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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Korean language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. It is based on the standard dialect of South Korea and may not represent some of the sounds in the North Korean dialect or in other dialects. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Template:IPA and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Korean phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Korean.

Korean consonants
IPA Hangul Example English approximation
Hangul RR
b[1] 이불 ibul ball
β[2][3] ㅎ (ㅸ) 오후 ohu roughly like away
ç[4] 힘, 흉내 him, hyungnae human
ɕ[5] 시루 siru roughly like she
ɕ͈[5] ㅆ ㅅ 씨, 국수 ssi, guksu roughly like sure, tensed
d[1] 민들레 mindeulle doll
dz[6] 나중 najung beds
[1] ㅈ [ㄷ이] 아버지, 해돋이 abeoji, haedoji roughly like jeans
ɸ[3] [호] [후] 활, 훗날 hwal, hunnal roughly like phew
ɡ[1] 마개 magae gall
ɣ[2][7] 아가 aga again, but without the tongue touching the roof of the mouth
h 햇잎 haennip hall
ɦ[2] 마흔 maheun RP behind
j [ㅛ, ㅠ,ㅑ,ㅕ,
ㅖ, ㅒ][8]
여울 yeoul you
ʝ[2][4] 감히 gamhi roughly like you
k 구이 gui sky
ㄱ ㅋ[9] 바지락 bajirak lock
꿩, 젓갈 kkwong, jeotgal skin, tensed
ㅋ [ㄱㅎ] [ㅎㄱ] 코, 석회, 않기 ko, seokhoe, angi cup
ɭ ㄹ [ㄴ][10] 알, 신라 al, Silla hall
m ㅁ [ㅂ][11] 못, 압력 mot, amnyeok mall
[ㄹ, ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ][12]
누리 nuri not
ŋ ㅇ(ㆁ) [ㄱ][13] 가랑비, 먹물 garangbi, meongmul king
p 바다 bada spa
[14] 부삽, 잎 busap, ip clip
뿔, 먹보 ppul, meokbo spit, tensed
[ㅂㅎ] [ㅎㅂ] 푸서리, 잡학 puseori, japhak paint
ɾ ㄹ [ㄹㅇ] 여드레, 얼음 yeodeure, eoreum Scottish great or American atom
sʰ 수박 subak like see, but aspirated (with more breath)
쌀, 열쇠 ssal, yeolsoe saw, tensed
t dol star
ㄷ, ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ[15] 곧, 뭍, 옷, 젖, 낯 got, mut, ot, jeot, nat let
ㄸ ㄷ 떡, 막대 tteok, makdae stall, tensed
[ㄷㅎ] [ㅎㄷ] 구태여, 맞흥정, 닳다 gutaeyeo, matheungjeong, dalda tall
ts[6] 측정 cheukjeong cats
ts͈[6] 짤림 jjallim cats, tensed
tsʰ[6] ㅊ [ㅈㅎ] [ㅎㅈ] 참새 chamsae let's have
자투리 jaturi roughly like patch
tɕ͈ 돌쩌귀, 꺽지 doljjeogwi, kkeokji roughly like patch, tensed
tɕʰ ㅊ [ㄷ히] [ㅎㅈ] 눈초리, 맞히다, 닳지 nunchori, machida, dalji roughly like cheek
w [ㅙ, ㅞ][16] 왜가리, 꿰맴질 waegari, kkwemaemjil wall
x[7] heuk Scottish loch
z[17] ᅀᅵᆫ간 zingan zebra
ʔ[18] ᅙᅵᆯ qil uh-oh
Korean vowels and diphthongs[19]
IPA Hangul Example English approximation
Hangul RR[20]
a 하루 haru GA lost
bam spa
ɒ[17] ᄌᆞ주 jawju yawn
ʌ 거울 geoul Conservative up
əː 어른 eoreun RP herd
ɛ 개구리 gaeguri bet
ɛː 냇물 naenmul GA bed
e 메주 meju rate
게장 gejang raid
i [21] 흰색 huinsaek peak
실타래 siltarae bead
o 오늘 oneul sort
모레 more sword
ø [16] 쇠뇌 soenoe wait
øː 왼손 oenson weighed
u 우물 umul root
dul rude
ɯ 버들 beodeul like goose for some speakers
ɯː 그림 geurim like cool for some speakers
ɰi 민주주의 minjujuui like we but unrounded (with relaxed lips)
y [16] 귀엣말 gwienmal somewhat like sweet
swin somewhat like swede
Korean suprasegmentals
IPA Description
ː Geminated consonant[22]
ˈ Primary stress (placed before the stressed syllable)
ˌ Secondary stress (placed before the stressed syllable)
. Syllable break

See also



  1. ^ a b c d The plain stops and affricate /p t k/ are voiced to [b d ɡ] respectively between voiced sounds.
  2. ^ a b c d ㅎ is voiced between voiced sounds.
  3. ^ a b [ɸ] is the allophone of /h/ before /u/ or /w/.
  4. ^ a b [ç] is the allophone of /h/ before /i/ or /j/.
  5. ^ a b ɕ͈] are the allophones of /s s͈/ before /i/ and /j/.
  6. ^ a b c d [ts ts͈ tsʰ dz] occur in the North Korean dialect.
  7. ^ a b [x] is the allophone of /h/ before /ɯ/.
  8. ^ /j/ cannot be spelled by itself, but by doubling the short line on the vowel which it phonetically precedes.
  9. ^ ㄱ and ㅋ are and RR k at the end of a syllable.
  10. ^ ㄹ is [ɭ] at the end of a syllable. ㄹㄴ and ㄴㄹ may be [ɭː].
  11. ^ ㅂ is [m] before /n/ or /m/.
  12. ^ ㄹ may be [n] at the start of a word. ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ are [n] before /n/ or /m/.
  13. ^ ㅇ is [ŋ] at the end of a syllable. ㄱ is [ŋ] before /n/, /m/, or /ɾ/.
  14. ^ ㅂ and ㅍ are [] and RR p at the end of a syllable.
  15. ^ ㄷ, ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ are and RR t at the end of a syllable.
  16. ^ a b c /w/ is spelled ㅜ before /ʌ/, /e/, /i/ (the latter combination producing /y/~[ɥi]) and ㅗ before /ɛ/, /a/; ㅚ /ø/ can also be pronounced [we].
  17. ^ a b The sounds /z/ and /ɒ/ are no longer present in Modern Korean, and their respective symbols no longer pertain to the Hangeul Script in usage. However, /ɒ/ is still used for Jeju.
  18. ^ Cite error: The named reference glottal stop was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  19. ^ In Standard Korean, vowel length is contrastive, but this has mostly been lost in the spoken language.
  20. ^ Vowel length is not reflected in the romanization.
  21. ^ When ㅢ is preceded by anything but ㅇ, /ɰi/ is interchangeable with, or completely shifted to /i/.
  22. ^ Resulting from various sequences of consonants (and their relative transcriptions) in regressive assimilation.


  • Heo, Yong (2013). "An analysis and interpretation of Korean vowel systems". Acta Koreana. 16 (1): 23–43.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (1999). "An IPA Illustration of Korean". Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. p. 120–123.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (2002). 음성의 연구와 음성의 표기법 [Phonetic Notation in Phonetic Research: IPA and International Korean Phonetic Alphabet] (PDF). INTERSPEECH-2002.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (2004). In search of a universal phonetic alphabet – theory and application of an organic visible speech (PDF). INTERSPEECH-2004.
  • Shin, J. (2015). Vowels and Consonants. In L. Brown & J. Yeon (Eds.). The Handbook of Korean Linguistics (pp. 36–21). Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Shin, J., Kiaer, J., & Cha, J. (2012). The Sounds of Korean. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sohn, Ho-min (2001). The Korean Language. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521369436.