K-LEARNING | March.27.2024

Hangeul Vowels: Beginning Your Journey with the Basics

Vowels play a crucial role in forming syllables in Hangeul by combining with consonants. 


They are essential in determining the meaning and tone of words, as well as in ensuring accurate pronunciation and conveying meaning. Additionally, vowels contribute significantly to the subtle nuances and rhythm of the Korean language. 


Therefore, when learning vowels, it's important to understand the pronunciation position and mouth shape of each vowel.



1. What are Hangeul Vowels?


A vowel is a sound that is produced without any obstruction in the throat or mouth. Since it can be pronounced on its own, it is also referred to as a standalone sound.


There are a total of 21 vowels in Hangeul, consisting of 10 short(simple) vowels and 11 diphthongs


The characteristics of short vowels and diphthongs are as follows:



2. Short Vowels (10 in total)


Short vowels, also known as simple vowels, are those in which the shape of the lips and the position of the tongue remain constant during pronunciation. 


They are categorized based on tongue position into front vowels and back vowels, on lip shape into unrounded vowels and rounded vowels, and on tongue height into high vowels, mid vowels, and low vowels. Specific details are provided in the table below.




3. Diphthong Vowels (11 in total)


Vowels that produce sound with a change in the shape of the lips or the position of the tongue from beginning to end include ㅑ(ya), ㅕ(yeo), ㅛ(yo), ㅠ(yu), ㅒ(yae), ㅖ(ye), ㅘ(wa), ㅙ(wae), ㅝ(wo), ㅞ(we), and ㅢ(ui). If you're curious about how Koreans actually pronounce and write Hangeul vowels, we recommend checking out this link.



📍 Source of this content: KONOGRAM.com


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