Specifically in the above example, I'm referring to the syllable sounding as though it has an - why is that, or is it just me? I'm sure there is a subtle difference that I don't understand, so I'd be interested in hearing about that as well. In addition, any wider context for resources that explain how certain characters combine to yield sounds that aren't extremely intuitive would be appreciated (mostly as a reference to check my understanding while learning new words).

  • Do you have a link to the sound? 팔각형 does not have the sound. The sound is different from the ㅐ sound.
    – Klmo
    Sep 10, 2020 at 6:34
  • @Klmo Interesting, the audio you linked sounds more like what I would have expected, but Drops and Google translate sound different to me
    – bbarker
    Sep 11, 2020 at 2:09
  • 1
    Drops and Google Translate provide the correct pronunciation [팔가켱] (although I do not fully trust Google Translate's sound synthesis). Forvo has three recordings for 팔각형. I assume that your perception is somewhat different from Koreans'.
    – Klmo
    Sep 11, 2020 at 4:44
  • Thanks @Klmo; good to know about both the Drops and Forvo pages. I still think that the Drops sound was a little closer to ㅐ than the Forvo recordings, but I accept that it is mostly an issue with my ears. At least I can "see it" (hear it) in a sensible way with the Forvo sounds, now.
    – bbarker
    Sep 13, 2020 at 17:58
  • I have seen text to speech software do weird things when you use the wrong tts for the wrong language (using Korean TTS on English words produces Koreanised English pronunciation on android's built in TTS). But I cannot hear ㅐ sound in your google translate. I suppose Naver's text to speech is probably more accurate for Korean pronunciations. papago.naver.com/…
    – user17915
    Sep 15, 2020 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


I think is because you are an English user, and already accustomed to the English word 'pal'. So, when you heard the sound '팔' which doesn't have any 'ㅐ' sound, you put in the 'pal' sound a little bit unconsciously. You'll get used to the '팔' sound eventually (the sound is pronounced with your mouth more opened, and your tongue lower), so don't need to change the sound you hear by force. And also, practice yourself pronouncing it.

  • 팔' which does have any 'ㅐ' You mean 'does Not'?
    – user17915
    Sep 15, 2020 at 8:11
  • Yes, thanks for pointing out. Sep 15, 2020 at 20:34

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