Cristmas   ****

Pinocchio   *****

Legend of the blue sea   ****

Moorim School   *****

Sungkyunkwan scandal  **

Innocent man   ****

Kill me, Heal me   *****

Hwarang   ****


Classroom Expressions

Classroom Expressions

(1) 책 펴세요.
Chaek pyeoseyo. Open your book.

(2) 잘 들으세요.
Jal deureuseyo. Listen carefully.

(3) 따라 하세요.
Ttara haseyo. Repeat after me.

(4) 읽어 보세요.
Ilgeo boseyo Please read.

(5) 대답해 보세요.
Daedapae boseyo. Answer (the question).

(6) 써 보세요.
Sseo boseyo. Please write it.

(7) 알겠어요?
Algesseoyo? Do you understand?

(8) 네, 알겠어요.
Ne, algesseoyo. Yes, I understand.

(9) [아뇨] 잘 모르겠는데요.
[Anyo] jal moreugenneundeyo. No, I don’t really understand…

(10) 질문 있어요?
Jilmun isseoyo? Do you have any questions?

(11) 네, 있는데요.
Ne, inneundeyo. Yes, I have (a question).

(12) [질문] 없는데요.
[Jilmun] eomneundeyo I don’t have (any questions).

(13) 천천히 [말씀]해 주세요.
Cheoncheonhi [malsseum]hae juseyo. Please speak/say it slowly.
(14) 잊어버렸는데요.
Ijeobeoryeonneundeyo. I’ve forgotten.

(15) “Test” 한국어로 뭐예요?
“Test” hangugeoro mwoyeyo? How do you say “test” in Korean?

(16) “시험”이라고 해요.
“Siheom”irago haeyo. You say “siheom”.

(17) 한국말로 하세요.
Hangungmallo haseyo. Please speak/say it in Korean.

(18) 다시 한번 해 보세요.
Dasi hanbeon hae boseyo Try it again.

(19) 맞았어요.
Majasseoyo. That’s correct.

(20) 틀렸는데요.
Teullyeonneundeyo. That’s not right.

(21) 오늘은 이만 하겠어요.
Oneureun iman hagesseoyo. We’ll stop here today.


Consonant assimilation, Tensification, Aspiration and ㅎ weakening

Consonant assimilation

The nasal consonants are ㄴ and ㅁ. To keep pronunciation easy and flowing some consonants get changed before these two consonants as shown below:

Some p-based sounds become ‘m’:
ㅂ, ㅍ —> ㅁ sound Some t, s, ch, and h-based sounds become ‘n’:
ㄷ, ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅎ —> ㄴ sound  k/g based sounds become ‘ng’, like in English singer (not sin-ger)
ㄱ, ㅋ, ㄲ —> ㅇ sound


Spelling               Pronunciation
입니다                      임니다
있는데                      인는데
일학년                      이랑년
ㄹ also has its own assimilation rules. If ㄹ and ㄴ come together, the ㄹ wins (don’t say the ㄴ at all). It means the n BECOMES an l. If ㄹ comes before an ‘i’ or ‘y’ sound the ㄹ sound is doubled. More of an ‘l’ sound than an ‘r’ sound.
ㄹ + ㄴ —> double ㄹ (l) sound
ㄹ + (이, 야, 여, 유, etc.) —> double ㄹ (l) sound


Spelling             Pronunciation
진리                           질리
곤란                           골란
팔년                           팔련
서울역                     서울력


The following shows the difference between untensed and tensed consonants in Korean: Untensed


ㅂ—> ㅃ


Sometimes it’s easier to tense a consonant when it’s before another strong consonant, rather than assimilating it like we did with the nasal consonants
ㄴ and ㅁ. Examples

Spelling                Pronunciation
학교                              학꾜
식당                              식땅
국밥                              국빱
책상                              책쌍
숙제                              숙쩨

Aspiration and weakening

The ‘h’ sound is very weak in English as well as Korean. For example, when you pronounce ‘hour’ it sounds like ‘our’. The ‘ㅎ’ tends to become silent in casual speech between vowels, after the nasal consonants ㄴ and ㅁ, or after the consonant ㄹ.


Spelling                  Pronunciation
좋아요                          조아요
전화                                저놔
감히                                가미
말해 봐                         마래 봐

When ㅎ precedes or follows immediately ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ or ㅈ, it becomes silent but making these soft consonants harder (or aspirated): Softer


ㅂ —>ㅍ

ㅈ —>ㅊ

Spelling                  Pronunciation
축하                                  추카
좋다                                  조타
입학                                  이팍
그렇지                            그러치



Pronouncing Final Consonants

Pronouncing Final Consonants

All the consonants except for ㄸ, ㅃ and ㅉ can be final consonants. However, there are only seven final consonant sounds when pronouncing individual syllables. These are called Batchim (받침) and have their own sound:

Consonant Sound Example

(1) ㄱ k 극장 cinema

(2) ㄴ n 눈 eye; snow

(3) ㄷ t 듣기 listening

(4) ㄹ r/ l 발 foot

(5) ㅁ m 음악 music

(6) ㅂ p 밥 cooked rice; meal

(7) ㅇ ng 싱가포르 Singapore Other final consonants take on one of the above seven end consonant sounds: Consonant Sound Example

(8) ㅋ ——> k (ㄱ) 부엌 kitchen

(9) ㄲ ——> k (ㄱ) 깎다 cut down

(10) ㅅ ——> t (ㄷ) 옷 clothes

(11) ㅆ ——> t (ㄷ) 샀다 bought

(12) ㅈ ——> t (ㄷ) 낮 daytime

(13) ㅊ ——> t (ㄷ) 꽃 flower

(14) ㅌ ——-> t (ㄷ) 끝 end

(15) ㅎ ——> t (ㄷ) 히읗 the name of Korean letter ‘ㅎ’

(16) ㅍ ——> p (ㅂ) 앞 front



Writing and practice

Writing Syllables

Every syllable is written to fit into the same imaginary square box—no matter how many characters are in the syllable. How the box is divided up depends first on the shape of the vowel. When you look at the pure vowels, you will see that they have a predominant shape. Thus we can think of them as being vertical: ㅏ ㅓ ㅣ ㅐ ㅔ, horizontal: ㅗ ㅜ ㅡ, or combined: ㅚ .

Have a look at how the vowel shapes the syllable: With vertical vowels with no end consonant, the box is divided vertically in half, with the initial consonant on the left and the vowel on the right:
가 커 이 새 테

With vertical vowels with an end consonant, the space for the initial consonant and vowel is reduced to allow room underneath for the final consonant:
강 컴 일 색 텐

With horizontal vowels with no end consonant, the box is divided in half horizontally, with the initial consonant at the top and the vowel at the bottom:
도 우 크 괴

With horizontal vowels with an end consonant, again the end consonant is placed at the bottom. The initial consonant and vowel are pushed upwards:
돈 움 클 굉


(1) 레몬 lemon
(2) 버스 bus
(3) 슈퍼마켓 supermarket
(4) 아이스크림 ice cream
(5) 앨범 album
(6) 오렌지 orange
(7) 주스 juice
(8) 카세트 cassette
(9) 캥거루 kangaroo
(10) 커피 coffee
(11) 컴퓨터 computer
(12) 택시 taxi
(13) 테니스 tennis
(14) 텔레비전 television
(15) 피아노 piano
(16) 피자 pizza
(17) 햄버거 hamburger
(18) 호텔 hotel

(1) 꼬리 tail
(2) 따라 하세요 repeat after me
(3) 바빠요 (I am) busy
(4) 짜요 (It is) salty
(5) 싸요 (It is) cheap

(1) 차 cha tea; car
(2) 차표 cha-pyo railroad (bus, streetcar) ticket
(3) 카드 ka-deu card
(4) 카메라 ka-me-ra camera
(5) 타자기 ta-ja-gi typewriter
(6) 타이어 ta-i-o tire
(7) 파도 pa-do wave
(8) 파리 pa-ri Paris

(1) 가나 ka-na Ghana (African country)
(2) 나라 na-ra country
(3) 다리 ta-ri leg; bridge
(4) 라디오 ra-di-o radio
(5) 마차 ma-cha carriage
(6) 바다 pa-da ocean
(7) 사자 sa-ja lion
(8) 자 ja ruler
(9) 하나 ha-na one
(10) 아기 a-gi baby
(11) 아내 a-nae wife
(12) 아래 a-rae under; below
(13) 아마 a-ma perhaps
(14) 아시아 a-si-a Asia
(15) 아리아 a-ri-a aria


Combined Vowels

Combined Vowels

There are twelve combination vowels:
‘i’ + a, eo, o, u, ae, e

(1) ㅑ ya (as in yard) 야구 baseball

(2) ㅕ yeo (between yawn and young) 여자 female

(3) ㅛ yo (similar to yor- of New York) 요리사 chef

(4) ㅠ yu (as in new) 유리 glass

(5) ㅒ yae (as in yam) 얘기 story

(6) ㅖ ye (as in yes) 예 yes
‘o’ + a, ae, i

(7) ㅘ wa (as in Washington) 과자 sweets

(8) ㅙ wae (as in swam) 왜 why
‘u’ + o, e, i

(9) ㅝ wo (as in was) 뭐 what

(10) ㅞ we (as in wet) 웨이터 waiter

(11) ㅟ wi (as in weak) 귀 ear
‘eu’ + i

(12) ㅢ ui (as in ‘can we’ if you say it quickly)
의사 doctor


Pure Vowels

Pure Vowels

In English there are five pure vowels: ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘o’ and ‘u’. There are also many combination vowels, like ‘ea’ in the word wheat, ‘oi’ in the word noise, and ‘ou’ in house. The word Canada illustrates a major problem in learning to pronounce English. The same letter, in this case ‘a’, can have more than one pronunciation. But happily, in Korean each vowel symbol always represents the same sound. So once you’ve learnt the symbols, you will always know how to pronounce the correct sound. There are nine pure vowels:

(1) ㅏ a (as in Canada)

(2) ㅐ ae (as in Canada)

(3) ㅓ eo (as in computer)

(4) ㅔ e (as in bed)

(5) ㅜ u (as in book)

(6) ㅣ i (as in see)

(7) ㅚ oe (as in wet)
The last two pure vowels are harder to pronounce as there are no direct
equivalents in English.

(8) ㅡ eu  (If you say ‘the cat sat on the mat’ stressing ‘cat and mat’, the sound of the unstressed ‘e’ in the ‘the’ is close to this vowel.)

(9) ㅗ o  (This is the hardest to get right. It is somewhere between the ‘o’ in hope and the ‘or’ in horde. The sound comes from the front of the mouth with your lips forming a circle.)



Aspirated Consonants and Tensed Consonants

Aspirated Consonants

(1) ㅋ k (as in kite)

(2) ㅌ t (as in tank)

(3) ㅍ p (as in punk)

(4) ㅊ ch (as in cheese)

To understand what an aspirated consonant is, put your hand in front of your lips while saying kite. You can feel a burst of air. The difference between ㅋ (an aspirated consonant) and ㄱ (a simple consonant) is the amount of air you exhale when you make the sound. When you pronounce ㄱ, the amount of air you expel is quite small. This difference is similar to that between ‘ㅌ and ㄷ’, ‘ㅍ and ㅂ’ and ‘ㅊ and ㅈ’.

Tensed Consonants

(1) ㄲ kk (as in sky)

(2) ㄸ tt (as in stop)

(3) ㅃ pp (as in spy)

(4) ㅉ jj (similar to its easy)

(5) ㅆ ss (as in essence)

A tensed consonant such as ㄲ sounds like trying to pronounce two ㄱ at the
same time. It requires more effort and you need to tense the muscles around
your vocal chords.


Basic Consonants

We write English by stringing individual letters together. But when using the Korean writing system Hangeul, we have to think in terms of syllables. A simple example is the word ‘Canada’ – Ca-na-da. In Korean this becomes
캐나다. Every Korean syllable occupies the same amount of space, no matter how many characters are in the syllable, and are written to fit into a square box. Like English, Hangeul is comprised of consonants and vowels.
Camera Ca-me-ra 카 메 라 ka me Ra
Peter Pe-ter 피 터 pi teo
Mary Ma-ry 메 리 me ri
Banana Ba-na-na 바 나 나 ba na na
Radio Ra-di-o 라 디 오 ra di o

Basic Consonants

(1) ㄱ k/g (as in kid or game)

(2) ㄷ t/d (as in tiger or dog)

(3) ㅂ p/b (as in pig or bed)

(4) ㅈ ch/j (as in charming or jungle)

(5) ㅅ s (as in speech)

(6) ㅁ m (as in mother)

(7) ㄴ n (as in noise)

(8) ㄹ r/l (as in rain or lily)

(9) ㅎ h (as in high)

(10) ㅇ 1 ng (as in ring) This sound only applies when ㅇ is the final consonant of a syllable. When the same symbol is used at the start of a syllable it has no sound, and acts as a dummy consonant for syllables that begin with a vowel.
Note: According to the original Hunmin Jeongeum text:
ㄱ depicts the root of the tongue blocking the throat;
ㄴ depicts the outline of the tongue touching the upper palate;
ㅁ depicts the outline of the mouth;
ㅅ depicts the outline of the incisors (the teeth at the front);
ㅇ depicts the outline of the throat. The other symbols were derived by adding strokes to the basic ones.