[Learn Korean E2] Korean Vowels! Pronunciation and Writing with Chart!

안녕하세요! 토미입니다.

I am so excited to teach you this wonderful language, Korean. 

I made this video for the students who have never learned Korean before.

By learning my lessons, I will guide you to pass the official world known  Korean language test, TOPIK I Level 2.

So, from now on, Don’t worry about your Korean learning!

Tammy will lead your way!

Today, we will learn how to read Korean vowels.

The explanation will be easy to follow, even if you are new to Hangul.
So please watch it until the end.

그럼 시작할게요. Let’s get started!

Before we learn about the vowels, I will briefly explain the whole picture of Korean letters. 

First, the pronunciation of Korean is roughly divided into 5 steps;  the basic sounds, aspirated sounds, tense sounds, combined vowels and final consonants.

Here is the Hangul table that shows all of the Korean letters.

Hangul Table PDF

You can download the PDF version of this chart for free from my website.
Also, the pronunciation is written in English alphabets, so you can use it to check your Korean pronunciation.

However, the way the letters are written in English is a little different from the actual Korean pronunciation.

So I recommend that you use it for reference only.

The Basice Sounds

The basic sounds are made up of basic vowels and consonants.

But what are vowels and consonants?

In English vowels are A, E, I, O, U and consonants are other sounds like K, T, S, M, and etcetera. 

Please see the first page of my hangul table.

This is like an alphabet table in English. There are 140 kinds of sound here.

 In fact, Korean has many vowels and consonants.

Also, you can make thousands of letters by combining the aspirated sounds, combined vowels, and final consonants.

It sounds very difficult, right? But no worries! You just need to remember 24 characters.

 Please see the hangul table again.

The blue row from left to right is the vowels, and the orange column from top to down is the consonants.

All letters in this table can be made by combining these vowels and consonants. 

For example, let’s take a look at ㅁ, which is pronounced “m.”

Now, take a look at the vowel ㅏ, which is pronounced “a.”

If we combine these two to make 마, the pronunciation becomes “ma.”

Therefore, all of these 140 letters in the hangul table are made up by combining 10 vowels and 14 consonants.

Also, the aspirated and tense sounds, combined vowels, and final consonants are based on these 24 characters.

So even though there are thousands of letters in Korean, you only need to remember 10 vowels and 14 consonants, in total 24 characters to read all of them!

The number 24 is even less than the number of English alphabets.

So, reading Korean is actually very easy!

Also, can you see the little circle in the middle?

It is written “ng/null,” which means vowels.We are going to learn these today. 

In the bottom, there are four rows in green, written “aspirated sound.” 

These four are the strong sounds that we will learn later.

Korean Vowels

Now then, let’s start learning from the vowels.

Vowels are the base of all sounds. In Korean, there are 10 vowels, 아야어여오요우유으이. 

Let’s take a look on how to pronounce and write the vowels.

In general, when you write Korean, you write from left to right, and from top to bottom.

Try to memorize with a melody like a song: from left to right, from top to bottom, from left to right, from top to bottom.

Now, let’s look at the 10 vowels.They are 아야어여오요우유으이.

When you say these, your mouth gets round.

So the consonant is a circle. It’s easy to remember, right?

Let’s try writing 아 first.

Writing Korean Vowels

The circle is written counterclockwise from the top.

When writing ㅏ, you draw the vertical line first from top to bottom, and then the short horizontal line from left to right.

Similarly, when you write 야, you start with the circle, and then ㅑwith the vertical line drawn from top to bottom, then the short horizontal line from left to right.

For 어, you write the circle, then a short horizontal line from left to right, and finally the long vertical line from top to bottom.

여 is similar to 어.
You write the circle, then the two short horizontal lines from left to right, and then the long vertical line from top to bottom.

For 오, first write the circle.
Then, you write the short line from top to bottom, and then the long line from left to right.

요 is very similar to 오.
Circle first, then the two short lines from top to bottom, and finally the long line from left to right.

In the case of 우, again, you write the circle first.
Next is the horizontal line from left to right.
At last the vertical line from top to bottom.

Similarly, when writing 유, write a circle, then one horizontal line from left to right, and finally two vertical lines from top to bottom.

For 으, first write the circle, then just one horizontal line from left to right.

Lastly, for 이, again, the circle first, and then one vertical line from top to bottom.

Like this, you can write the vowels 아야어여오요우유으이.

The Pronunciation of Vowels

Now, let’s look at the pronunciation of vowels. 

When you pronounce 아, open your mouth wide as if you are to show your mouth to the dentist.
아, like this. I will tell you the pronunciation.  아

When you pronounce 야, you also make a big mouth like 야. 

For 어 sound, you drop your jaw. 어 

여 sound is similar to 어sound.
you have to drop your jaw. 여 

For 오 sound, you push your lips forward and make a small circle with your lips. 오 

요 sound is similar to 오 sound.
So you push your mouth forward and make a small circle with your lips. 요 요 

For 우 sound, you also push your mouth forward and make a small circle with your lips. 우

For 유 sound, you also push your mouth forward and make a small circle with your lips. 유

For 으 sound, you pull your mouth horizontally. 으

For 이 sound, you pull your mouth horizontally, too. 이

So, to summarize, you open your mouth wide when you pronounce, 아,야, 어,여

and  You push your lips forward and make a small circle to pronounce 오요우유

and lastly, you pull your mouth horizontally to say 으, 이. 

Let’s say everything together 아, 야, 어, 여, 오, 요, 우, 유, 으, 이 

Let’s say one more time! 아, 야, 어, 여, 오, 요, 우, 유, 으, 이 

Let’s say a little bit faster! 아, 야, 어, 여, 오, 요, 우, 유, 으, 이 

Let’s me sing for the last part. 아, 야, 어, 여, 오, 요, 우, 유, 으, 이 

Great job!! Fantastic.

Now you can read and write Korean vowels!! 

Ok. That’s it for today.
If you enjoy this video, don’t forget to click “like” and subscribe. 

그럼 오늘도 행복 가득, 웃음 가득한 하루 되세요!

한국어 화이팅, 화이팅, 화이팅!