Jihae lessons: Pronouncing these 6 Hangul better

Sutiben already covered what happened when suti met a cute Korean teacher so won’t go into it more. However, today will reveal what sutiben picked up.

Actually, think might be best that from now on, sutiben summarizes what Korean lessons suti learns from her. Why? Sutiben a lil’ slow and sometimes needs repetition. 1 By remembering what Jihae said, organizing thoughts, writing it down, and trying to teach you, maybe suti can learn faster. Plus, can see what sutiben didn’t really understand and can ask her next time. So, in a way, ’tis really more for sutiben. Just keep in mind that these are all notes and sutiben still learning so there might be a few errors.

What the Korean corrects

If you remember, sutiben created a sign to attract Jihae’s attention. Kind of like those used when waiting for a stranger at an airport. Except instead of using her name, sutiben wanted to be clever. The written message on the notebook was a single Korean word and it meant to say “here”, as in “Where is that silly suti? Right here.”

Incorrect Hangul characters for here in Korean drawn on a notebook with a black marker

Well, no time to waste. Right from the start, the lessons began with Jihae pointing out sutiben’s spelling error.


Uh, so don’t follow what suti wrote. To say here/yogi, you write it as 여기. No know why made that mistake. Maybe because sutiben wrote the characters quickly on the side of a building scaffold?

Anyhoo, once sutiben finished helping her English, Jihae changed roles and became a teacher.

I: The strange word sutiben doesn’t like

Drawing of Hangul characters of naneun and jeonun

If you listen to a lot of Korean, you’ll hear many ways to say “I”.

Sutiben’s favorite is “na” and remembers this most from drama scenes. Usually once a man is down and is of no use, his fellow partners tend to ignore and push him to the side. Abandoned by his friends, the man angrily shouts who he is, “나 Mr. X“—usually in vain and while its pouring—and make it known that he is still himself and nothing has changed.

But there are two main words:

’Nanoon’. This is the informal way to say “I” and should be used around friends and kids.
’Jonoon’. The polite way to say ”I”. Good when addressing old people or meeting someone for the 1st time.

From what understood, if you don’t include 는, you sound angry. Not sure if wrong, but right now suti thinking this can translate as “am” in English but just a theory right now.

어 vs 오 vs 우: The three o sounds

Drawing of Hangul characters eu, u, and oo

Another problem sutiben has is pronouncing the O-ish sounds in Korean. It’s a lil’ hard to teach without audio but Jihae did give some examples to help distinguish them. This is how suti currently thinks about them.

Basically, just remember how to say mother and you’ll have a quick shortcut to reproduce the sound. They say this a lot on TV shows either as 어머니 (mother) or 엄마 (mom). Just act like a crying kid calling to your mummy. Might be easier for some of us ^^

Another shortcut suti is trying to remember this is with an example. Imagine if someone knocks the air of out you by hitting you on your tummy. You let out the following sound: “uh”.

This is probably easier to say because it sounds just like a regular “O”.

Sutiben remembers this from the one expression one of the girls used to say often in Vampire Idol: 오마이갓 (OMG). (^ν^) So cute!

Note to self: Get Jihae to say this at least once. hehe

She also mentioned the word 오리 (duck) has the same character but think suti will forget it eventually. Still including it just in case.

This isn’t too hard to pronounce. Just put this sentence in your head: “Ooh, he stole a cookie from the jar. I’m telling mummy!“ It sounds just like the first word in that sentence.

The best word to learn along this is 우리 (we/us). Pronounced as “oori”. Ever since Poochie pointed this out, suti now hears this often. 2

ㅂ vs ㅍ: Koreans borrowing from English

Drawing of Hangul chracters ㅂ vs ㅍ

These two symbols suti had some idea how to pronounce before but wasn’t confident.

ㅂ: Bananas in Pajamas

Basically, ㅂ has a b-ish sound except when you put two of them together like this ㅃ, then it sounds more p-ish. Here are the words she gave to help.

It means basket. Think she means like an Easter basket. If pronunciation is correct, ’tis like this: “bagooni”

Means a bag. This is supposed to be a generic word applied to almost anything that is like a bag ranging from a purse, a wallet, a shopping bag, etc. You say it like “kabang”.

Since it can refer to any bag, sutiben thinks it’s all based on context. Wonder what happens when there are two types of bags like a purse and a wallet. How do you distinguish them? Maybe finger pointing?


Means wife. It’s the name a husband calls his wife. Don’t know why but just like hearing it.

Sutiben was the one who mentioned this word. So see? Suti no that clueless. ^^

The thing is sutiben hears the p sound on TV but Jihae says no. You pronounce it as “booin“. T^T That means suti been saying it wrong all this time.

Means father. Here the two joined ㅂㅂ give out a p-ish sound making this pronunciation more like “apa”.

ㅍ: It sounds like a piece of pie

Korean partner says this Hangul sounds like the letter “p”. Usually this character is used when imitating English words with the “f sound.


Fashion. This is the perfect example. Pronounced as “peshyon“. Since Korean has no “f” sound, they use ㅍ instead to mimic it.

Sutiben loves this word after the Fashion King drama. The word stuck to suti’s head. ^^


Wife. Pronounced as “waipu” Spelling might be off here since heard it on a drama some time ago.

Hehe. Sounds so cute. You know why…


Husband. Pronounced as “nampyon“.

Ah, so friend was right! If understood correctly, this is the literal translation for husband and not really used as a name for a husband like 부인.

으: Smile, sutiben!

Drawn Hangul character of 으

Sutiben still struggles to say this right but the trick Jihae mentions is smiling and saying “ooh”. Was told not many Korean words use this pair.


Doctor. Pronounced as “eulsa”. This is the last word she teaches before we separate. Under breath, sutiben kept repeating as we walked together. Think she noticed. ^^

Also, looks like there are silent characters in Korean. That stick thingy “ㅣ” isn’t mentioned.

*wipes forehead* (o。o;) Woooah, writing all this lot of work. Hope it helps someone.

Maybe it doesn’t seem like much but think Korean sounds more understandable. Until now, only suti and foreign friend have been working to decipher the Korean language. (Uh… mostly Poochie. Suti no that smart) But after today, this native girl really cleared a lot of holes. Hope she wanna meet again.

Update: Uploaded actual Korean notes taken. Take a peek:

  1. Hehe. Learned this about self from friend, Poochie. He not Korean but he really smart because he’s learning Korean faster and better than suti (~_~ ). And all alone without a book or teacher at that. Don’t know how he does it. Luckily, when together, Poochie points out new Korean words for suti too learn and since he know don’t learn it the first time around, he repeats it. ↩︎

  2. It’s funny how once you learn a new word, you hear it everywhere afterwards even though it’s been in your face everywhere. ↩︎

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