A few weeks ago our introductory post to “Learning with Visit DPRK” taught us the basics of what is known as Hangeul or Chosongeul. We learnt the basic alphabet of this script, covering standard consonants and vowels. Today, we are going to add to that by learning more advanced vowel pronunciations. Specifically, we will be learning what is known as the “Y” forms of vowels, adding onto the existing set.
As a quick recap, the basic vowels we covered last time were as follows:
Now, what we will describe as a “Y” form is an addition to these vowel sounds, which as the name suggests, adds a “Y” sound onto the front of them. In the written script, this is noted through the addition of an extra stroke onto each vowel component. (Note: this does not apply to the “eu” and “i” vowels). For the five vowels that it does apply to, it turns them into the following sounds:
ㅏ becomes “Ya” ㅑ
ㅓ becomes “Yeo” ㅕ
ㅗ becomes “Yo” ㅛ
ㅜ becomes “Yuu” ㅠ
ㅔbecomes “ye” pronounced “eyy”ㅖ
These vowel sounds may be found in the following word examples. As you learned previously, the sounds are put together like a jigsaw with the vowel proceeding the consonant:
Cat= 고양이 (ㅑ+ ㅇ) goyangi
Gyeongbokgung (ancient palace in Seoul)= 경복궁 (ㄱ + ㅕ + ㅇ) gyeong
Park Geun Hye= 박근혜 (ㅎ+ ㅖ) hye
News (direct translation) = 뉴스 (ㄴ +ㅠ) nyuu
Once you have these new sounds memorized, you’ve almost mastered all of Hangeul. All that is left, which we will be covering in our next piece, is that of the “W” vowels. Make sure you keep up your reading with “Learning with Visit DPRK” and you will be ready for our study tour in no time!