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  • Writer's pictureBecca Norman

Hangeul Day

Updated: Feb 20

Do you celebrate your alphabet's birthday?

Until this week, I had never heard of such a thing! But what’s so special about Hangul (the Korean alphabet) that it deserves its own national holiday? Well, I’m new to this country and the language, but I have to say, it’s a pretty genius alphabet. It got even cooler to me when I learned a little about the history.

Since I’m hardly qualified to teach about it, I’m going to give you a list of some of the things that helped me understand how it works and why it’s celebrated.

Psst! If you like this, check out my new post about learning Hangeul here.

Here's a great overview:

Now, I know, if you haven’t been exposed to the Korean language at all, you’re probably still scratching your head and wondering how in the world they can call those symbols simple. When I found out we were moving to Korea, I immediately determined to learn the language. The first place I went was the Duolingo app, and it started with the alphabet, which I was surprised to learn was actually phonetic. (I know now it hasn’t always been that way)

It felt like my brain was going to explode and I would never get it, but once I started to notice the way the letters connected to each other, I knew there had to be a better way to learn. Enter Pinterest and a quick search for Korean alphabet graphs and voila! It all made sense.

One of my favorites:

(If you click the image, you will be taken to the website where I found it, along with more insight on how to interpret it.)

A chart showing the basic Korean consonants and vowels as they relate to the English alphabet.

Notice how the vowels with 2 lines going the same direction just have a “y” sound added to an existing vowel.. Each syllable is constructed into a block. Pretty cool, right?

There are more consonants that that, but I think you get the idea now. If you want to see more, you can visit my Pinterest Board to see lots of helpful things.

As far as pronunciation, I learned the most about it from an audiobook I borrowed digitally from the Army MWR library. I haven’t been able to find the same thing available for purchase anywhere else, but I found a similar video.

Well, that’s all for today! I hope you’re inspired to start learning!


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