Pronunciation Rules

[source: College Korean 1 Michael Rogers, Clare You, et al]

  1. ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅈ are pronounced as voiced g,d, b,j:  [a] falls between 2 vowel [b] falls after ㄴ,ㅁ,ㅇ or ㄹ and are followed by a vowel.
  2. Single consonant ㄷ,ㅌ,ㅈ,ㅊ,ㅅ and ㅆ at the end of a syllable in isolation [받침] or follow by another consonant are pronounced[t]. If ㄴ or ㅁ follows, the nasal assimilation occurs.When another vowel follows, in suffixes and 이다 the original consonant is pronounced as in a regular syllabic medial position.
  3. ㄱ,ㅋ,ㄲ are pronounced as [k] at the end of a syllabic in isolation.
  4. ㅂ and ㅍ are pronounced as unreleased [p] in final position.
  5. ㅎ at the end of a syllable bring changes in pronunciation: [a] ㅎ becomes silent before a vowel. *the vowel sequence [o] and [a] becomes [wa] in spoken language.] [b] ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ becomes aspirated after ㅎ. [c] the consonant ㅅ becomes tensed after ㅎ.
  6. The consonants ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅅ, & ㅈ become the tense consonants ㄲ. ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, & ㅉ when they follow any consonant EXCEPT ㄴ, ㄹ, ㅍ, ㅇ, & ㅎ (in some ways, they become tense after these consonants as well).
  7. Consonant clusters I the syllable final positionare pronounced as a sequence of 2 consonants when followed by a vowel, but in insolation or followed by another consonant, one of the consonants in the cluster becomes silent, thereby preventing a 3-consonant sequence. When this reduction occurs, the following consonant is generally pronounced as tense (like a double letter).

    [a] ㄱㅅ & ㄹㄱ are pronounced [k]
    ~> 삯 [wage], 닭 [chicken]
    [b] ㄹㅂ &ㅂㅅ are pronounced [p]
    ~> 밟 다 [to step on], 값 {price], 없 [to not exist]
    [c] ㄹㅁ is pronounced [m]
    ~> 닮 다 [to resemble]
    [d] ㄴㅈ pronounced [n]
    ~> 앉다 [to sit down]
    *between vowels, its pronounced [nj] 앉아요 [please sit down]
    [e] ㄹㅌ is pronounced [l]
    ~> 핥다 [to lick], 홅다 [to scrape]
    *between vowels, its pronounced [lth] 핥아요 [please lick]
    [f] ㄴㅎ & ㄹㅎ. [consonant clusters w/ ㅎ] are pronounced [n] & [l]respectively. And the consonant follwoing them becomes aspirated. When ㄴㅎor ㄹㅎ followed by a vowel, ㅎ isn’t pronounced.
    ~> 많다 [there are many], 많은 [many], 끓다 [to boil]

  8.  2 consonants come together change in pronunciation occurs:
    [a] consonants: ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ becomes apsirated [ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅊ] before or after the consonant ㅎ.
    ~> ㄱ+ㅎ  or ㅎ+ㄱ = ㅋ
    ~> ㄷ+ㅎ or ㅎ+ㄷ = ㅌ
    ~> ㅂ+ㅎ = ㅍ
    ~> ㅈ + ㅎ or ㅎ+ㅎ + ㅊ

    When ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ are followed by ㅁ & ㄴ, nasal assimilation occurs.
    ~> ㅍ & ㅂ are pronounced [m]
    • 앞, 갑니다, 밥먹어
    ~> ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ are pronunced [n]
    •닫니, 솟는다, 있는
    ~> ㄱ, ㄲ, ㅋ are pronunced [ng]
    • 작년, 닦는다, 부엌문
    ~> ㄹ is pronunced [n] after any consonant except [l]
    ~>ㄴ is pronounced [l] before or after [ㄹ]

  9. Syllable finals ㄷ & ㅌ are pronounced as ㅈ & ㅊ respectively when followed by the vowel “이” or a palatilized vowel [여, 야, 요, 유].
    *palatilization doesn’t occur in words like “어디, 티, 작다”
    맏이, 밑이다, 걷히다, 닫혀서
  10. The following vowel sequence are often contracted:
    ~>ㅗ+ㅏ = ㅗㅏ [오 아 요] -> 와요 [please come]
    ~> 보아요 -> 봐요 [please look]
    ~> 주어요 -> 줘요, 두어요 -> 둬요
    ~> 지어요 -> 져요, 가시었요 -> 가셔어요