I'm starting on learning Korean, I like series of video lectures. However I do struggle with the pronunciation, and I wonder if like English there's a phonetic alphabet somewhere I can follow or use as reference for study.

Just to clarify I mean something like this.

I cannot manage to find a phonetic alphabet though. The Korean lecture's video I linked explains how to pronounce characters etc, however there's some character where it seems to me the pronunciation is different.

Specifically I'm not sure I understand the pronunciation of the "beginning consonants", they seem to me are kind of "mixed sounds".

Thank you

Update : I cannot find the app I used to use to improve my English pronunciation, there's this video that shows the app:

  • A phonetic alphabet is something like en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_Alphabet or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet - do you mean "pronunciation guide"? Commented May 28, 2018 at 17:20
  • Yes, the IPA I usually use is restricted to english language. I'm aware of the general one, but not sure which ones are korean sounds. Commented May 28, 2018 at 17:23
  • Apologies for my lack of terminology by the way Commented May 28, 2018 at 17:23
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    So you'd like something like an IPA chart with Korean syllables? I'm just a bit confused by where you say Just to clarify I mean something like this - that's a series of 'pronunciation lessons', not an 'alphabet'... Commented May 28, 2018 at 17:27
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    Yes that's what I'd like. Maybe if I could listen to the pronuciation would be even better. Commented May 28, 2018 at 17:31

2 Answers 2


Why dont you try out this pronunciation guide?

Or something like this

Other than this, learn the rules of reading hangul and then listen to a text being read out loud and figure out/used to how to pronounce the letters.

  • Hi, The problem with those videos is that, for example, the sound for the consonant ㄱ is explained with the "phonetic symbol" [k], in english such sound would be totally unvoiced, in korean instead I can hear the sound. And this is confusing to me. I understand that learning through listening others is useful. However what I'm looking for is some guide that tells you how to keep mouth position and voice etc, similarly to videos for english pronunciation. It doesn't have to be a video necessarily, It can also be a book or whatever. Any "complete" guide. Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 11:14
  • Well, you could take a look at the images on this link mannamkorean.wordpress.com/category/learn-korean-with-mannam/…, since the Korean consonants represent the tongues position in the mouth, you might get some help. However, I don't think you'll get very far with something like this, as I believe languages must be learnt by doing and listenning. ㄱ for example, sound more like a softer [k] when it appears as the first character in a sentence (그래서 ... ), and more like a [g] when it appears in the middle of a sentence (왜 그래?). Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 9:25
  • And most words always sound more like a [g] than a [k], 고래, 거리, 경기, 근거, 광고, 관광객, etc, etc. There is not clear guide to this, it's just learn by doing and learn by listening. Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 17:18

The best way to learn pronunciation is to practice and listen. The Korean alphabet hangeul is almost completely phonetic, but the letters don't necessarily correspond to English (or even the sounds in IPA).

I would suggest getting a basic idea of where the sounds are (as you noted above, ㄱ is somewhere between a 'g' and a 'k'), and continue to listen to native speakers to pin down the pronunciation of each letter.

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