ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ + ㅎ => ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅊ – Korean Pronunciation Tips #10

Don't Make Similar Mistake Like My Professor

In University, professors call students' name to check attendance. In my English conversation class, the professor of my class had hard time trying to read my name in Korean. Many friends of mine was surprised how I could understand he's calling me. As many of you know, my name is 국현. It is usually written like Kukhyeon. There is a kh part in the middle. If you read k and h separately, it is really really hard to pronounce. So, Koreans read my name like [구켠]. When ㄱ is near ㅎ, it is changed to ㅋ. He didn't know that and had hard time reading my name. By the end of this episode, I am sure that you can read the words with ㅎ in Korean properly and fluently.

ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅈ, ㅂ + ㅎ => ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅊ, ㅍ

When 예사소리s(ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅈ, ㅂ) meet ㅎ, they are changed into 거센소리s(ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅊ, ㅍ) and pronounced once. Let's see them with examples.

착한 어린이는 빨간 불에 길을 건너지 않아요.
Good kid doesn't cross the road on the red light.

그는 방에 갇힌 후 나오지 못했다.
He couldn't get out after locked in the room.

그는 30년간 우표를 수집해 왔다.
He collected stamps for 30 years.

착한 is [차칸]. 갇힌 is [가친]. 못했다 is [모탣따]. 수집해 is [수지패].

Interesting word here is 갇힌. Although ㄷ + ㅎ => ㅌ as in the case of 못했다, it follows 구개음화 or 입천장소리되기 rule we learned in the past. So, it is not [가틴], it is [가친].

It Works Other Way Around

We just covered ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅈ, ㅂ are in front of ㅎ. This rule is also applied other way around.

10년 만에 이렇게 함께 하니까 좋지 않니?
Isn't it good because we can be here together after 10 years?

쌓고 또 쌓다 보면 언젠가는 완성하겠지.
It will be completed some day if we stack them up and up.

이렇게 is [이러케]. 좋지 is [조치]. 쌓고 is [싸코] and 쌓다 is [싸타].

You can see that there is no example of ㅂ after ㅎ. I tried to find it but I couldn't. There is some markers like 보다 that starts with ㅂ. However, 보다 works with nouns. It doesn't work as conjugation to verbs. So, I think that it might be almost impossible to find the example. If you find one, please let me know.

In the next episode, we will learn the case that ㅎ becomes weaker or eliminated.