The Magic of Hangul

Are you familiar with the Korean alphabet? Though the language is not widely spoken outside of North and South Korea, it has risen in popularity in recent years among American students, currently representing the fifth most commonly studied language. You might look at all the foreign symbols on the menu at our Seattle Korean restaurant and find them intimidating, but it’s actually quite a practical alphabet.

The Korean alphabet, hangul, is not quite as complicated as it looks. Unlike the Chinese alphabet, which has thousands of letters, hangul is a phonetic system with only twenty-four symbols. These symbols, which are logically organized into fourteen consonants and ten vowels, are combined into single symbols that each represent one syllable. This alphabet is recognized as one of the most practical alphabets in the world, and a triumph of Korean ingenuity.