편지, 글자 – Korean Words vs. Words S2 #12

In this episode, we're going to talk about the word, letter. In English, letter meaning characters or alphabet is letter and the letter we put in envelope and send is also letter. However, they are different in Korean.

편지

We write some words on paper and put that paper into the envelope and send it to someone else. It is called letter in English and 편지 in Korean.

아버지께서 10년 전에 보내 주신 편지를 다시 읽고 있다.
I am now reading the letter sent to me from my father 10 years ago.

군에 있을 때 편지를 참 많이 썼다.
When I was in army, I wrote a lot of letters.

마트에 가는 길에 우체국에 들러 편지를 부쳤다.
On my way to the mall, I went to post office and posted the letter.

In this sentence, 부치다 is not 붙이다. As both of them have same pronunciation because of the palatalization, even many native speakers use them wrong.

You can learn about them more in the links below:

부치다 vs. 붙이다.

구개음화, Palatalization

글자

To write letters, we should write some letters on the paper. These alphabet or characters are also called letter in English. It is generally 글자 in Korean.

글자를 예쁘게 쓰고 싶은데 잘 안 된다.
I want to write pretty letters, but I cannot.

무슨 글자인지 잘 모르겠어.
I cannot read the letters.

이름은 대문자로 써 주세요.
Please write your name in capital letters.

In Alphabet, there are capital and small letters. They are called 대문자 and 소문자 in Korean.

In English, each element of Hangeul like ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㅏ ㅑ, etc. are called letters and the composition of these elements like 가, 간, 혹, 문, 영, etc. are characters. However, both of them are 글자 in Korean.