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Korean sounds

안녕! I'm completely new to the Korean language, and I'm having a tough time distinguishing between many of the vowel and ending consonant pronunciations. For example, the sounds "gap," "gak," and "gat" sound indistinguishable to my ear. Are there subtle differences that I just don't detect, or are they really pronounced that similarly? I'm getting frustrated trying to match clusters of letters to sounds that I literally cannot tell apart. Also, I am only on the "Alphabet" lessons at the moment. Do the pronunciations differentiate at all later on? Thanks in advance :~)

September 7, 2017



This is explained in the "Tips and Notes" sticky: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24352980 (which is still under construction).

I will have to read it carefully, too. Happy learning! :-)

Edit: Yes, I'm struggling with the clusters, too. I sometimes have difficulties analysing the individual characters when they are combined. But I think over time, practicing, we will get used to it. (Note to self: No timed practice in Korean!!!! I'd be desperate LOL)


Oh geez, I didn't notice that post, it's super helpful. Thank you for directing me to it! I'm glad I'm not going crazy XD


Cluster letters usually assimilate into one sound. "Gap", "Gak" and "Gat" are different, it depends on your mouth (final "p" is closing your lips, final "t" is closing your teeth and final "k" is closing the the back of your tongue). I recommend looking up the Korean Bat-chim rules and read or watch a few videos, it's a topic slightly more complicated than the actual alphabet.

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