Thursday, January 1, 2015

How The Korean Alphabet Is Written

The Korean Alphabet(한글, Hangeul)

The Korean alphabet(한글, Hangeul) was made by king Sejong in 1443. Hangeul is a featural alphabet of 14 consonant and 10 vowel letters. (We are going to study the name of each alphabet & pronunciation.)

* The Korean alphabet(한글, Hangeul) 
Hangeul Letters Are Grouped Into Blocks

Instead of being written sequentially like the letters of the Latin alphabet, Hangeul letters are grouped into blocks, such as 한 han, each of which transcribes a syllable. (In the past, the Korean alphabet used to be written sequentially. But, today we rarely can see the old form.)
* Hangeul letters are grouped into blocks

By the shape of vowel letters, positions of vowel letters are difference. Horizontal shape letters are written under the consonant, vertical shape letters are written on the right side of the consonant, and if both horizontal & vertical shape vowel letters are become one, be written both under & right side.Although the syllable 한 han may look like a single character, it is actually composed of three letters: ㅎ(h), ㅏ(a), and ㄴ(n). Each syllabic block consists of two to six letters, including at least one consonant and one vowel. Each syllabic Block is divided by 3 parts, initial(초성, choseong), medial(중성, jungseong), and final(종성, jongseong). To make a syllabic block, both choseong & jungseong are always required. Consonant letters can be used for both choseong & jongseong. Vowel letters can be used only for jungseong.
* The placement of Hangeul
As i said, each syllabic block is composed of two to six letters. It means that there is a huge number of blocks. The number of mathematically possible distinct blocks is 11,172. But you do not have to memorize every blocks, because once you memorize 14 consonant and 10 vowel letters, you can make every blocks. YES, 11,172 BLOCKS.

* Can't you believe? I'll give you a link. Click here to see 11,172 blocks. You can find a colored box, 11,172 blocks are in the box.
 (There is a lot of information about Hangeul in that blog, but was written in Korean.)

* Click to Read related posts

Grammar for Beginners
Korean Basic Consonant Letters(자음)
Korean Double Consonant Letters(쌍자음)
Korean Vowel Letters(모음)

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