H OW TO READ / ROMANIZE KOREAN
(Korean font not required!!)

Step -1- / -2- / -3- / style variation

Step 3

 
pool go gi pap man doo mool  

 

Pronounciation

Details on how to prounounce is not very necessary since you can always follow along to a song and see how certain characters are pronounced. But if you want more details and a better understanding, read on.

 

Did you notice these characters in the chart look very similar?


k gg

t dd

p bb

s ss


These 'double consanants' are actually just a combination of the same consanant. Did you also notice most double consanants change to sound as if they were 'Middle sounds'? 'k' becomes 'g'; 't' becomes 'd'; 'p' becomes 'b'.

Double consanants, when said, are done with extra emphasis, by making a tiny pause before saying it, and saying it with a higher pitch. If you know any linguistics, double consonants are voiced (touch your throat when you say 'k' and 'g'. Your throat will vibrate when you say 'g' but not for 'k'). Some people choose to dismiss this distinction and romanize them as 'g' instead of 'gg' and so on. However, because double consanants are voiced (except for 'ss'), it would therefore be best NOT to romanize them as 'kk', 'tt', or 'bb'.



Did you also notice these characters in the chart look very simliar?


ch ch'

k k'

t t'

p p'


The second set of characters are actually just the first character, with an extra stroke added to it.
When pronounced, the second characters in the set above are stressed with an extra puff of air and pursed lips.
It is aspirated (linguistics again!).

For example, try saying these words in english: "bleed" and "Baby"; "pro" and "Pipe". Do you notice the stress on the 'B' of "Baby" and 'P' of 'Pipe' in comparision to the other words? Both "Baby" and "Pipe" are aspirated, just as the second characters in the sets above are aspirated.

Although written with an apostrophe in the chart, when romanizing these stressed characters, the distinction is often dismissed.

 

Okay! so that's all! Now you know how to romanize Korean and you've only read three pages of instructions! However these rules are not hard and fast. Many exceptions and special irregularities exist. Just remember that everything taught above allows you to do rough romanizations.

If you want to see an example of this romanization style, look below, remember other rules I have not listed here applies to it, so it may be a bit different than how you might expect it to be romanized.

 

Excerpt from:
JTL 1.5
05. "Merry Christmas"

하얀 눈이 내리는 White Christmas 온 세상이 하얗게 모두 물들고
아무도 모르게 간직해 왔던 나만의 비밀 수줍게 고백해볼래

아무 말없는 눈물로 말해준 그대 누구보다도 널 더 아껴줄거야
세상이 모두 우릴 축복하는것만 같아 워~ 이대로 나와 단 둘이서

Merry Merry Christmas! Happy Happy Christmas!
너만 바라보며 살게 믿어줄래 날 영원히
Merry Merry Christmas! Happy Happy Christmas!
이대로 너를 안고 싶어 함께 하고 싶어


Romanization:

ha yan noon ni nae ri neun White Christmas on seh sang ee ha yah keh moh doo mool deul go
ah moo doh moh reu geh gan chik kae wat deon na man eui bi mil soo joop geh go baek hae bollae

ah moo mal eop neun noon moollo mal hae joon keu dae noo goo poh da doh neol deo ah ggyeo jool geo ya
seh sang ee moh doo oo ril chook bok ha neun geot man kat ta weo~ ee dae roh na wa dan toolli seo

Merry Merry Christmas! Happy Happy Christmas!
neo man pa ra boh myo sal geh mid deo joollae nal yong won hi
Merry Merry Christmas! Happy Happy Christmas!
ee dae roh neo reul ahn go ship peo ham geh ha go ship peo

 

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Credits to Introduction to Korean, where I learned to romanize.
Many things in this section was extracted from this site.

You can also find more Korean tutorials there.