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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 {{IPA-ko}}, {{IPAc-ko}} 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 Revised Romanization English approximation
b[1] b ball
d[1] d doll
dz[2] j beds
[1] j roughly like gee
ɡ[1] g gall
h h hall
j [ㅛ, ㅠ,ㅑ,ㅕ,
ㅖ, ㅒ][3]
y yes
k ㄱ [ㅋ][4] g, k lock
kk skin
ㅋ [ㅎㄱ] k cup
l ㄹ [ㄴ][5] l leave
m ㅁ [ㅂ][6] m mall
[ㄹ, ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ][7]
n not
ŋ ㅇ [ㄱ][8] ng king
p [ㅍ][9] b, p clip
pp spit
[ㅎㅂ] p paint
ɾ r Scottish great or American ladder
s s like see, but aspirated (with more breath)
ss saw
ɕ[10] s roughly like she
ɕ͈[10] ss seen
[ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ][11]
d, t let
tt stall
[ㅎㄷ] t tall
ts[2] j cats
ts͈[2] jj
tsʰ[2] ㅊ [ㅎㅈ] ch let's have
j roughly like patch
tɕ͈ jj
tɕʰ ㅊ [ㅎㅈ] ch roughly like cheek
w [ㅜ, ㅗ][12] w wall
Korean vowels and diphthongs[13]
IPA Hangul Revised Romanization English approximation
a a up
e e rate
ɛ ae bet
ɛː bed
i i beat
o o sort
ø [12] oe wet
øː wed
u u root
ʌ eo Conservative up
əː RP herd
ɯ eu foot
ɯː good
ɰi ui we
y [12] wi somewhat like refute
somewhat like feud
Korean suprasegmentals
IPA Hangul Revised Romanization Explanation
ː [14] geminated consonant
ˈ primary stress
ˌ secondary stress

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d The plain stops and affricate /p t tɕ k/ are voiced to [b d dʑ ɡ] respectively between voiced sounds.
  2. ^ a b c d [ts ts͈ tsʰ dz] occur before back vowels.
  3. ^ /j/ cannot be spelled by itself, but by doubling the short line on the vowel which it phonetically precedes.
  4. ^ ㅋ is [k] and RR k at the end of a syllable.
  5. ^ ㄹ is [l] at the end of a syllable. ㄹㄴ and ㄴㄹ may be [].
  6. ^ ㅂ is [m] before /n/ or /m/.
  7. ^ ㄹ may be [n] at the start of a word. ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ are [n] before /n/ or /m/.
  8. ^ ㅇ is [ŋ] at the end of a syllable. ㄱ is [ŋ] before /n/, /m/, or /ɾ/.
  9. ^ ㅍ is [p] and RR p at the end of a syllable.
  10. ^ a b [ɕ ɕ͈] are the allophones of /s s͈/ before /i/ and /j/.
  11. ^ ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ are [t] and RR t at the end of a syllable.
  12. ^ a b c /w/ is spelled ㅜ before /ʌ/, /e/, /i/ (the latter combination producing /y/~[ɥi]), ㅗ before /ɛ/, /a/; ㅚ /ø/ can also be pronounced [we].
  13. ^ In Standard Korean vowel length is contrastive, but this has mostly been lost in the spoken language.
  14. ^ 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.

External links[edit]