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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Korean language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. It is based on the standard dialect of South Korea.

See Korean phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Korean.

Korean consonants
IPA Hangul RR English approximation
b[a] b ball
d[a] d doll
dz[b] j beds
[a] j roughly like gee
ɡ[a] g gall
h h hall
ɦ[a] h ahead
j [ㅛ, ㅠ,ㅑ,ㅕ,
ㅖ, ㅒ][c]
y you
k ㄱ, [ㅋ][d] g, k cup
kk skin
ㅋ, [ㅎㄱ] k cup
l ㄹ, [ㄴ][e] l lip
m ㅁ, [ㅂ][f] m mall
[ㄹ, ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ][g]
n not
ŋ ㅇ, [ㄱ][h] ng king
p , [ㅍ][i] b, p paint
pp spit
, [ㅎㅂ] p paint
ɾ r like Scottish r or American ladder
s s like see, but aspirated, with more breath
ss see
ɕ[j] s roughly like she
ɕ͈[j] ss see
[ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ][k]
tt stall
, [ㅎㄷ] t tall
ts[b] j cats
ts͈[b] jj cats
tsʰ[b] ㅊ, [ㅎㅈ] ch mitts
j roughly like cheek
tɕ͈ jj roughly like pitcher
tɕʰ ㅊ, [ㅎㅈ] ch roughly like cheek
w [ㅜ, ㅗ][l] w wall
z[a] s like zee, but murmured, with more breath
ʑ[m] s roughly like illusion
Korean vowels and diphthongs
IPA Hangul RR English approximation
a a bot
e e sate
ɛ ae bet
i i mean
o o core
ø oe weld
u u moon
ʌ eo mud
əː Somewhat like pearl
ɯ eu somewhat like book
ɰi ui Somewhat like we


  1. ^ a b c d e f The plain stops and affricate /p t tɕ k/ and the fricatives /h s/ are voiced to [b d dʑ ɡ ɦ z] respectively between voiced sounds.
  2. ^ a b c d [ts ts͈ tsʰ dz] occur before back vowels.
  3. ^ /j/ is spelled by doubling the short line on the vowel.
  4. ^ ㅋ is [k] at the end of a syllable.
  5. ^ ㄹ is [l] at the end of a syllable. ㄹㄴ and ㄴㄹ may be [l:].
  6. ^ ㅂ is [m] before [n] or [m].
  7. ^ ㄹ may be [n] at the start of a word. ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ are [n] before [n] or [m].
  8. ^ ㅇ is [ŋ] at the end of a syllable. ㄱ is [ŋ] before [n], [m], or [ɾ].
  9. ^ ㅍ is [p] at the end of a syllable.
  10. ^ a b [ɕ ɕ͈] are the allophones of /s s͈/ before /i/ and /j/.
  11. ^ ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ are [t] and RR t at the end of a syllable.
  12. ^ [w] is spelled ㅜ before [ʌ], [e], [i]; ㅗ before [ɛ], [a]; ㅚ [ø] can also be pronounced [we].
  13. ^ [ʑ] is the allophone of /z/ before /i/ and /j/.


  • Lee, Hyun-bok (1999). "An IPA Illustration of Korean". Handbook of the International Phonetic Association.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (2002). 음성의 연구와 음성의 표기법 [Phonetic Notation in Phonetic Research] (PDF). INTERSPEECH-2002.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (2004). In search of a universal phonetic alphabet – theory and application of an organic visible speech (PDF). INTERSPEECH-2004.
  • Sohn, Ho-min (2001). The Korean Language. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521369436.

External links