If you have never tried to learn another script, anything that you see in a different script looks mysterious, strange and difficult to understand. There are many different kinds of scripts in the world, but few as simple as the Korean Hangul.
If you’ve seen the writing systems that look like strange scribbles from the far eastern countries, you probably also come across the Korean writing system known as Hangul. Hangul is actually a proper alphabet that was created rather than developed over time. The story goes that a Korean king named Sejong the Great wanted to promote literacy in Korea, especially among his own soldiers, and thought that the Chinese writing system (called hanzi in Chinese, hanja in Korean) was too complicated and didn’t properly correlate to the way Korean was spoken. He set up a competition for linguists to create a writing system specially designed for Korean, which was to be as simple as possible so that anyone could learn it. There were many scripts that were developed in this competition, and the Hangul we see now was elected the winner of the competition.
Well, if the idea was to make a simple writing system, why does it look so complicated, you may ask. Well it really isn’t complicated at all. You just haven’t tried to learn it yet, and as you know, anything you haven’t tried to learn could either be extremely complicated or very easy to learn. In this case, you just don’t know how easy it is just yet.
Hangul is Easy
I believe that anyone can learn to read and write Hangul in less than an hour, no matter what excuses you may come up with, that you just don’t have a mind for languages, that you are too old, or anything else. I also firmly believe that most people can learn it in 20 minutes or less. How cool wouldn’t it be if you could learn a completely new writing system in as much time as it takes to watch an episode of The Simpsons?
Let’s learn Hangul!
Glossika – Korean Alphabet in 10 minutes.
This video is 10 minutes long and gives you a head start in learning to read and write hangul. It’s among the best videos that I’ve seen so far, despite the poor video quality. Check it out!
Once you have checked out the video, read through the comic below. It’s good for quizzing yourself and solidifying what you learned in the video. I have concluded this article by including a simple chart with all the consonants and vowels and a chart of the entire hangul alphabet.
Finally we also have the chart of all the consonants and vowels in Hangul:
If you’re interested in seeing the letter combinations that you can make in hangul, here is a simple chart for that. It doesn’t include letters in the final place however. You can print it and put it up on your wall, but I would recommend you to print the shorter version above instead.
I hope you have had fun learning to read hangul!
If you have any questions, please let me know!