7 Sounds of Korean Final Consonants (받침 [batchim])

7 Sounds of Korean Final Consonants (받침 [batchim])


 

If you’re not a native speaker of Korean, you might be mispronouncing the word-final consonants–and you might not even be aware of the mistake. There is a variety of final consonants in Korean. As a Korean instructor, I noticed that non-native speakers struggle with the pronunciation of final consonants.

Basically, each final consonant is pronounced in one of 7 different ways (ㄱ,ㄴ,ㄷ,ㄹ,ㅁ,ㅂ,ㅇ), as I explain below. When you pronounce them, always keep in mind that they are not released. This is the most common mistake by Korean learners.

For example, ‘밖 [bak] (outside)’ is pronounced as [박], not [바ㄲ] or [바끄].

Also, ‘끝 [kkeut] (end)’ sounds like [끋], not [끄ㅌ] or [끄트].

 

 

1. Korean final consonants ㄱ, ㅋ, ㄲ, ㄳ, ㄺ → [ㄱ]

Final Consonant

Sound Example

+ ㅇ

soup 국 [국] [guk] 국이 [구기] [gugi]

kitchen 부엌 [부억] [bueok]

부엌에 [부어케] [bueoke]

outside 밖 [박] [bak]

밖에 [바께] [bakke]

share 몫 [목] [mok]

몫은 [목슨] [mokseun]

to read 읽다 [익따] [iktta]

읽으면 [일그면] [ilgeumyeon]

 

2. Korean final consonants ㄴ, ㄵ, ㄶ → [ㄴ]

Final Consonant

Sound Example

+ ㅇ

door 문 [문] [mun] 문이 [무니] [muni]

to sit 앉다 [안따] [antta]

앉아서 [안자서] [anjaseo]

many 많다 [만타] [manta]

많은 [마는] [maneun]

 

3. Korean final consonants ㄷ, ㅌ, ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅎ → [ㄷ]

Final Consonant

Sound Example

+ ㅇ 

 ㄷ

to close 닫다 [닫따] [dat-tta]

닫으면 [다드면] [dadeumyeon]

end 끝 [끋] [kkeut] 끝에 [끄테] [kkeute]

clothes 옷 [옫] [ot] 옷이 [오시] [oshi]

to exist, to have 있다 [읻따] [it-tta]

있어서 [이써서] [isseoseo]

daytime 낮[낟] [nat]

낮에 [나제] [naje]

flower 꽃 [꼳] [kkot]

꽃이 [꼬치] [kkochi]

to put down 놓다 [녿타] [not-ta]

놓으면 [노으면] [noeumyeon]

 

4. Korean final consonants ㄹ, ㄼ, ㄾ, ㅀ → [ㄹ]

Final Consonant

Sound Example

+ ㅇ

star 별 [별] [byeol] 별이 [벼리] [byeo-li]

wide 넓다 [널따] [neol-tta] 넓어서 [널버서] [neolbeoseo]

to lick 핥다 [할따] [haltta]

핥은 [할튼] [halteun]

to boil 끓다 [끌타] [kkeulta]

끓으면 [끄르면] [kkeureumyeon]

 

5. Korean final consonants ㅁ, ㄻ → [ㅁ]

Final Consonant

Sound Example

+ ㅇ

body 몸 [몸] [mom] 몸이 [모미] [momi]

life 삶 [삼] [sam]

삶은 [살믄] [salmeun]

 

6. Korean final consonants ㅂ, ㅍ, ㅄ, ㄿ → [ㅂ]

Final Consonant Sound Example

+ ㅇ

answer 답 [답] [dap] 답은 [다븐] [dabeun]

front 앞 [압] [ap] 앞에 [아페] [ape]

not to exist, not to have 없다 [업따] [eoptta]

없어서 [업서서] [eopseoseo]

to recite 읊다 [읍따] [euptta]

읊으면 [을프면] [eulpeumyeon]

 

7. Korean final consonant ㅇ → [ㅇ]

Final Consonant

Sound Example + ㅇ
river 강 [강] [gang]

강이 [강이] [gang-i]

 

As you’ve noticed above, there are some sound changes when the final consonant has ㅎ or it is followed by ㄷ and ㅇ. For reference, please check out my other posts below.

The Sound Change Rule of ㅎ [h]
The Pronunciation Rule of ㅇ [null/ng]

 

Reference :

  1. Taylor I, Taylor M. Writing And Literacy In Chinese, Korean, And Japanese. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub. Co.; 1995.
  2. Shin J, Kiaer J, Cha J. The Sounds Of Korean. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2012.
  3. En.wikibooks.org. Korean/Essential Pronunciation Rules – Wikibooks, open books for an open world. 2015. Available at: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Korean/Essential_Pronunciation_Rules. Accessed December 16, 2015.