I was watching a drama and the character who was buying lottery tickets said:

열 장이요

but it sounded to my ears like

/열 짱이요/.

I have never seen fortis (i.e. tensing) happen this way and would like to know what rule is being applied here.


1 Answer 1


According to the 표준어 규정의 조항 (roughly translated as the Provisions of the Rules of the Standard Language) Volume 2, Chapter 5, Section 26, it says the following:

‘ㄹ’ 받침 뒤에 연결되는 ‘ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ’은 된소리로 발음한다

That is to say, should the character begin with a ㅈ but is after a character whose bottom consonant is a ㄹ, then ㅈ becomes a ㅉ which is a 된소리. 된소리 is any of the following 5:

ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, ㅉ

Another useful rule in the same chapter but in Section 23 states the following:

받침 ‘ㄱ(ㄲ, ㅋ, ㄳ, ㄺ), ㄷ(ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅌ), ㅂ(ㅍ, ㄼ, ㄿ, ㅄ)’ 뒤에 연결되는 ‘ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅈ’은 된소리로 발음한다

Take these two rules into account and now the following should make sense:

한장 (장 pronounced as is)

두장 (장 pronounced as is)

세장 (장 pronounced as is)

네장 (장 pronounced as is)

다섯장 (pronounced 다섯)

여섯장 (pronounced 여섯)

일곱장 (pronounced 일곱)

여덟장 (pronounced 여덜)

아홉장 (pronounced 아홉)

열장 (pronounced 열)

몇장 (pronounced 며) where 몇 means "any number"

  • Hi, sorry to necro, but I was reviewing my notes and realised that I already had a similar note. I tought this tensing rule (with ㄹ) only worked for sino-korean words: "Sino-korean words where a syllable ends with ㄹ and the following syllable begins with ㄷ,ㅅ or ㅈ are changed to their double counterpart." I do not think this counts as a sino-korean compound. Secondly, I thought the number and the counter would be separate and so that would not apply also... can you comment at all? Thanks.
    – Ubz
    Nov 26, 2022 at 13:42
  • Oh no, I really don't think it's the case that it's limited to Sino-Korean words only. This rule applies to all Korean syllables regardless. Nov 26, 2022 at 17:46

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