ㄴ Addition – Korean Pronunciation Tips #4

Unexpected ㄴ Sounds in Some Words

In the word, tough, there is no f in it, but there is an f sound. Like this, there are many unexpected sound in some words. It is also true in Korean. Sometimes, ㄴ is added when you cannot find any ㄴ in the word. Let's see some examples.

한여름에 웬 솜이불이야?
What is the cotton wool blanket doing here in the middle of summer?

두통약에 식용유 뿌린 사람 누구야?
Who is the person who poured cooking oil on headache pills?

In this sentence, 한여름 sounds like [한녀름]. 솜이불 sounds like [솜니불]. 두통약 sounds like [두통냑] and 식용유 sounds like [식용뉴]. There is no ㄴ in 솜이불, 두통약, 식용유, but ㄴ is added.

There are more words like following:

꽃입꼰닙, 나뭇잎나문닙, 깻잎깬닙
홑이불혼니불, 베갯잇배갠닛
수학여행수항녀행, 졸업여행졸엄녀행, 신혼여행신혼녀행
영업용영엄뇽

There is ㄴ in front of 여름 in 한여름, it is understandable. But other words have no rules. All we can found is that it happens a lot with 잎(leaf), 이불(blanket) and 여행(travel). It just happens with other words. You just have to memorize them as they appear.

Don't be Too Obsessed with This!

Although there is a rule like this, there are many people who don't know this rule and read the words as they like. Someone in reddit commented in my post about the word, 밭이랑, plowed rows in the farm. I firstly thought that it should be pronounced like [바디랑]. I looked up the word in the dictionary after reading the comment and learned that I was wrong.

So, don't be too obsessed with these words. This is the part that even native speakers sometimes pronounce wrong.