How Many Letters Are In The South Korean Alphabet

How Many Letters Are In The South Korean Alphabet 2024

Get ready to have your mind blown as we talk about the South Korean alphabet, which is a wonder of language. Forget what you think you know about the alphabet because Hangul is not like any other way of writing. With 40 different letters, 14 consonants, and 10 vowels, it is both simple and complicated in a way that will blow your mind.

How Many Letters Are In The South Korean Alphabet

How did such a complicated structure start to work? Why did King Sejong decide to make a whole new set of letters? Get ready to learn a lot about one of Korea’s most important cultural achievements.

How Many Alphabets Are There In South Korean Language

In the Korean language, both in North and South Korea, the same Hangul (Chosŏn’gŭl) alphabet is used. The Hangul writing system is comprised of a set of 14 fundamental consonants and 10 fundamental vowels, resulting in a total of 24 distinct symbols. The following is an analysis of the Hangul characters arranged in the customary sequence:


  • ㄱ (g/k)
  • ㄴ (n)
  • ㄷ (d/t)
  • ㄹ (l/r)
  • ㅁ (m)
  • ㅂ (b/p)
  • ㅅ (s)
  • ㅇ (ng, silent at the beginning of syllables)
  • ㅈ (j/ch)
  • ㅊ (ch)
  • ㅋ (k)
  • ㅌ (t)
  • ㅍ (p)
  • ㅎ (h)
  • Vowels:
  • ㅏ (a)
  • ㅑ (ya)
  • ㅓ (eo)
  • ㅕ (yeo)
  • ㅗ (o)
  • ㅛ (yo)
  • ㅜ (u)
  • ㅠ (yu)
  • ㅡ (eu)
  • ㅣ (i).

These 24 characters are the fundamental building blocks of the Korean writing system. They can be combined to form syllables, and additional sounds can be created through combinations and modifications. In North Korea, there may be some differences in naming and representation, as you mentioned, but the core characters remain the same.

It’s important to note that while there are additional complex sounds and double consonants (such as ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, ㅉ) in Korean, they are typically not treated as separate letters but as variations of the basic consonants.

Scripted Divisions: South Korean vs. North Korean Alphabets Unveiled

The Korean writing system, Hangul (Chosŏn’gŭl), is used in both North and South Korea, but there are some scripted divisions and differences between the two. These differences are not in the core characters themselves but in some of the naming conventions and how certain sounds are represented. Here are some key distinctions:

1. Names of Consonants:

  • In South Korea, the consonant ㄱ is called “기역” (giyeok), while in North Korea, it’s called “기윽” (ki.ɯk̚).
  • South Korea calls ㄷ “디귿” (digeut), while North Korea uses “디읃” (ti.ɯt̚).
  • The consonant ㅅ is named “시옷” (siot) in South Korea and “시읏” (ɕi.ɯt̚) in North Korea.
  • South Korea has a doubled consonant ㄲ known as “쌍기역” (ssanggiyeok), while North Korea calls it “된기윽” (tøːn.ɡi.ɯk̚).
  • Similar differences exist for ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, and ㅉ.

2. Tense Consonants:

  • In South Korea, tense consonants (e.g., ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ) are referred to as “double” consonants (쌍- /s͈aŋ-/).
  • In North Korea, they are called “strong” consonants (된- /tøːn-/).

3. Treatment of Certain Digraphs and Trigraphs:

  • In South Korea, vowel digraphs and trigraphs (e.g., ㅐ, ㅒ, ㅔ, ㅖ) are not treated as separate letters.
  • In North Korea, they are treated as separate letters.

4. Handling of ㅇ (ng sound):

  • In the North, the consonant letter ㅇ (|∅| and |ŋ|) is placed between ㅅ |s| and ㅈ |tɕ| when pronounced |ŋ|, but after all consonants (after ㅉ |tɕ͈|) when used as a placeholder indicating a null initial consonant (for syllables that begin with a vowel).

These scripted divisions mainly pertain to differences in terminology and phonetic descriptions. The core Hangul characters themselves are consistent between North and South Korea. Learners of Korean should be aware of these distinctions, but they do not significantly impact the ability to read or write the language in either country.

How Many Letters Are In The South Korean Alphabet To English

The South Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, consists of 14 basic consonants and 10 basic vowels, for a total of 24 basic letters. However, when you include combinations of these letters to form syllables, the total number of possible characters in Hangul can be quite extensive. The basic 24 letters are as follows:

Consonants (14):

ㄱ (g/k), ㄴ (n), ㄷ (d/t), ㄹ (r/l), ㅁ (m), ㅂ (b/p), ㅅ (s), ㅇ (ng), ㅈ (j/ch), ㅊ (ch), ㅋ (k), ㅌ (t), ㅍ (p), ㅎ (h)

Vowels (10):

ㅏ (a), ㅑ (ya), ㅓ (eo), ㅕ (yeo), ㅗ (o), ㅛ (yo), ㅜ (u), ㅠ (yu), ㅡ (eu), ㅣ (i)

These letters can be combined in various ways to create syllables and words in the Korean language. It’s important to note that Hangul is a featural writing system, which means that the shapes of the letters are based on the shapes and positions of the mouth when making the corresponding sounds. This makes Hangul relatively easy to learn and pronounce compared to some other writing systems.

How Many Letters Are There In The Korean Alphabet

The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul (or Hangeul), consists of 24 basic letters. These letters include 14 consonants and 10 vowels. Each of these letters can be combined to form syllables, which are the building blocks of words in the Korean language. Hangul is known for its relatively simple and logical structure, making it easier to learn and use compared to some other writing systems.

Mastering the South Korean Alphabet: A Step-by-Step Guide for Americans

Mastering the South Korean Alphabet: A Step-by-Step Guide for Americans

Understand the Basics: Begin by acquainting oneself with the fundamental set of 24 letters comprising the Korean alphabet, encompassing 14 consonants and 10 vowels.

 Unlike some other languages, Korean letters have a one-to-one correspondence between their written symbols and pronunciation.

  • Learn the Consonants: Begin by learning the consonants, which are the building blocks of Korean syllables. Practice writing and pronouncing each consonant until you are comfortable with their sounds and shapes.
  • Explore Vowels: After mastering the consonants, move on to the vowels. Pay close attention to the unique vowel sounds in Korean, such as “ㅡ” and “ㅢ,” which may not have direct equivalents in English.
  • Combine Letters: Understand how Korean syllables are formed by combining consonants and vowels. Practice reading and writing simple Korean words to get a feel for the script.
  • Practice Pronunciation: Work on your Korean pronunciation, as correct pronunciation is crucial for effective communication. Pay attention to vowel length and consonant sounds.
  • Use Romanization: While learning, you can use Romanization (writing Korean words using the Latin alphabet) to help you read and pronounce Korean words. However, try to rely on Hangul as soon as you’re comfortable.
  • Vocabulary Building: Start building your Korean vocabulary by learning common words and phrases. Use language learning apps or textbooks to expand your word bank.
  • Study Basic Grammar: Familiarize yourself with basic Korean grammar rules. Understanding sentence structure and word order is essential for constructing meaningful sentences.
  • Practice Reading and Writing: Regularly practice reading Korean texts and writing in Hangul. This will improve your reading comprehension and writing skills over time.
  • Seek Language Resources: Consider enrolling in a Korean language course, finding a language exchange partner, or using language learning apps and websites to reinforce your skills and receive guidance from experienced learners or teachers.

Remember that learning a new script and language takes time and practice, so be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey of mastering the South Korean alphabet and the Korean language.

Conclusion Points 

In conclusion, the South Korean language, called Hangul, has a total of 24 letters: 14 basic consonants and 10 basic vowels. But by combining the basic letters, you can make more compound consonants and vowels, taking the total number of possible letter combinations to over 11,000.

King Sejong the Great made this unique way of writing in the 15th century so that more Koreans would learn to read and write. Hangul is still a big part of Korean society and identity today. So, whether you’re going to South Korea or want to learn a new language, it’s worth your time and effort to learn this interesting alphabet.


1. The South Korean alphabet has how many letters?

The Hangul alphabet is used in South Korea. It has 14 consonants and 10 syllables.

2. Does the South Korean alphabet have any special letters or symbols?

No, there are no special letters or signs in the South Korean alphabet.

3. Can I use other alphabets with Hangul?

Even though Hangul and other alphabets, like English, can be used together, it is usually best to stick to one method for clarity.

4. How do I say the letters in the South Korean alphabet?

Each letter in the South Korean alphabet has a unique way of saying it, which you can learn by studying and practicing.

5. Is there a letter in the South Korean language that doesn’t do anything?

No, every letter in the South Korean alphabet is spoken when it is used.

6. Can I write any word using only the letters of the South Korean alphabet?

Yes, you can write any word you want using only the letters in the South Korean language. You have to put them together in different ways.

7. Does Hangul have capital letters or small letters?

No, Hangul doesn’t have capital letters or small letters like some other writing systems do.

8. Is it hard to learn the South Korean script and use it?

Even though it can be hard to get used to a new writing system at first, most people can learn the basics of Hangul with time and effort.

Similar Posts