Learning the Korean Alphabet – Hangeul

Since I returned from my remote work trip in Korea, I’ve been interested in taking up the Korean language. For starters, I decided to learn the Korean alphabet, Hangeul, before starting on the vocabulary and grammar.

 

Reason being the words are entirely formed by the 14 consonants and 10 vowels. If you know how to pronounce the alphabets, the words would more or less sound like the mish-mash of the alphabets.

 

The History of the Korean alphabet, Hangeul

 

Hangeul, or Hangul, is perhaps the most significant invention in Korean history. It was invented by the 4th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejong (and of course his team of really smart followers).

 

korean king sejong

 

A 70+ year old Korean granny told me King Sejong was inspired by the shape of his young son’s mouth made when making certain sounds.  That’s how the 5 main consonants (ㄱ, ㄴ, ㅅ, ㅁ, ㅇ) came about.

 

On the other hand, the 3 main vowels (ㆍ, ㅡ, ㅣ) symbolise the sky, the earth and man, which are thought to be the origins of the universe. Interesting, huh?

 

More on Hangeul later.

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