Learn the Consonants in Hangul in 5 Minutes

Background: It took us a long time to become comfortable with “cheating” when learning languages. We thought we had to sit down and stare or repeat for hours. The reward was supposed to be knowing the language (which of course never happened with this method). We found it’s only until you “cheat” by making stories up or coming up with tricks do you really start retaining language. The better the trick, the faster you learn it and longer you remember it. Some people do pneumonic devices or memory palaces. We find that associating the word with something else or a story can really help. For instance, the German word for knife is messer. “I’m going to messer you up” (visualize someone jabbing with a knife).

The Korean alphabet- Hangul- is super easy to learn. Remember that all the letters are supposed to look like how your mouth moves/looks when you pronounce the letter. The alphabet was  literally designed with this in mind so it’s already a cheater alphabet. Unfortunately, when I’m trying to sound out a letter and want to remember what the letter-mouth-corilation thing looks like my face looks a little like this

now let’s talk about ㅊ, does my mouth look like a ㅊ yet?
hhhh – ㅎ. H ㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎㅎ HHHHH!

So here’s what we did to learn the Korean alphabet.

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 11.14.26 PM


Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 11.11.02 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 11.11.16 PM

Additional Consonants

There are a few other consonants but they are just stronger or aspirated versions of the above.

ㅋ which is a stronger K/G, so think double cliff

ㅌ – stronger T. Looks like: stronger Toe or two toes

ㅍ – P, looks like a pot still

ㄲ – aspirated K. Looks like (yelling) “Kliff!!”

ㄸ – aspirated D. Looks like slow motion stubbing your toe “Doh!!”

ㅃ – aspirated P. Shouting “Pots!!”

ㅆ – aspirated S. Striders, racing.

ㅉ – aspirated J. Jacks.


So theres the consonants in easy to remember, “cheating” form. It’s in no way meant to be offensive to Korean or Korea but just supposed to be a really quick way for English speakers to pick up on a new alphabet. Vowels are much harder but we’ll see if we can try.


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