random Korean passing by :D
The Korean language can be divided into three large stems : 외래어, 순우리말, and 한자어.
외래어 is basically foreign language written in Korean, but is slightly different that 외국어(foreign language).
The 외래어 title is only given to foreign words that cannot be translated into Korean, and 외래어 is recognized as a part of native Korean language, and can be found in Korean dictionaries.
순우리말 is the part of Korean language that cannot be written in 한자(Chinese/Old Korean characters). Most verbs or adjectives are 순우리말.
한자어 is Korean words that can be written in 한자, and makes up a lot of the nouns in the Korean language.
Now, back to the question. Why is 한국어 written as 한국어, even though it sounds like [한구거]? That is because 한국어 is a 한자어, and every letter that makes it up must be written according to its corresponding 한자(Chinese/Old Korean character). This probably makes absolutely no sense, so here's your example:
- 한국어 = 韓國語
- 한 = 韓 / 국 = 國 / 어 = 語
The reason why it sounds like [한구거] is simple. In the Korean language, when a 'ㅇ' comes to the first part of a letter, such as 안, 여, or 읭, it becomes silent, and the consonant just before the 'ㅇ' takes its place. Here's an example:
- 눈이 -> [누니]
- 윗잇몸 -> [윋읻몸] -> [위딛몸] -- Um, if you don't understand why the 'ㅅ' changed to [ㄷ], then leave a comment.
- 가위 -> [가위] -- stays the same, since there is no consonant before the 'ㅇ'
There is almost no exception to this rule, so it would be a good fact to remember. XD
I hope reading this helped you understand a little bit more about the Korean language.....
As a native Korean, I can assure you that the Korean grammar system is probably one of the most complicated ones in the world. Good luck...