Native Korean Numbers In the last post, we explored Sino-Korean Numbers. This time around, we’ll look at Native Korean Numbers. Whereas Sino-Korean numbers often count the sequence or ordinal number, Native Korean numbers often count the quantity. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. The counter plays a role also. Please note that Native Korean numbers end at 99 (아흔 아홉 –aheun ahop). From there on, you’ll use Sino-Korean numbers. 1 하나 hana 2 둘 dul 3 셋  set 4 넷 net 5 다섯 daseot 6 여섯 yeoseot 7 일곱 ilgop 8 여덟 yeodeol 9 아홉 ahop 10 열 yeol 11 열하나 yeol-hana 12 열 yeol-dulRead More →


KOREAN NUMBERS. SINO NUMBERS AND PRONUNCIATION The Korean language has two different set of numbers, the sino numerals and the native numerals. Korea and China have a long history together and share certain language traits. The Sino-Korean numbers are derived from certain Chinese characters but the words themselves are Korean. Typically, you’ll use Sino-Korean numbers to count items in a sequence. For example, 1st, 2nd, 3rd. You see this represented in the months of the year. 1st month = January = 일월 (ee wol). Korean numbers are easy to learn because you basically use them everywhere. 1 일 il 2 이 ee 3 삼 sam 4Read More →


The Korean Word 월급 (Salary) In English, salary is defined as a fixed compensation periodically paid to a person for regular work or services. When 월급 is broken into to parts, this idea of periodical compensation goes hand in hand. The first part is 월, which means month or moon. The second part, 급, means wage, pay, class, grade, or level. Combine the two parts together, and you get monthly wage (월급). Pronunciation In the previous lesson we learnt about the pronunciation of the Korean vowel diphthongs with a ‘w’ sound, ㅝ which has the sound wo, as in “Woe is me!” when we add theRead More →


The Korean word 위험하다 (to be dangerous) In this lesson, we are going to cover another diphthongs with a ‘w’ Sound, and as you know from the previous lessons, diphthongs combine two vowels to produce one sound. In this case, we’ll be looking at 위, which is a combination of the vowels 우 and 이. When put together we get 위 with the sound ‘wi’ which is similar to the English word ‘we’ or more closely to the French word ‘oui.’ 위험하다 is an adjective but it is comprised of two part, 위험, which means danger, hazard, peril, risk is a noun, and 하다 which meansRead More →

Double Korean Consonants-

Double Consonants in the Korean Language By now, you probably have a decent grasp of the 14 Korean consonants (ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅎ). These are the basic consonants in the Korean Language. Now, we’re going to cover a few bonus consonants, double consonants (ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, ㅉ). As you can see, there are only 5 double consonants in the Korean Language. Double Consonants in the Korean Language are very similar to regular consonants. In fact, non-native Korean speakers may have difficulty hearing the difference between the regular and double consonants. To put it simply, the double consonants areRead More →


The Korean Word 뭐 (what) In the last article, we learned the word 왜 (why). Today, we’ll take on another Korean vowel diphthong with a ‘w’ sound (뭐). 뭐 (what) 뭐 in English means ‘what.’ Like 왜 (why), it is an interrogative. Unlike 왜 (why), which has a variety of atypical uses for English speakers, 뭐 tends to be used very much like the English “what” for specific inquiries to obtain information. Please note that 뭐 is actually a contraction of 무엇 ‘mu ot’ 무+어=뭐. Bonus: Notice the 엇 is pronounced with a ‘t’ sound. Typically when a syllable ends with a 시옷 (s) and isn’t followed by a vowel, it’llRead More →


The Korean word 왜 (why) In an earlier lesson, we learnt about the Korean vowel diphthongs with a ‘w’ sound, where ㅙ (wae) was covered. 왜 (why) In English, 왜 basically means WHY. Why is an interrogative used to obtain explanation or reasons. In Korean, 왜 is also used as an interrogative. However, it can also be used to express annoyance or to challenge, similar to the way English speakers might use the word “what,” as in, “What? You don’t like that?” The Korean translation would be “왜? 싫어? Koreans also use 왜 while answering a call. While in some cultures this might be considered rude. In Korea itRead More →


This lesson continues to cover Diphthongs with a ‘w’ Sound, by looking at the ㅘ (wa) vowel. 사과하다 (to apologize) In a prior lesson we covered how to say “to be sorry” in simple terms and in a more formal/polite way. Continuing along the same lines, we have to apologize. Interesting enough, 사과 is a homophone for ‘apple.’ As a result, it’s not uncommon for Korean to offer an apple with the apology. Pronunciation The first part of the word, 사, uses sounds covered in previous lesson. A quick review gives us ㅅ, which sounds like an ‘s’ and ㅏ, which has an ‘a’ sound,Read More →


미안하다 (to be sorry) was covered a couple of lessons ago. This lesson also covers to be sorry, but in a more formal way. 죄송하다 (to be sorry) 죄송하다 is more formal and polite than 미안하다. One might use it when one is extremely sorry. It would also be used with strangers or people of a higher hierarchy, such as the elderly or supervisors. Unlike 미안하다, which might be shortened to 미안, one would not do the same with 죄송하다. In fact, think of doing so as an oxymoron. Since 죄송하다 is a polite and formal, shortening it to be informal defeats the purpose. Pronunciation As Diphthongs with a ‘w’ Sound wasRead More →


Before we learn about a more formal way of saying sorry, we’ll briefly cover the last few vowel sounds. In a previous lesson, the concept of Diphthong Vowels were covered. This lesson covers a few more. Diphthongs with a ‘w’ Sound Though diphthongs are really two vowels combined together in a way that the first glides into the other, the following diphthongs often sound like they begin with a ‘w’ sound to English-speaking ears. ㅘ (wa) This first diphthong vowel ㅘ combines the ㅗ, which has a long ‘o’ sound, as in open with the vowel ㅏ, which sounds like ‘ah’ as in father. When put together, it sounds similar to ‘wa’Read More →