[Weekly Korean] Lesson #1 – Learn 한글 “Hangul”

Hello to all our Sweeties~

It’s been a long time since I posted “[Weekly Korean] Lesson #0 – Useful Tips to Learn Korean” and I’m truly sorry for the delay. I promise I’ll be more up to date on the next “Weekly Korean” articles. Should we get started for this new and interesting first lesson?

Today we’re going to learn how to read 한글 or “Hangul” a critical step in your learning. When you will be able to read “Hangul” everything will seem easier!


About 한글

한글 or “Hangul“, is the Korean alphabet used to write the Korean language in South and North Korea since the 15th century. It was created in 1443 during the Joseon Dynasty when Sejong Daewang became King.

The alphabet is composed of 24 consonants and vowels which are written in symbol blocks. Each block can include two to four letters (six in special case, we will see later). 1 block = 1 syllable. The #2 in each block must be a vowel and the #1 and more, consonants.

  • 1st case: If horizontal, draw vowels such as ㅗ, ㅡ, ㅜ

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  • 2nd case: If vertically drawn, use vowels such as ㅓ, ㅏ, ㅣ

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  • 3rd case: If compounds are drawn, use vowels such as ㅘ, ㅟ, ㅙ….. In this case #2 and #3 form a compound vowel so #3 must also be a vowel. If #3 is not a vowel then the block will either be written like in case 1 or 2.

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한글, the Alphabet

The 14 consonant letters:

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  • + 5 double consonants:

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The 10 vowel:

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  • + 11 compound vowels

To make this first set of compound vowels, you can see with the normal vowels that you just need to add one bar to the main stroke of each letter. For example: a = ㅏ and ya =ㅑ. You added a bar on the right side of the main stroke. Same if you took the o, you would add a bar above the main stroke.

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For the last letters, it’s two vowels added together to make a new sound.

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That’s all for today!! If you can learn this for next week, you will be able to read the basic Korean sentences I’ll use to show you the Korean sentence structure, which is very different from English sentence structure!

Stay tuned for more “Weekly Korean” articles!

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[Weekly Korean] Lesson #0 – Useful tips on how to learn Korean!

New segment on SweetSweetKpop!!

I recently came up with this idea of doing a weekly article teaching you basic Korean. I’m actually learning Korean and I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you. I know a lot of people want to learn Korean, especially the Kpop, Kdrama and Kculture in general, fans. One of the biggest problems we all have, is the lack of time. A lot of us are lacking time due to school, homework, work and other activities. With the weekly articles you will have one week to learn and review the lesson before starting the new one.

For this first lesson, which isn’t really a lesson but more of an introduction to our new category “Weekly Korean”, I’ll write a list of useful websites and apps. The good thing with the apps is that you can have them on the go and learn Korean on the plane, in the car, or anywhere when you’re bored.

Ok so, let’s get to it (just so you know, there’s a ton of websites and apps teaching you how to learn Korean. I don’t think using multiple websites and apps is useful because you might just get confused between the lessons (if they’re not in the same order). If the websites/apps I give are not good enough you can still search other website/apps on google and find the ones you like.)

Hangeul 한글 = Korean language


The useful websites

How To Study Korean – That’s probably my favorite website out there to learn Korean. The lessons are separated into units and you can find them in PDF format. They also have textbooks you can buy for $10 each unit. It’s really well taught and easy to understand. They start with basic stuff and build up on what you learned in the previous lessons.

Learn With Oliver – I only recommend this website for the newsletter and flashcards they have. You can sign up for the newsletter which has the “sentence of the day” with the words explained and the “word of the day”. I receive an email everyday with the above content and it’s very useful to grow your Korean vocabulary and learn new words on the go everyday.

90 Day Korean – A really great website! They have themed lessons with vocabulary to go along with the theme. They also have regular lessons on their blog and for the first time you go on their website you can get the “90 Minute Challenge” which is a PDF you get by email. It’s very useful to learn Hangeul and other simple vocabulary word with English pronunciations.

Talk To Me In Korean – This website is very useful to learn the basics. They have a lot of audio/video lessons you can download. They also have a bookstore where you buy actual book teaching you Korean. This is one of the best websites to learn Korean along with How To Study Korean. There’s so many interesting lessons on this website that you will have to take your time to explore everything.

Korean Class 101 – This website is half free, you have to pay for some lessons. This is a good website to learn some new vocabulary words. Just like Learn With Oliver, you can subscribe to their “Word of the day” email and receive one everyday.


The useful apps

Korean English Dictionary & Translator – A very accurate dictionary/translator that could end up being useful if you need to translate a word from Korean to English or English to Korean.

Hangeul 101 – This is probably the best app to learn Hangeul. I personally only use this to learn Hangeul. They have the whole alphabet with pronunciation, quizzes and other useful stuff.

Learn Korean – Phrasebook for travel in Korea – Just like the title says, this app has a ton of useful sentences you could find useful while traveling in Korea. They have greetings, general conversation, numbers, transportation and other categories sentences.

Learn Korean – Annyeong – This app lets you chose your level and provides lessons and useful sentences in the level chosen. A similar app to the previous “Learn Korean” app. The apps may look similar, but the lessons can have more content and more in depth content so you might want to check it out anyway 😉

HelloTalk – Most of you might know this app. It’s free and you can chose the language you want to learn and the language it teaches you in. You then find someone that can teach you the language you want to learn and the language he wants to learn. It’s easy and nice to be able to talk with native Koreans.


Small tips

  • I personally think that once you know how to read Korean you should forget about romanization because you will just want to read romanization instead of practicing your Hangeul reading.
  • Reading lyrics of Kpop songs and watching Kdramas in Korean subtitles may help a lot to get reoccurring words such as thank you, sorry…..
  • Have a goal and know why you want to learn Korean.

The next lesson of “Weekly Korean” will be learn the Korean alphabet!

Hope you enjoyed this article and are excited about this new concept! Stay tuned for the next lesson!