[Learn Korean E6] Final Consonants, Double batchim, and Pronunciation Rules

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Today, we will learn about Korean batchim. In English, it is called final consonants.

I will mainly explain the origin of batchim, the basic batchim, double batchim, and the changes in the pronunciation.

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[Elementary Korean #6] Final Consonants, Double Batchim, and Pronunciation Rules

The origin of batchim

Batchim is written as 받침 in Korean, and the origin of this word is 받치다, which means to support.

It supports a set of a consonant and a vowel.

In Korean, a vowel and a consonant are combined to form one character, and you can further add a final consonant called batchim under the set.

Next, let’s learn about the types of batchim and their pronunciation.

The basic batchim.

There are 16 consonants that are used as batchim, but there are only 7 kinds of pronunciation.

In other words, there are different characters that have the same pronunciation.

I will explain the pronunciation of the consonants using English alphabet here, as it is easier to learn in this way.

① ㄱ,ㅋ,ㄲ (k)

First, ㄱ(기역), ㅋ(키읔) and ㄲ(쌍기역) make the K sound.

Keep your tongue still and your throat should feel a little choked.

Let’s practice by reading 악, 앜, 앆.

I will read again. 악, 앜, 앆.

② ㄴ (n)

As you can see, three different final consonants, but you pronounce the same.

Secondly, ㄴ makes the N sound.

Your tongue should touch the back of your upper teeth.

Many people are not good at pronouncing this, but if you are having difficulty, try repeating the word “Nan ”.

Nan Nan Nan Nan Nan Nan Nan Nan.

You can feel your tongue repeatedly touching behind your upper teeth.

This “N” sound is the correct pronunciation of ㄴ batchim.

Or, try slightly biting your tongue with your front teeth and say “Nnn”.

Nnn~ Nnn~ Nnn~like this.

Koreans sometimes slightly bite their tongue to say ㄴ when they need to emphasize this ㄴbatchim.

Try to get used to the shape of the mouth and tongue when pronouncing ㄴ batchim.

Let’s practice this time with 안. 안 안 안

③ ㄷ,ㅌ,ㅅ,ㅆ,ㅈ,ㅊ,ㅎ (t)

Attention please!

What I am going to say next is very important.

ㄷ(디귿),ㅌ(티읕),ㅅ(시옷), ㅆ(쌍시옷), ㅈ(지읒), ㅊ(치읓),ㅎ(히읗) all make the T sound.

The tongue should touch the back of the upper teeth.

Be aware that all these 7 kinds of batchim are pronounced the same with the T sound.

Let’s try practicing.

앋, 앝, 앗, 았, 앚, 앛, 앟

The batchims are different but they all have the same pronunciation.

④ ㄹ (L)

Fourthly, ㄹ makes the L sound.

The tongue touches the upper teeth or the ceiling of the mouth.

To practice this one, open your mouth slightly and then repeat saying “La la la la la “.

Then, keep the shape of your mouth the same and try repeating “La lu la lu la lu la lu”.

La la la la la la, la lu la lu la lu la lu.

When you pronounce Lu, your tongue should touch the back of the ceiling of your mouth, right?

This is the correct pronunciation of ㄹ.

Let’s practice by saying 알. 알 알 알

⑤ ㅁ (m)

The fifth is ㅁ with the M sound.

It’s an easy pronunciation which you just need to close your mouth.

Let’s practice by saying 암. 암 암 암

It sounds as if you’re eating something, right?

⑥ ㅂ,ㅍ (p)

ㅂ and ㅍ have the P sound.

Again, you just need to close your mouth.

These also have the same pronunciation although the batchim are different. Let’s practice with 압앞. 압앞압앞.

⑦ ㅇ (ng)

ㅇ batchim makes the Ng sound.

When you pronounce this batchim, make a cave inside your mouth and don’t move your tongue.

Let’s practice by saying 앙.

Pay attention to the shape of my mouth and how I keep my tongue still. 앙앙앙.

Especially many students tend to pronounce ㄴ,ㅁ,ㅇ all as N.

Practice many times to try to notice the difference in the pronunciation.

The word that is the most useful when practicing these three batchim is

선생님(teacher).

When you pronounce the N batchim in the first letter 선, your tongue touches the back of your upper teeth. 선 선 선

You got it?

When you pronounce the next letter 생, you open your mouth big.

Your tongue is still. 생 생 생

The last 님 is pronounced while closing your mouth. 님 님 님

Let’s say the whole word together.

You can practice while watching my mouth. 선생님

Pay attention to the position of your tongue, and the opening and closing of your mouth, and keep practicing many times.

Practice makes perfect.

Double batchim

The next is the double batchim.

Some batchim are made of two consonants and they are called double batchim.

There are not many words with double batchim, but they are used often.

So if you memorize about 30 words, that’s good enough.

It is more efficient to memorize them together with real words, instead of trying to remember all the batchim at once.

There are 11 double batchim in total.

ㄳ, ㄺ, ㄵ, ㄶ, ㄼ, ㄽ, ㄾ, ㅀ, ㄻ, ㅄ and ㄿ.

There are also double batchim that are almost never used in daily life, so in today’s lesson, let’s learn only practical ones.

ㄺ (k)

Firstly, ㄺ makes the K sound.

There are words like 읽다「to read」, 닭고기「chicken meat」, 늙다「to get old」, 맑다「sunny」and 낡다「(an object is) old」.

These are beginner’s vocabularies that are used very often, so let’s memorize them altogether!

Let’s read them together.

읽다,닭고기,늙다,맑다,낡다.

ㄵ , ㄶ (n)

ㄵ and ㄶ are pronounced as N.

For ㄵ, there is 앉다「to sit」.

For ㄶ, there are 많다「many」and 괜찮다「It’s okay」.

Let’s read them together.

앉다,많다,괜찮다.

ㄼ , ㅀ (L)

ㄼ and ㅀ have the L pronunciation.

For ㄼ there are words like 여덟「8」, 짧다「short」, 넓다「wide」, 얇다「thin」.

These are the words that beginners must learn.

For ㅀ, there are 싫다「Dislike」뚫다「Drill」、잃다「Lose」.

Let’s read them together.

여덟, 짧다, 넓다, 얇다, 싫다, 뚫다, 잃다.

ㄻ (m)、 ㅄ (p)

ㄻ is pronounced as M.

There are words like 닮다「similar」, 젊다「Young」.

ㅄ makes the P sound.

There is a word 없다「Absent」.

Let’s read them together.

닮다, 젊다, 없다

The changes in pronunciation

Next, I will explain the changes in pronunciation.

There are many rules for the pronunciation of batchim, and there are also many exceptions.

But this time, I would like to teach only five points that you should keep in mind.

You might feel difficult to understand the sound changes.

But once you understand it, you can pronounce Korean easily,naturally and fluently.

So, let’s see it together.

① Batchim + ㅇ

When batchim is followed by ㅇ, the batchim will be combined with the vowel following.

For example, when you read 먹 어「Eat」continuously, the pronunciation becomes [머거].

Aslo, 이것은 (This is ) is pronounced as [이거슨] when we read continuously.

Ex: 먹어(Eat)→[머거]、 이것은(This is)→[이거슨]

when 이응 comes after double batchim, you read both double batchim.

For example, 젊어요(Young) becomes [절머요] and 앉아(sit) becomes[안자].

However, if ㄷ (디귿)and ㅌ(티읕) in batchim is followed by 이, it will be pronounced as ㅈ (지읒)and ㅊ(치읒) each.

For example, 굳이 (dare) becomes[구지] and 같이 (together) becomes [가치].

Also, if ㅇ comes after ㅎ in batchim, ㅎ will not be pronounced.

For example, 좋아 (Like) is pronounced as [조아] and 싫어 (Dislike) is pronounced as [시러].

Ex: 좋아(Like)→[조아]、 싫어(Dislike)→[시러]

② Changes to double consonant

When the consonants ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅅ,ㅈ come after the batchim that are pronounced ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ, their pronunciation will become double consonants like ㄲ(쌍기역),ㄸ(쌍띠귿),ㅃ(쌍삐읍),ㅆ(쌍씨옷),ㅉ(쌍지읒).

Ex: 없고 (Without)→[업꼬]、 책상(Desk)→[책쌍]、 꽃밭(Flower field)→[꼳빧]

③ Changes to strong consonant

When the consonants ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅈ come before or after the batchim ㅎ, their pronunciation will become strong consonants like ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅍ,ㅊ.

Ex: 축하해(Congratulations)→[추카해]、 입학(Enrolment)→[이팍]、 맞히다(To hit)→[마치다]

Also, when these consonants come after ㄶ or ㅀ, the pronunciation becomes strong consonants as well.

Ex: 많다(Many)→[만타]、 잃지 않다(Not lose)→[일치 안타]

④ Changes to nasal consonant

When the consonant ㅁ comes after the batchim that are pronounced ㄱ,ㄷ or ㅂ, batchim ㄱ becomes ㅇ, batchim ㄷ becomes ㄴ, and batchim ㅂ becomes ㅁ.

Ex: 박물관(Museum)→[방물관]、 믿는(to believe)→[민는]、 감사합니다(Thank you)→[감사함니다]

In addition, the consonant ㄹ comes after the batchim ㅁ or ㅇ, ㄹ will become ㄴ(니은).

Ex: 심리학 (Psychology)→[심니학]、 종류(Type)→[종뉴]

In addition, if the consonant ㄹ follows after the batchim ㄱ or ㅂ, the batchim will become ㅇ and ㅁ each and the consonant ㄹ will become ㄴ(니은).

Ex: 학력(Educational background)→[항녁]、 합리적(Rational)→[함니적]

⑤ Changes to smooth consonant

When ㄴ batchim is followed by the consonant ㄹ, or ㄹ batchim is followed by the consonant ㄴ, both ㄴ, ㄹ batchims become ㄹ.

Ex: 관리(Management)→[괄리]、 잃는(Lose)→[일른]

In some cases, the batchim does not become ㄹ and the following consonant becomes ㄴ.

You can find words originating from Chinese characters.

Ex: 결단력(Decisiveness)→[결딴녁]、 횡단로(Cross road)→[횡단노]


That’s all for today!

Everyone did really great today!!

여러분 정말 열심히 배우셨어요!!

It may have been a little difficult, but if there are parts that you did not understand, please review it again and again until you get it.

And you can master Korean.

Then see you in the next lesson.

그럼 오늘도 행복 가득, 웃음 가득한 하루 되세요! 한국어 화이팅, 화이팅, 화이팅!