September 8, 2017

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Hold up how can they teach me a word before im finished learning the alphabet


They show you the word with the alphabet. They show the letters used in a word.

If you learnt the letters A, T, C in English you can learn the word "cat" without any problem.


I was wondering, am I supposed to say the word or the translation...


Both are accepted in the early exercises: the pronunciation and the meaning.


If you guys need help with the Hangul alphebet, https://www.howtostudykorean.com/unit0/ is a beautiful way to do it! I used this to bide my time waiting for Duolingo Korean. Couldn't have learned it without the site!


That's where i started as well. They're spot on about how it's best to just memorize what the characters sound like instead of trying to keep translating from characters to Romaji to English.

  • 1783

이 means this as a determiner, not a pronoun. Of course, two, louse, tooth, or even just i (sound) is also accepted.

[Edit] To prevent confusion, tooth is now the primary translation. Also e is now accepted as a transliteration of the letter.


Looks like i to me...


It is, but 이 is also a word (this).


It also means tooth/teeth and two. Without context, it's impossible to know which is intended.


I've heard that two, in Korean, can be "dul". Wha-... what's the difference between using 이 and 둘? This is all very confusing. >~


Theres 2 number systems in Korea. Native korean numbers and Sino Korean numbers. Both are correct


And "these" as well :-)

  • 1514

When I saw this question the first time, I also considered it as a sound and not a word. However, when we translated the word "this" back to Korean, we use "이것", "이" is a prefix before nouns, we don't use it alone. 이 actually can also mean tooth.


Well, for example, the letter A in english is a letter, but it can also be used in a sentence.


If you want to say "this tooth" is it gonna be "이 이?"


As someone who just started learning from here, I'm slightly confused as to see this if im just a beginner beginner and im starting from scratch so i don't know much. Is there something i should do before i start this? Should i learn the Korean alphabet or something? Help.


I'm a begginer as well, but before I started learning from Duolingo I was watching KoreanClass101's videos on YouTube to learn hangul. They even made a playlist only for the alphabet so you wont have to scroll through all the videos to find the hangul learning videos. I also got myself a notebook and wrote down the words and sentences they were mentioning and then translated them so I know around 20-30 words/sentences already. Its unnecesarry to write in a notebook and write down the sentences (it will help you a lot though) but I'd definetely recommend to watch their videos about the Korean alphabet aka Hangul. It should be really easy once you get into it :)


Great advice! Learning hangul on Youtube will save time. There are several good presentations. https://www.howtostudykorean.com/unit0/ is also a great source, as well as being a super supplement to DL if you are really interested in the language and want to understand the grammar.


I highly recommend http://koreanwikiproject.com/, it teaches you not only the characters but the variations in pronounciation (such as ㅅ being s, sh or even t) depending on the syllable. It definitely helped me a lot with these first Duolingo lessons.

Also, if you're into podcasts, a great resource is http://talktomeinkorean.com/. The hosts are fun and chill and they still manage to teach you things. It comes with a PDF so you can see the words they're teaching written out.


For any confusion out there:

이 is used before nouns. For example, 이아이 means this child. It is not used alone. The version to use when alone is 이것. For example, 이것 아이 means this child. Other valid translation (when used alone) for 이 is tooth and two. Without context, 이 can be all.



The hangul video is down the page in the 6th row, but this page is a source for many Korean youtube sites. Up above closer to the beginning of this thread there is a more direct link plus 2 more to help in learning hangul in less than an hour.

Fun way to learn the alphabet, and then he has 60 short videos to supplement DL.

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24886787 for more references on Hangul.


Kind of.

There's a Korean word for "this" which is pronounced /i/ (kind of like "ee", or the name of the letter E).

There are other words with the same pronunciation, e.g. a word for the number "two" is also pronounced /i/.


how does this mean tooth im so confused XP


The Korean word for tooth sounds like /i/, similar to the name of the English letter E.

It's a bit like how the English word for the buzzy animal that makes honey sounds like the name of the letter B.

How does "B" mean honey-making animal? The two just sound the same.


I don't understand how that is tooth. All I see is a vowel with the extra thingy in front of it to make it...…. complete. Basically, I'm confused as ever.


And the Korean word for "tooth" is pronounced with just one vowel -- it's as short as the English word "a" (as in "a bear") or "I" (as in "I am happy"), which are also just one sound each.

So the Korean word for tooth is written simply 이 and pronounced more or less like the name of the English letter E.


I see. 이 could be translated as tooth/this. In English, this is homonyms. Same spelling, different meaning. But how am I supposed to know whether this word is TOOTH or THIS? Is hovering the word the only way?


If you just see 이 without context, then it could be either of them.

Otherwise, you have to use context.

If a baseball player says, "My bat is missing", it means something different than if a vampire says, "My bat is missing".

If you have a complete Korean sentence, you will have to see whether it says, for example, "이 book" (probably "this book") and "my 이" (probably "my tooth") -- that sort of thing.


I don't understand how this translates to "this" "these" or "two" when the romanization is i pronounced as ee


Because the Korean word for "this, these" is pronounced "ee" and so is one of the Korean words for "two".


Romanization has nothing to do with translation. It is simply a means of helping learners identify the sounds of the Korean letters at the very beginning. Once the hangul alphabet is mastered, one should adapt their keyboard to use hangul, and never use romanization again. It slows learning the language and impedes proper pronunciation.


Earlier they said this alphabet is 'i' now they say it is 'this'???If any koreans here plz clear me is anything wrong in this app.And also suggest me nice apps without mistakes:)


/i/ is the sound it makes.

"this" is one of the words that sound like /i/ in Korean.

So 이 is pronounced /i/ and means "this" (and "tooth" and one or two other things).

A bit like the English word "I" which is pronounced 아이 (like "eye") and means 나 ("me; the person who is speaking")

Much as the English word "I" is just one syllable long, Korean also has words that are just one syllable long -- even ones with just one vowel sound, like English "I".


lee or this?

"Lee" (the Korean family name), "two" (the number), and "this" (the demonstrative determiner) are all pronounced the same way in Korean and are thus all written the same way: 이

You must be familiar with the concept of homographs from English, e.g. "bat" (1 - wooden stick for hitting a baseball; 2 - flying mammal, like a mouse with wings) or "like" (1 - find something pleasant: I like birds; 2 - similar to: it flies like a bird).

Korean also has homographs.

So some words will have multiple correct translations.


I'm so happy that I get to learn this! Yay! Wait...so does each character have multiple alternative meanings?


It's not like in Japanese or Chinese, don't confuse, Hanghul, it's not based on the symbols it's based on the sounds, only the sounds. Same in English, a suite of sounds can mean several things. "peek" and "peak" are the same sounds, but mean 2 different things.


do we have these sounds in English?


Which sounds exactly do you mean by "these sounds"?

This particular "sentence" only contains one sound -- "이 " sounds like /i/, pretty much the vowel of the English words "see" or "eat".

Some of the other sounds in Korean exist in English, some of them don't,.


So does this character really mean "this"?


Korean is not like Chinese -- it doesn't use "characters" that have a meaning of their own.

Korean uses an alphabet, and so a written word only represents a certain pronunciation.

In this case, 이 is pronounced "i" (more or less like "ee" in the English word "bee").

That's not just a sound but there are Korean words pronounced like that, including the word for "this".

Or in other words, the Korean word for "this" is 이.


isn't this also the last name Lee?


is it actually correct to teach the students to "translate" the characters? isn't it better to teach us to connect "이" to its sound, instead?


They've got to start teaching us words eventually... and some words happen to be just one syllable long.


How can I know the meaning of the word 이 if I don't even know its English translation? :(


You can hover over it with your mouse (if you use the website) or tap the word (on a mobile app) and it should pop up a window with hints. (However, not all the hints may apply to any given sentence.)

Or you can just guess and then look at the correction.


Doesn't this also mean I ?


이 does not mean "I" as in "the person who is talking to you right now".

It's a syllable that is pronounced a bit like the name of the letter E in English, so in transcription, 이 is i since the letter i is used for that vowel sound when writing Korean in Roman/English letters.


So, "this" is good, "tooth" is good. I said "this, tooth" and it was wrong. What?!


The Korean prompt was 이 and not 이, 이.

Pick one translation but don't put in both at once.


How does this mean tooth,this,these


Korean doesn't really distinguish between singular and plural in grammar, so "this" and "these" are the same word, 이 (pronounced pretty much like the name of the letter E in English).

이 also means tooth. Two words that are pronounced the same.

Like how "bat" in English can be a wooden stick for hitting a ball, or a flying mammal: two words that are pronounced the same.

Or if you were wondering how something that's just one vowel sound can be a word, consider the English word "eye" -- it's spelled with three letters but pronounced with just one vowel sound.


This should have been 'child' it shows 'this'


"child" is 아이, not just 이.


Woah slow down there. So constantly, when the members of BTS teach western people English, their default phrase is sometimes "Jimin I Pabo" which translates to jimin is an idiot. So why does I = this if i can say "I Pabo"


The same word can have multiple meanings.

Consider the meaning of the word "like" in these two sentences:

  • Time flies like an arrow.
  • Fruit flies like bananas.

In the first case, "like" is a preposition meaning "similar to" -- Time flies in a way that is similar to how an arrow flies.

In the second case, "like" is a verb meaning "be fond of, appreciate" -- fruit flies like to eat fruit such as bananas.

So also in Korean -- 이 is not only a noun "tooth" and a demonstrative "this" but also a subject marker.

In "Jimin-i babo", it's the subject marker (which doesn't get translated into Engish). In "i babo", it's the demonstrative (this idiot).

So you have to look at the sentence to see which meaning is intended.

Like with the word "like" in my two example sentences above.

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