likes uea

The Korean Alphabet: Compound Vowels
(4/4)

Another unique aspect of the Korean language is its use of 이중모음 (i joong mo eum), or “combination vowels”. Combination vowels are often the result of putting together two to three basic vowels. In Korean, there are only 11 combination vowels. It sounds complicated, but its really simple to learn, and only takes a few minutes!

Let’s break it down~

1. ㅐ
a. (eh sound; basic vowel ㅏ+ㅣ)
b. like the “e” in red

2. ㅔ
a. (eh sound; basic vowel ㅓ+ㅣ)
b. like the “e” in red

3. ㅒ
a. (yeh sound; basic vowel ㅑ+ㅣ)
b. like the “ye” yes

4. ㅖ
a. (yeh sound; basic vowel ㅕ+ㅣ)
b. like the “ye” in yes

5. ㅘ
a. (wa sound; basic vowel ㅗ + basic vowel ㅏ)
b. like the “wa” in water

6. ㅙ
a. (wae sound; basic vowel ㅗ + basic vowel ㅐ)
b. like the “we” in wet

7. ㅚ
a. (wae sound; basic vowel ㅗ + basic vowel ㅣ)
b. like the “we” in wet

8. ㅝ
a. (wo sound; basic vowel ㅜ + basic vowel ㅓ)
b. like the “wo” in won

9. ㅞ
a. (wae sound; basic vowel ㅜ + basic vowel ㅔ)
b. like the “we” in wet

10. ㅟ
a. (wi sound; basic vowel ㅜ + basic vowel ㅣ)
b. like the “wee” in week

11. ㅢ
a. (eui sound; basic vowel ㅡ + basic vowel ㅣ)
b. like the “uea” in squeak

*its important to note that when distinguishing between compound vowels that hold the same sound (ex: ㅐ/ㅔ, ㅒ/ㅖ, etc.), the usage varies depending on the type of word being used (noun/verb/adjective, etc.). The sounds between different vowel combinations that make similar or same sounds is also better heard! Hope this helps, and happy studying!~