In English, "P" is called P and pronounced differently as if it was used in a word (usually, this is applicable for most letters in English).

Is there a concept of this in Korean? How would you refer to an independent "letter/character part" in a sentence in Korean?

For example, "ㅃ" is said as/called ____ and indicated this way in a sentence "___".

2 Answers 2


What a fun question! The consonants DO have names and can be used in spelling:

ㄱ = 기역 (giyeok)
ㄴ = 니은 (nieun)
ㄷ = 디귿 (digeut)
ㄹ = 리을 (rieul)
ㅁ = 미음 (mieum)
ㅂ = 비읍 (bieup)
ㅅ = 시옷 (siot)
ㅇ = 이응 (ieung)
ㅈ = 지읒 (jieut)
ㅊ = 치읓 (chieut)
ㅋ = 키읔 (kieuk)
ㅌ = 티읕 (tieut)
ㅍ = 피읖 (pieup)
ㅎ = 히읗 (hieut)
ㄲ = 쌍기역 (ssanggiyeok)
ㄸ = 쌍디귿 (ssangdigeut)
ㅃ = 쌍비읍 (ssangbieup)
ㅆ = 쌍시옷 (ssangsiot)
ㅉ = 쌍지읒 (ssangjieut)

The vowels do not have names; in spelling with them you just say the vowel sound as the vowel name.

  • 4
    The first one should be 기역 instead of 기억. 기억 is "memory"
    – user237
    Jan 20, 2017 at 3:58

Single consonants are given two-syllable names, mostly with two occurrences of the letter separated by 으. so ㅁ is named '미음', ㅈ is named '지읒', and so on. (As WEBjuju points out, there are some exceptions - see his answer!)

Double consonants are the same, prefixed with '쌍' - so "ㅃ" is called '쌍비읍'.

Vowels don't have special names, but in the case of the ones that are hard to distinguish, Korean speakers may 'spell out' the 'components' when speaking - e.g. 애 might be 'spelled out' verbally as '아-이'.


  • 2
    You're right - and the 쌍 prefix for the doublets is very important. One thing to note is the difference between ㄷ = 디귿 (digeut) and ㅌ = 티읕 (tieut) - I'm not sure it completely follows the rules, there. Jan 19, 2017 at 17:21
  • 1
    @WEBjuju good spot! Jan 19, 2017 at 17:39

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