I saw a question on here about that word and there being no t sound which i understood, but i put it in to my translator app, which is pretty accurate and it gave me the pronunciation of "manneyo". i have been saying it like "manjaneyo" is that wrong?

1 Answer 1


No, there is never a j sound in 맞네요. In normal speech, it is pronounced /man-ne-yo/ (as you noted), and if you insert a small pause after 맞, it can sound like /mat-neyo/, ㅈ sounding like a soft /t/. ㅈ becomes a /j/-like sound only if it is sounded by a subsequent vowel, as in 장 or 맞아. It degenerates into indistinct /t/-like sound if there is no vowel backing it.

All this is because Korean consonants are what they call "unreleased" kinds, meaning you don't release the obstructed air immediately as you do in English. In English, "bop" in isolation is pronounced like B-O-Pu, where the small "u" represents the very soft release of the obstructed air which effectively makes the last part somewhat like /pu/. Even though it is a very light, almost inaudible thing, it is what enables you to distinguish between bop, bob, bot, bod, bog and so on even when there is no vowel amplifying the consonant sound.

In Korean, the consonants are sounded without such a release, which means you shape the mouth for a particular sound and just hold it without releasing the air. This severely limits the articulation range, and the result is that consonant sounds degenerate into indistinct sounds when they come at the end or before another consonant.

There are altogether only seven end consonant sounds because of this effect (the bold face ones are the "obstruent" consonants with degeneration).

  • -> /k/, representative sound of final ㄱ,ㅋ,ㄲ.
  • -> /t/, representative sound of final ㄷ,ㅅ,ㅆ,ㅈ,ㅊ,ㅌ.
  • -> /p/, representative sound of final ㅂ, ㅍ.

  • (Note: ㄸ,ㅃ,ㅉ are not allowed in the final position, so no entry for them)

The obstruent consonants thus form consonant groups when they come at the end. For example, 빋, 빗, 빘, 빚, 빛, 빝 will sound exactly the same (as /bit/) no matter how accurately you pronounce them. We can distinguish between different groups, like 빅 vs 빗 vs 빕, but not those in the same group. This phenomenon is the underlying reason for most of the consonant sound irregularities in Korean phonology (and there are lots of irregularities).

Going back to 맞네요, the "unreleased effect" mentioned above will make it /matneyo/, but this is not the end of story. The same effect makes it nearly impossible to pronounce the /t-n/ sequence accurately, so the /t/ changes to /n/ which has the same articulation point but is much easier to pronounce (this is sometimes called "consonant assimilation" or "nasalization"). So the end result is /manneyo/. There are tons of similar occurrences all over the the language, like 감사합니다 changing to /감사함니다/ (ㅂㄴ->ㅁㄴ), 겉멋 to /건먿/ (ㅌㅁ->ㄷㅁ->ㄴㅁ), 작명 to /장명/ (ㄱㅁ->ㅇㅁ), and countless others.

  • I feel that this is as good as it can get as an answer and the questioner should accept it if he/she can out of courtesy for the answerer. Nov 16, 2022 at 0:05
  • Thank you so much this really helped a lot i might've been confused about that forever thanks so much.
    – William
    Nov 18, 2022 at 7:31

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