I know hangul was originally written as Kanji.

불안 should be written as 부안, because is "不",  is "安".

Why is 부안 written as 불안?

1 Answer 1


First, Hangeul was not originally written as Kanji. Kanji is the term for Chinese characters used in the Japanese language; Hanja is the term for these characters used in Korean language. Hangeul is another writing system for Korean.

不 actually has 2 pronunciations in Korean: 불 and 부. This can be traced back to Middle Chinese, where the pronunciation included /pɨu/, /pɨuX/, /pɨut̚/. The last one ends in a /t/; final /t/ in Middle Chinese characters normally correspond to a ㄹ 받침 in Korean.

The actual pronunciation of 不 in Korean somewhat depends on the following syllable, although there are many exceptions. But in general:

  1. If the following syllable begins with ㄷ or ㅈ, then 부 is more common: 부득이하다, 부적절하다.
  2. In other cases, 불 is more common: 불안, 불리, 불상하다, 불쾌, 불행, etc.
  3. But there are exceptions: e.g. 부실

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