ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ + ㄹ => ㅇ, ㄴ, ㅁ + ㄴ – Korean Pronunciation Tip #7

Since last week, we've been talking about 자음동화, consonant assimilation. In this episode, we are going to cover the last combination of 자음동화: ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ + ㄹ.

ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ + ㄹ => ㅇ, ㄴ, ㅁ + ㄴ

When ㄹ is next to ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㄹ is changed to ㄴ and ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ are changed to ㅇ, ㄴ, ㅁ each. This rule is a bit like the review of last two episodes. As we learned, ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ are changed to ㅇ, ㄴ, ㅁ each if they are in front of ㄴ or ㅁ and ㄹ becomes ㄴ when it is next to ㅁ or ㅇ.

Let's learn this rule with examples.

감독님의 격려 덕택에 좀 더 속력을 낼 수 있었습니다.
Thanks to my coach's encouragement, I could speed up more.

지금까지 진행된 작업량을 보니, 한 2시간 정도 더 하면 입력을 마칠 수 있을 것 같습니다.
As I see the progress of my workload, I think I can end it if I input them about 2 more hours.

방금 그 타자가 몇 루타 쳤지?
How many base did he go when he just hit?

격려 is [경녀]. 속력 is [송녁].
작업량 is [작엄냥]. 입력 is [임녁].
몇 루타 is [면 누타].

Explanation of 몇 루타

The final example, 몇 루타, is different from other words in the 자음동화 series. This word has space between two words and the rule still works here. I used it because it is hard to find the example of ㄷ + ㄹ => ㄴ + ㄴ example. In my grammar book, the writers used the phrase, 몇 리. 리 here is old distance unit of Korea and it is equal to 0.4km or 0.25 miles. You can only see that word usually in some sayings these days. So, I used the baseball word, 루타. When a hitter hits, it is called 안타 and 1-base hit is 일루타, 2-base hit is 이루타, 3-base hit is 삼루타 in Korean. It is a bit odd to ask "how many base did he go" if you know baseball, but if you don't, it is possible, so I used that example.

Outlet is 아웃렛 or 아울렛?

Another interesting word that meets ㄷ+ㄹ rule is the foreign word, 아웃렛. In the answers of 국립 국어원, they said that it is OK to pronounce it as [아운넫] and [아울렛]. As they answered, [아울렛] is more widely used than [아운넫]. Because of that, many people write it as 아울렛, not 아웃렛, although 국립 국어원 recommends 아웃렛.