Korean Language - Alphabet - Hangul

This page consists of text excerpted from the Wikipedia Hangul Page. This article contains Korean text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Hangul or hanja.




Official Names

The modern name Hangul (한글) was coined by Ju Sigyeong in 1912. Han (한) meant "great" in archaic Korean, while geul (글) is the native Korean word for "script". Han could also be understood as the Sino-Korean word 韓 "Korean", so that the name can be read "Korean script" as well as "great script". 한글 is pronounced [hanɡɯl] and has been romanized (in various ways).

History

Hangul was promulgated by the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, Sejong the Great. The Hall of Worthies (Jiphyeonjeon, 집현전) is often credited for the work.

The project was completed in late December 1443 or January 1444, and described in 1446 in a document titled Hunmin Jeongeum ("The Proper Sounds for the Education of the People"), after which the alphabet itself was named. The publication date of the Hunmin Jeong-eum, October 9, became Hangul Day in South Korea.

Hangul was eventually adopted in official documents for the first time in 1894. The definitive modern orthography was published in 1946, just after independence from Japan.

The Hunminjeongeum Society in Seoul attempts to spread the use of Hangul to unwritten languages of Asia. In 2009 they had their first success, with the adoption of Hangul by the town of Bau-Bau, in Sulawesi, Indonesia, to write the Cia-Cia language.

Jamo

Jamo (자모; 字母) or natsori (낱소리) are the units that make up the Hangul alphabet. Ja means letter or character, and mo means mother, so the name suggests that the jamo are the building-blocks of the script.

There are 51 jamo, of which 24 are equivalent to letters of the Latin alphabet. The other 27 jamo are clusters of two or sometimes three of these letters. Of the 24 simple jamo, fourteen are consonants (ja-eum 자음, 子音 "child sounds") and ten are vowels (mo-eum 모음, 母音 "mother sounds"). Five of the simple consonant letters are doubled to form the five "tense" (faucalized) consonants (see below), while another eleven clusters are formed of two different consonant letters. The ten vowel jamo can be combined to form eleven diphthongs.

Here is a summary:

* 14 simple consonant letters: ㄱ g, ㄴ n, ㄷ d, ㄹ r, ㅁ m, ㅂ b, ㅅ s, ㅇ -/ng, ㅈ j, ㅊ ch, ㅋ k, ㅌ t, ㅍ p, ㅎ h, plus obsolete ᄛ, ㅱ, ㅸ, ᄼ, ᄾ, ㅿ (alveolar), ㆁ (velar), ᅎ, ᅐ, ᅔ, ᅕ, ㆄ, ㆆ
* 5 double letters (glottalized): ㄲ kk, ㄸ tt, ㅃ pp, ㅆ ss, ㅉ jj, plus obsolete ㅥ, ᄙ, ㅹ, ᄽ, ᄿ, ᅇ, ᇮ, ᅏ, ᅑ, ㆅ

* 11 consonant clusters: ㄳ gs, ㄵ nch, ㄶ nh, ㄺ lg, ㄻ lm, ㄼ lb, ㄽ ls, ㄾ lt, ㄿ lp, ㅀ lh, ㅄ bs, plus obsolete ᇃ, ᄓ, ㅦ, ᄖ, ㅧ, ㅨ, ᇉ, ᄗ, ᇋ, ᄘ, ㅪ, ㅬ, ᇘ, ㅭ, ᇚ, ᇛ, ㅮ, ㅯ, ㅰ, ᇠ, ᇡ, ㅲ, ᄟ, ㅳ, ᇣ, ㅶ, ᄨ, ㅷ, ᄪ, ᇥ, ㅺ, ㅻ, ㅼ, ᄰ, ᄱ, ㅽ, ᄵ, ㅾ, ᄷ, ᄸ, ᄹ, ᄺ, ᄻ, ᅁ, ᅂ, ᅃ, ᅄ, ᅅ, ᅆ, ᅈ, ᅉ, ᅊ, ᅋ, ᇬ, ᇭ, ㆂ, ㆃ, ᇯ, ᅍ, ᅒ, ᅓ, ᅖ, ᇵ, ᇶ, ᇷ, ᇸ, and obsolete triple clusters ᇄ, ㅩ, ᇏ, ᇑ, ᇒ, ㅫ, ᇔ, ᇕ, ᇖ, ᇞ, ㅴ, ㅵ, ᄤ, ᄥ, ᄦ, ᄳ, ᄴ

* 6 simple vowel letters: ㅏ a, ㅓ eo, ㅗ o, ㅜ u, ㅡ eu, ㅣ i, plus obsolete ㆍ

* 4 simple iotized vowel letters (semi consonant-semi vowel): ㅑ ya, ㅕ yeo, ㅛ yo, ㅠ yu, plus obsolete ᆜ, ᆝ, ᆢ

* 11 diphthongs: ㅐ ae, ㅒ yae, ㅔ e, ㅖ ye, ㅘ wa, ㅙ wae, ㅚ oe, ㅝ weo, ㅞ we, ㅟ wi, ㅢ yi, plus obsolete ᅶ, ᅷ, ᅸ, ᅹ, ᅺ, ᅻ, ᅼ, ᅽ, ᅾ, ᅿ, ᆀ, ᆁ, ᆂ, ᆃ, ㆇ, ㆈ, ᆆ, ᆇ, ㆉ, ᆉ, ᆊ, ᆋ, ᆌ, ᆍ, ᆎ, ᆏ, ᆐ, ㆊ, ㆋ, ᆓ, ㆌ, ᆕ, ᆖ, ᆗ, ᆘ, ᆙ, ᆚ, ᆛ, ᆟ, ᆠ, ㆎ

South Korean order

In the Southern order, double jamo are placed immediately after their single counterparts. No distinction is made between silent and nasal ㅇ:

ㄱ ㄲ ㄴ ㄷ ㄸ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅃ ㅅ ㅆ ㅇ ㅈ ㅉ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ
ㅏ ㅐ ㅑ ㅒ ㅓ ㅔ ㅕ ㅖ ㅗ ㅘ ㅙ ㅚ ㅛ ㅜ ㅝ ㅞ ㅟ ㅠ ㅡ ㅢ ㅣ

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