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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) helps with Korean language pronunciations in pages. For a guide to adding IPA characters to pages, see {{IPA-ko}}, {{IPAc-ko}} and :en:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

Korean consonants
IPA Hangul RR English approximation
b[1] b ball
d[1] d doll
dz[2] j beds
[1] j roughly like gee
ɡ[1] g gall
h h hall
ɦ[1] h behind
j [ㅛ, ㅠ,ㅑ,ㅕ,
ㅖ, ㅒ][3]
y you
k ㄱ [ㅋ][4] g, k lock
kk skin
ㅋ [ㅎㄱ] k cup
l ㄹ [ㄴ][5] l alike
m ㅁ [ㅂ][6] m mall
[ㄹ, ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ][7]
n not
ŋ ㅇ [ㄴㄱ][8] ng king
p [ㅍ][9] b, p clip
pp spit
[ㅎㅂ] p paint
ɾ r Scottish great or American ladder
s s like see, but aspirated (with more breath)
ss saw
ɕ[10] s roughly like she
ɕ͈[10] ss see
[ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ][11]
d, t let
tt stack
[ㅎㄷ] t tall
ts[2] j cats
ts͈[2] jj
tsʰ[2] ㅊ [ㅎㅈ] ch let's have
j roughly like cheek
tɕ͈ jj roughly like pitcher
tɕʰ ㅊ [ㅎㅈ] ch roughly like cheek
w [ㅜ, ㅗ][12] w wall
z[1] s like zee, but murmured (with more breath)
ʑ[13] s roughly like illusion
Korean vowels and diphthongs[14]
IPA Hangul RR English approximation
a a American bot
e e sate
ɛ ae bet
ɛː bed, RP bare
i i meat
o o American boat
RP broad
ø [12] oe weld
øː wave
u u bull
ʌ eo mud
əː RP pearl
ɯ eu somewhat like book
ɯː somewhat like rude
ɰi/ɥi ui/yi somewhat like we, year
y [12] wi somewhat like sweet
somewhat like swede
Korean suprasegmentals
IPA Hangul RR Explanation
ː [15] geminated consonant
ˈ primary stress
ˌ secondary stress
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The plain stops and affricate /p t tɕ k/ and the fricatives /h s/ are voiced to [b d dʑ ɡ ɦ z] respectively between voiced sounds.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 [ts ts͈ tsʰ dz] occur before back vowels.
  3. /j/ cannot be spelled by itself, but by doubling the short line on the vowel which it phonetically precedes.
  4. ㅋ is [k] and RR k at the end of a syllable.
  5. ㄹ is [l] at the end of a syllable. ㄹㄴ and ㄴㄹ may be [].
  6. ㅂ is [m] before /n/ or /m/.
  7. ㄹ may be [n] at the start of a word. ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ are [n] before /n/ or /m/.
  8. ㅇ is [ŋ] at the end of a syllable. ㄱ is [ŋ] before /n/, /m/, or /ɾ/.
  9. ㅍ is [p] and RR p at the end of a syllable.
  10. 10.0 10.1 [ɕ ɕ͈] are the allophones of /s s͈/ before /i/ and /j/.
  11. ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ are [t] and RR t at the end of a syllable.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 /w/ is spelled ㅜ before /ʌ/, /e/, /i/ (the latter combination producing /y/~[ɥi]), ㅗ before /ɛ/, /a/; ㅚ /ø/ can also be pronounced [we].
  13. [ʑ] is the allophone of /z/ before /i/ and /j/.
  14. In Standard Korean vowel length is contrastive, but this has mostly been lost in the spoken language.
  15. Resulting from various sequences of consonants (and their relative transcriptions) in regressive assimilation.

References[change | change source]

  • Heo, Yong (2013). "An analysis and interpretation of Korean vowel systems". Acta Koreana. 16 (1): 23-43.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (1999). "An IPA Illustration of Korean". Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. p. 120-123.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (2002). 음성의 연구와 음성의 표기법 [Phonetic Notation in Phonetic Research: IPA and International Korean Phonetic Alphabet] (PDF). INTERSPEECH-2002.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (2004). In search of a universal phonetic alphabet – theory and application of an organic visible speech (PDF). INTERSPEECH-2004.
  • Shin, J. (2015). Vowels and Consonants. In L. Brown & J. Yeon (Eds.). The Handbook of Korean Linguistics (pp. 3-21). Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Shin, J., Kiaer, J., & Cha, J. (2012). The Sounds of Korean. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sohn, Ho-min (2001). The Korean Language. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521369436.

External links[change | change source]