ㄷ, ㅌ + ㅣ, ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ => ㅈ, ㅊ + ㅣ, ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ – Korean Pronunciation Tips #3

In the previous episode, I told you that the last consonant of a character in front of ㅇ is moved to the next character like 미국은 to [미구근].

Although I covered the exception about ㅇ, I didn't cover another exception with 이 there.

ㄷ, ㅌ + 이 => ㅈ, ㅊ + 이

When ㄷ, ㅌ meet with 이, then they become ㅈ, ㅊ each. Let's see some example. As usual, it is hard to understand what this means with only words.

저녁 같이 드실래요?
Do you want to have supper with me?

굳이 그렇게까지 해야겠어?
Do you even have to do that?

같이 sounds like [가치] and 굳이 sounds like [구지].

Hard-to- Distinguish Words

Thanks to this rule, some words become really confusing. They are separate words, but sound identical. So, even many native speakers cannot distinguish them.

붙이다(paste) / 부치다(send)
바치다(dedicate, give) / 받히다(to be hit) / 받치다(to support something)

I've covered them in Grammar vs. Grammar series, you can learn more about them by clicking the links.

There are more examples like these:

해돋이(sunrise), 끝이다(This is the end), 갇히다(to be locked), 닫히다(door is closed), 미닫이문(sliding door)

Also happens with ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ

This rule also happens when ㄷ, ㅌ meet ㅣ related vowels like ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ.

탕수육은 소스를 뿌려서 먹는 것보다 묻혀서 먹는 것이 맛있어.
Dipping sweet sour pork in the sauce is tastier than pouring sauce on them.

묻혀서 sounds like [무쳐서]. In this word, as ㅎ is added to ㅈ, it became ㅊ.

구개음화?

Actually, this rule has its own name, 구개음화 or 입천장소리화. 구개음 and 입천장소리 mean palatal. And 구개음화 or 입천장소리화 is called palatalization in English.

구개음화 in English

Some of you might think that this rule only happens in Korean, but it can be found in English, too.

Let's see this dialog.

A: Did you watch that movie?
B: Not yet.

Some people pronounce "did you" without palatalization like [did-yoo]. However, there are many people who pronounce it like [di-joo]. It is a similar change when ㄷ meets ㅣ.