Learning Aids for Korean

Dick Grune

I am trying to learn Korean, and I am trying to make it as easy as possible (even if that's sometimes a lot of effort). Here are a couple of notes that helped me. Some of it was distilled from Internet sources, some of it is my own invention; I hope it is helpful.

See also my home page under "Korean".

* The Korean Speech Levels
The descriptions of the Korean speech levels in different text books match one another more or less, but not very well. This is how I understand the situation.

* The Korean Vowels
Text books make Korean a language with more vowels than consonants: 21 vowels against 19 consonants. This text explains how Korean got its 21 vowels. (Hint: it's partly in your definition of "vowel".) Also why are there three characters, ㅙ, ㅞ, and ㅚ, all pronounced “we”? And why is ㅚ pronounced “we” by some and “ø” by others; and ㅟ both as “wi” and as “ü”?

* Chul Young Lee's "Korean Grammar Textbook", indexed
This is a 61 page sketch of the Korean grammar textbook `Essential Grammar For Korean as a Second Language' by a Chul Young Lee from 2004, which I find very useful. It is very dense on information, and has long lists of many features of Korean. I have added an index so the roughly 140 entries can each be accessed at a click.
I have tried to contact Mr. Lee, to ask what became of the book, but failed. If anybody has more information, please tell me.

* 그래요, 그러면, and all that
There are at least a dozen words like that. Why do they look so similar and yet so different?

* There are 11172 different Hangul blocks (syllables), as everybody knows. They can all be found in the UNICODE Hangul Syllables sheet. But the single Hangul letters ("Jamo"s) also have UNICODE codes, and there are 94 of them, far more than the 19 consonants plus 21 vowels of present-day Korean. They include such Middle-Korean goodies as ㅿ (a z-like sound) and ㅸ (v-like). See the UNICODE Jamo sheet for them.

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