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Day 1: Basic Vowels

*Better on PC!

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OK.  Today, let's focus on the vowels.  You only need to know one consonant.  It's this one: 

This is the easiest consonant to pronounce:  It's silent.  Because every letter combination in Korean needs to start with a consonant, it's the 'placeholder' consonant for 'no sound.'  You can think of it as a 'zero,' if you need help remembering.

Korean letters are formed with a combination of a consonant and a vowel.  All letters are formed in one of two ways: left to right, as in the example below...​

(Pronounced "Ah" like you just had a sip of your favorite beer.) 

...Or the combination can be formed from top to bottom:

(Pronounced "Oh" like you spilled your favorite beer on your favorite pair of jeans.)

Note where the placeholder consonant ㅇ is in the above combinations.  It all depends on whether the vowel is vertical or horizontal.

Vertical vowels:    ㅏ ㅑ ㅓ ㅕ ㅣ

Horizontal vowels:    ㅗ ㅛ ㅜ ㅠ ㅡ

  Got it?  Great! 

Can you remember the sounds of the vowels below?  You can click on them to hear the pronunciation.

At KLIFF Online, we believe you learn by doing.  So try your first set of matching and dictation activities below.↓↓↓

*Pro-tip:  This activity only shows 6/10 vowels.  If you want a new set of random cards, click the red PLAY AGAIN button.

You learn fast, young grasshopper.  Next, let's learn a few Korean words:

아이     child

우유     milk

오이     cucumber

아야     Ouch!

This is a matching activity.  Some cards below have sounds.  Try to match them with the corresponding vowels.

Click the speaker icon to hear the vowel.  In the blank, enter the vowel with or without the placeholder ㅇ.

And finally, test yourself with the matching/writing activities below.↓↓↓

Alright, alright, Miss (ter?) Smarty-Pants.  Got a good mastery of these basic vowels?  Then your halfway to understanding the basics.    You're ready to move on to DAY 2: Basic Consonants to complete your learning!

Day 1  |  Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Day 4  |  Day 5