The trick I use to remember which vowels make which sound is to pretend that
each symbol is like an arrow, telling me which direction my breath should go.Try
to remember this while you study!
Hangeul is a very scientific, logical and simple to learn
alphabet. Therefore, it can be quite surprising to think that it is based very
heavily on oriental philosophy. As we move on to study the Hangeul vowels, it's
important to stop and learn a little bit about what notions they were based on.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment and read Oriental Philosophy in
The theory of Cheonjiin states that the universe is made up of
three things, Heaven (.), earth (ㅡ) and man (ㅣ). The symbols for each of these
things are combined in various ways to create the hangeul vowels. It should be
noted that the dot symbolizing heaven is now often wrote as a short horizontal
line rather than a dot. These basic vowels can be put together to create
combined vowels sounds (known as dipthongs). But once you know the basics
vowels, its easy to understand the combined vowels.
Pronunciation Tips (similar sounds in American English)
||the o in
||good (keep mouth
Dipthongs ( Combined Vowels )
combining of vowels is very common in most languages. Take the word “Ice” for
example. When we say the vowel sound, it sounds more like “ah-ee”. In Korean,
these combined vowels are accomplished by literally combining the basic vowels.
The vowel ㅐ is simply a combination of ㅏ and l. And ㅔ is a combination
of ㅓ and l. Although long ago, they made a different sound, now they are
pronounced the same. If you say those very fast, you simply get a sound like
ㅒ (ㅑ+ ㅣ) and ㅖ(ㅕ+ㅣ) also have the same sound, simply ㅐor ㅔ with a
“Y” sound added to make “yae”
ㅚ (ㅗ+ㅣ)and ㅙ(ㅗ and ㅐ) also have come to be
pronounced the same way, “Wae”.
ㅝ (ㅜ+ㅓ) is a ㅜ sound and an ㅓ sound
blended together. “Wo”
ㅢ (ㅡ+ㅣ) is pronounced by keeping your mouth flat
and relaxed and saying “ㅡ”and then adding “ㅣ”on the end. If you say it quickly
it’ll be like “gooey”