At work on Thursday, I scribbled out some more practice with writing the Korean alphabet. My handwriting is rather atrocious on that particular piece of paper, so I won’t show it to you all. Instead, the cover photo for today’s short entry is the practice test I gave myself. After lots of practice Thursday at work, I wrote out a vowel chart and then mixed up the consonants in a separate chart and tested myself on it at work Friday. I’m proud to say I scored myself a 59 out of 59!
The chart I used is one I made up on my own. It takes a vowel (ex. “a”, which says “ah”), and then gives four lines beneath it.
- The first line lists the vowel by itself, in this case ㅏ(ah).
- The second line is reserved for “+Y”, which adds a “y” to the front of the vowel. Thus “ah” becomes “yah”, as so: ㅑ. All you have to do is add an extra line onto the base vowel. See it there?
- The third line is “+w”, which adds a “w” to the front of the vowel. So, our “ah” becomes “wah”: ㅘ. I’ll confess, this line is the most difficult for me to recognize, and I may have messed up in my chart somewhere. The “w+o” and “w+u” spots in particular confuse me, as various sources have noted different things. If anyone can help me out here or if anyone spots another issue, let me know before I cement it into my brain!
- The fourth line is simply starred, meaning special vowels. I only have two, one that sounds like “ui” ㅢ and one like “oe” ㅚ, if I got that correct.
My consonant practice was easier. There are 19 consonants, as I count, including ones that are doubled (ex. ㅂ[b,p] versus ㅃ [bb, pp]). I won’t get into the differences there. Basically, I wrote out the English equivalent to each consonant. Some have more than one (see above) and can change depending on where they are located within a word – start, middle, or end. So ㅂ is pronounced as p- … -b- … -p.
The most difficult parts for me right now are the +W line for vowels and figuring out how the HECK ㅐ(ae) is pronounced! My mind automatically says “ay” like in “day”. My phrasebook says “aa” as in “bag”. This new site I’ll tell you about gives an audio sampling that is some combination of “eh” and “aa”. (So now I’ve got to distinguish between ㅐ(ae) and ㅔ(eh) on that site.) Help me out, someone!
Alright, on to the real reason I started this post. While working on a Tumblr profile for one of my roleplay sites, I began searching for audio files. The first one had free audio books, so I clicked and started browsing the site. To my immense pleasure, not only did it have audio books, educational videos, and movies, it also listed tons upon tons of online language-learning tools for 48 languages.
My heart nearly burst!
The first ones I pulled up were Icelandic tools, and then I skipped my merry way down to Korean. I haven’t looked at but the first four resources, but already I found this site that gave the the audio pronunciation I told you about. They have a few other languages, which I discovered when I clicked on “Let’s Learn Korean” in the sidebar and then the first link about vowels.
For anyone interested in pursuing a language, I recommend giving these links a look-through. Also, because I didn’t post this last time, here’s a picture of my handy dandy phrasebook. Cost me all of $9 at the Chicago airport, and I love it.
Oh, and by the way – snow flurries!!
Okay, time to actually be productive. Mata, ne!