Learning Korean is easier than learning Chinese, and maybe easier than English. I will give you some basic lessons that will have you reading Korean before you know it.
This sign is on a road near where I am this summer. For this very short lesson I will teach you 9 “letters.” I won’t bother with the proper names for now. This is just to show you how easy this really is.
The 9 are:
ㄴ = n
ㅇ = silent, ng
ㅊ = ch
= g, k
ㅗ = o
Today you will be reading East Incheon Station. 동 인천역 appears in the upper right corner of the sign. You can see the line of Korean writing is broken up into what looks like 4 characters. The first says “dong,” (동) the second “in,” (인) third “cheon,” (천) and fourth is “yeok” (역). You might be happy to know that the word for East 东 has the same sound in Korean as it does in Chinese.
The first “character” (동) is actually a combination of 3 “letters;” ㄷ=d, ㅗ=o, ㅇ = silent, ng. The D is on top. The O is in the middle. The final ‘letter’ is NG. [East]
The second character (인) is also a combination of 3 “letters;” ㅇ = silent, ng, ㅣ= I, ㄴ = n. The SILENT is on the left. The I is on the right. The final ‘letter’ is N. [“Incheon” is the name of a city in Korea].
The third character (천) is also a combination of 3 “letters;” ㅊ = ch, ㅓ= eo’ , ㄴ = n. The CH is on the left. The EO is on the right. The final ‘letter’ again is N, just like before.
The fourth character (역) is also a combination of 3 “letters;” ㅇ = silent, ng, ㅕ= yeo’, ㄱ = g, k. The SILENT is on the left. The YEO is on the right. The final ‘letter’ is K. [“yok” means station.]
“Dong Incheon Yeok” means East Incheon Station동 인천역.