The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) helps with Korean language pronunciations in pages. For a guide to adding IPA characters to pages, see {{IPA-ko}}, {{IPAc-ko}} and :en:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

Korean consonants
IPA Hangul RR English approximation
b[1] b ball
d[1] d doll
dz[2] j beds
[1] j roughly like gee
ɡ[1] g gall
h h hall
ɦ[1] h behind
j [ㅛ, ㅠ,ㅑ,ㅕ,
ㅖ, ㅒ][3]
y you
k ㄱ [ㅋ][4] g, k lock
kk skin
ㅋ [ㅎㄱ] k cup
l ㄹ [ㄴ][5] l alike
m ㅁ [ㅂ][6] m mall
[ㄹ, ㄷ, ㅅ, ㅈ][7]
n not
ŋ ㅇ [ㄴㄱ][8] ng king
p [ㅍ][9] b, p clip
pp spit
[ㅎㅂ] p paint
ɾ r Scottish great or American ladder
s s like see, but aspirated (with more breath)
ss saw
ɕ[10] s roughly like she
ɕ͈[10] ss see
[ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅈ, ㅊ][11]
d, t let
tt stack
[ㅎㄷ] t tall
ts[2] j cats
ts͈[2] jj
tsʰ[2] ㅊ [ㅎㅈ] ch let's have
j roughly like cheek
tɕ͈ jj roughly like pitcher
tɕʰ ㅊ [ㅎㅈ] ch roughly like cheek
w [ㅜ, ㅗ][12] w wall
z[1] s like zee, but murmured (with more breath)
ʑ[13] s roughly like illusion
Korean vowels and diphthongs[14]
IPA Hangul RR English approximation
a a American bot
e e sate
ɛ ae bet
ɛː bed, RP bare
i i meat
o o American boat
RP broad
ø [12] oe weld
øː wave
u u bull
ʌ eo mud
əː RP pearl
ɯ eu somewhat like book
ɯː somewhat like rude
ɰi/ɥi ui/yi somewhat like we, year
y [12] wi somewhat like sweet
somewhat like swede
Korean suprasegmentals
IPA Hangul RR Explanation
ː [15] geminated consonant
ˈ primary stress
ˌ secondary stress


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 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. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 [ts ts͈ tsʰ dz] occur before back vowels.
  3. /j/ cannot be spelled by itself, but by doubling the short line on the vowel which it phonetically precedes.
  4. ㅋ is [k] and RR k at the end of a syllable.
  5. ㄹ is [l] at the end of a syllable. ㄹㄴ and ㄴㄹ may be [].
  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] and RR p at the end of a syllable.
  10. 10.0 10.1 [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. 12.0 12.1 12.2 /w/ is spelled ㅜ before /ʌ/, /e/, /i/ (the latter combination producing /y/~[ɥi]), ㅗ before /ɛ/, /a/; ㅚ /ø/ can also be pronounced [we].
  13. [ʑ] is the allophone of /z/ before /i/ and /j/.
  14. In Standard Korean vowel length is contrastive, but this has mostly been lost in the spoken language.
  15. Resulting from various sequences of consonants (and their relative transcriptions) in regressive assimilation.


  • Heo, Yong (2013). "An analysis and interpretation of Korean vowel systems". Acta Koreana. 16 (1): 23-43.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (1999). "An IPA Illustration of Korean". Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. p. 120-123.
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (2002). "{{{title}}}" in INTERSPEECH-2002. . 
  • Lee, Hyun-bok (2004). "In search of a universal phonetic alphabet – theory and application of an organic visible speech" in INTERSPEECH-2004. . 
  • Shin, J. (2015). Vowels and Consonants. In L. Brown & J. Yeon (Eds.). The Handbook of Korean Linguistics (pp. 3-21). Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Shin, J., Kiaer, J., & Cha, J. (2012). The Sounds of Korean. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sohn, Ho-min (2001). The Korean Language. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521369436.

External linksEdit