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Episode 2: Tricky Vowels

안녕ㅇㅇㅇ 인구들ㄹㄹㄹㄹ! ^^

I'm sorry for a small delay, I was going to upload this video yesterday but it just took too long to edit because I had so much footage to go through! I guess I was just so eager to share everything I knew about this week's topic that I ended up with over 20 minutes of footage, so please forgive me!

As for the theme of this week, it is VOWELS (모음 "mo-eum").


아- 'a' --> that sound we all make when we get a genius idea or suddenly understand something

갈비- spare ribs

아줌마- elderly lady

아저씨- elderly man

If you add a stroke to 아 it will turn into 야, which sounds like 'ya'.


오 vs 어

오- 'o' --> the sound comes from the throat (kind of) and it's a very strongly defined 'O' sound.

어- 'eo' --> it's hard to describe the sound of this letter because it's very unique to Korean but when you're trying to pronounce it, try to think that it's a bit lighter than 오. As in, it doesn't come form the throat. You can consider it a compromise between the sound 'a' and 'o'.

오징어- squid --> this word actually incorporates both vowels and you can really hear the difference when it's pronounced slowly.

If you add a stroke to 오 it will turn into 요, which sounds like 'yo' and if you add a stroke to 어 it will turn into 여, which sounds like 'yeo'.


우 - 'oo' --> the sound we make when we see something cool or interesting (or am I the only one that does that? :O)

If you add a stroke to 우 it will turn into 유, which sounds like 'yu'.

FUN FACT: 우유 actually means milk in Korean :)


이 - 'ee' --> hmmm how should I describe this sound... that sound when we see something scary and we squeal like "eeeeeeeeee!!!"... yes? no? maybe?

으 - 'eu' --> that sound you make when you're carrying something really heavy.

These vowels don't have an additional stroke version, which is good to us because that means less vowels for us to memorise! Woooooo~


에 vs 애*

So what I found out from an extensive research through my textbooks and a ton of online learning resources is that nowadays there is NO DIFFERENCE in pronunciation between these two vowels. There may have been a difference generations ago but it's been lost so there's no need for us to break our head over how to differentiate these sounds. At the end of the day both of these sound like 'e' or 'ae'.

If you add a stroke to 에 it will turn into 예, which sounds like 'ye' and if you add a stroke to 애 it will turn into 얘, which sounds like 'yae'.

If you have any questions about any aspect of Korean, doesn't have to be pronunciation, make sure to let me know!

P.S. This video taught me a lesson of never taking anything for granted, especially internet speed! I swear it takes 15 minutes to upload a video in London and it takes over two hours to do that here in Israel #sospoiled

Enjoy your studies guys!

Much love,


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