Getting Started with Korean

Getting Started Menu:  Consonants Vowels Syllables Typing Hangeul

korean-flagWhat do you know about Korea? The Republic of Korea covers 38,023 square miles (compared to the United States’ 3,800,000 square miles) and has a population of 50 million people. Of those, 99% are literate, reading and writing in the national language of Korean. In North and South Korea, and around the world, the Korean language is spoken by more than 72 million people (including 2 million in China and the United States each).


Hangeul (한글) is a native phonetic alphabet system and was created by King Sejong the Great (세종대왕) and the royal academy scholars in 1443. The original name was Hunminjungum (훈민정음) meaning “the correct sounds to educate the people.” Before the creation of Hangeul, Chinese characters were borrowed to write Korean language, and King Sejong the Great presided over the introduction of the native alphabet recognizing the considerable linguistic differences in the two languages. His intention was to establish a cultural and linguistic identity for Korea through its unique script.

Hangeul Day is a national holiday celebrated on October 9.


As you begin to acquaint yourself with the Korean language, you’ll begin with the Hangeul alphabet. In the pages that follow, you’ll learn:

VowelsClick to Learn Hangeul Vowels

ConsonantsClick to Learn Hangeul Consonants

Typing HangeulClick to Practice Typing Hangeul