Korean Perfect Pronunciation Rules

안녕하세요! 토미입니다.

Today’s video is Perfect Pronunciation Guide!

As I have said “perfect,” I will teach you all the basic 9 pronunciation rules today.

These are voiced consonant, soft consonants, Liquidization, Aspirated consonant phenomenon, Elimination of ㅎ, Nasalization, Fortis phenomenon, Addition of “n”and Palatalization.

Are you spelling magic? These words sound too difficult for me.

I know. Yes, I can hear you. Don’t worry.I will explain each of these one by one.

And I am sure you will understand everything at the end of this video.

And your pronunciation will improve dramatically.

OK. So, let’s get through this!

그럼 시작할게요!

Voiced Consonants

First, let’s see voiced consonants.

You can remember this rule as 바다가자! It means “let’s go to the ocean.”

When you break down this phrase, you can see these ㅂ P ,ㄷ T,ㄱ K, ㅈ CH.

These consonants change their sounds softer when they come in the middle of words.

So, P becomes B, T becomes D, K becomes G, CH becomes J

For example, 부부 means husband and wife.

You pronounce the first 부 as pu, and the second one as 부.

So, it becomes 부부(pubu). Did you notice the last word changed from P sound to B sound?

Similarly, 고기 is meat.

You pronounce the first 고 as ko and the second 기 as gi.

So, it becomes 고기 “Kogi.”
Even though it is the same ㄱ consonant, you change the pronunciation when ㄱ comes in the middle.

Let’s go to the next one!

Soft Consonants

Rule No.2 is soft consonants, which means Batchim + ㅇ.

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

For example, when you read 음악「music」continuously, the pronunciation becomes 으막.

Another example is 연애 (romance). It is pronounced as 여내.

Now, let’s look at double batchim.
When 이응 comes after double batchim, you read both double batchim.

For example, 읽어요(to read) becomes 일거요 and 앉아(to sit) becomes 안자.


Rule number 3 is Liquidization.

Sounds difficult, but if you pay attention to this word, liquid, you will understand it better.

Think about liquid. Liquid has some kind of smooth texture.

Similar to that, ㄹ sound acts like a smooth pronunciation in Korean.

And this rule is actually easy, peesy, lemon squeezy, once you get this.

If ㄴ comes before or after ㄹ, its pronunciation will be changed into ㄹ.

It almost looks like number 2. 2+2, ㄹ+ㄹ.
You can remember like that as well.


For example, 실내 is “indoor.”

As you can see ㄹ + ㄴ are together, so you pronounce it as 실래.

Another example is 연락 “communication.”

ㄴ and ㄹ are together like a good couple, so you pronounce it smoothly like 열락.

Aspirated consonant phenomenon

Rule No.4 is Aspirated consonant phenomenon.

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

For example, 축하해(Congratulations) becomes 추카해.

Did you notice ㄱ met ㅎ and changed into ㅋ?

Another example is 입학(Enrolment).

You read it as 이팍.
ㅂ met with ㅎ and it changed to ㅍ, stronger sound.

The last example is 싫다 (hate). You read it as 실타 because ㅎ met ㄷ sound, so ㄷ changed into ㅌ.

Elimination of ㅎ

No. 5 is elimination of ㅎ.

As it is said, you just have to say good bye to ㅎ batchim when ㅇ comes after.

In other words, you don’t pronounce ㅎ.

For example, 좋아요 is “good.”
But look, ㅎ batchim and ㅇ are together, so you have to eliminate ㅎ.

Goodbye ㅎ. So its pronunciation is 조아, not 조하.

Another good example is 싫어요. “hate.”

Can you see ㅎ batchim and ㅇ?
In this case, you must say goodbye to ㅎ, goodbye ㅎ, and pronounce 시러요.

For additional note, if ㄹ, ㄴ, ㅁ come before ㅎ sound, ㅎ sound will be weak like a tiny little cat.

For example, 전화 is phone.
ㄴsound came before ㅎ, so the right pronunciation becomes 저놔.

Another example is 결혼(marriage).
ㄹ bachim and ㅎare together, so you don’t pronounce ㅎ sound like 결혼, it becomes 겨론.


The rule number six is nasalization.

First of all, ㅁ, ㄴ, ㅇ are called nasalized sounds.

Can you put your hand in front of your nose when you pronounce 암, 안, 앙?

You can feel the soft air coming out from your nose. 암, 안, 앙. Did you feel that?

That’s why these are called nasalized sounds.

When ㅂ, ㄷ, ㄱ batchim meetㅁ, ㄴ consonants, their pronunciation will change to ㅁ, ㄴ, ㅇ, which are nazalized sounds.

If you look at some example words, you will understand it much more easily.

First of all, when ㅂ batchim meets ㅁ or ㄴ consonants, its pronunciation will change into ㅁ.

ㅂ batchim + ㅁ/ㄴ→ ㅁ batchim + ㅁ/ㄴ

For example, 십만 is hundred thousand.

In this word, ㅂ batchim meets with ㅁconsonants, so, the right pronunciation is 심만, not 십만.

Second, when ㄷ batchim meets with ㅁ/ㄴ consonants, its pronunciation will be changed into ㄴ batchim.

ㄷ batchim +ㅁ/ㄴ→ㄴ batchim+ ㅁ/ㄴ

For example, 믿는 is (to believe).
믿 has ㄷbachim and 는 has ㄴ consonants, so its pronunciation changed into ㄴ. The right sound is 민는, not 믿는.

Third, whenㄱbatchim meets with ㅁ/ㄴ consonants, its pronunciation will be changed intoㅇ batchim.


ㄱ batchim +ㅁ/ㄴ→ㅇ batchim+ ㅁ/ㄴ

For example, let’s see a word, 한국말, Korean.

Korean people don’t say 한국말.

The right pronunciation is 한궁말(han-gung-mal)

because ㄱ batchim met with ㅁ, so ㄱ batchim changed into ㅇ batchim.

Did I make your head clear? Let’s move on.

Fortis phenomenon

Rule No.7 is the Fortis phenomenon.

When the consonants ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅅ,ㅈ come after ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ batchim,

their pronunciation will change to double consonants like ㄲ(쌍기역),ㄸ(쌍띠귿),ㅃ(쌍삐읍),ㅆ(쌍씨옷),ㅉ(쌍지읒).

For example, 입다 is (to wear). Here, ㅂ batchim met with ㄷ consonant, right?

In this case, the correct pronunciation is 입따, not 입다 ok?

Likewise, 잡지 is magazine. ㅂ batchim met ㅈ consonant.
So, the correct pronunciation is 잡찌, not 잡지.

The last example is 학교, school.

ㄱ batchim meets with ㄱ consonants. So the right pronunciation is 학꾜, not 학교.

Addition of “n”

Rule number 8 is addition of ㄴ.

It means you have to add ㄴ when these following conditions are met.

First, two words are combined, and become like one word like 부산역 Busan station.

Second, if the previous letter ends with a batchim, and the following letter is 야, 여, 요, 유, 이, 얘, 예,you add ㄴ sound, and it becomes 냐, 녀, 뇨, 뉴, 니, 냬, 녜.

I totally understand your confusion.

As I have said before, 부산역 (Busan Station) is the combination of 부산(Busan) +역(Station), right?

And if you look closer, you can see ㄴ batchim and 여 sound, right?

In this case, you should not pronounce 부사녁, but 부산녁.

There are many station names such as 일산역, which applies this rule.

So you can pay attention to these station names when you see them.

Another example is 웬일(what matter).

This word is also the combination of two words; 웬(what) and matter(일).

This ㄴ batchim meets with 이 sound, so the right pronunciation becomes 웬닐.


Last, but not least is rule number 9, Palazalizaion.

You don’t hear this word, “palatalize” in your daily life, do you?

So, you just understand this as ㅈ, ㅊ.

There are these following rules.

First, when ㄷ batchim meets with 이, its pronunciation becomes 지.

ㄷ batchim +이 →지

For example, 굳이 means persistently.

If you pay attention to this, you can see the combination of ㄷ batchim and 이.

So the right pronunciation becomes 구지, not 구디.

Another rule is ㅌ batchim +이 /ㄷ batchim + 히 =치.

The typical example for this is 같이, together.

You can see ㅌ batchim in 같, and 이.

So the right pronunciation becomes 가치.

Another good example is 붙이다 (to attach).

ㅌ batchim in 붙 and 이 are together, so the right pronunciation becomes 부치다, not 부티다.

Since the original form is pronounced as 부치다, even when you apply the grammar with this word, you pronounce as 붙여서(부쳐서) 붙이고(부치고).


We have studied all the pronunciation rules today.

If you think these rules are difficult, I highly recommend that you repeat watching this video several times until you get this 100 %.

Then I am sure your pronunciation will improve dramatically.

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