September 8, 2017



The modern Korean attitude is to transliterate sounds nowadays. It’s—in a way—taking the extreme position of divorcing from 漢字.

Some traditionalists that have more conservative views insist that is more proper to acknowledge the underlying 漢字 and pronounce the words as such.

도쿄동경 (東京)

베이징북경 (北京)

베트남월남 (越南)

상하이상해 (上海)

In my opinion, this kind of transliteration is a half-baked attempt to sound like the source language. The 한글 transliterations usually miss a few details of the actual pronunciation in of source language.

Japanese [toː.kjoː] versus Korean [to.kʰjo]

Mandarin [pei˨˩.t͡ɕiŋ˥] versus Korean [pe.i.d͡ʑiŋ]

Vietnamese [viɜt̚˧ˀ˨ʔ.naːm˧] versus Korean [pe.dʱɯ.nam]

This is not done in Chinese where a place like Osaka (大阪) is actually called [ta˥˩.pan˨˩˦] in Mandarin rather than a phonetic approximation.

I’m reminded of the time Ivory Coast tried to make the world use a transliteration of its name—which is French—instead of its calque or translation. Of course, many of the countries just continued using the calque or translation.

All of the following mean “ivory coast” or something of that nature:

  • Ivory Coast (English) Well, duh!
  • Côte d'Ivoire (French) Well, duh!
  • Costa de Marfil (Spanish)
  • Costa do Marfim (Portuguese)
  • Costa d'Avorio (Italian)
  • Elfenbeinküste (German)
  • Ivoorkust (Dutch)
  • Wybrzeże Kości Słoniowej (Polish)
  • Fildişi Sahili (Turkish)
  • Ακτή Ελεφαντοστού (Greek)
  • Обала Слоноваче (Serbian)
  • ​ساحل العاج (Arabic)
  • 坡𣷭牙 → Bờ Biển Ngà (Vietnamese)
  • 象牙海岸 xiàng yá hǎi àn (Taiwanese Mandarin)

Here are the names that do try to imitate the French:

  • 科特迪瓦 kē tè dí wǎ (Mainland Mandarin)
    • fō dahk dihk ngáh (Cantonese)
  • 코트디부아르 ko teu di bu a reu (Korean)
  • コートジボワール koo to ji bo waa ru (Japanese)
  • Кот-д’Ивуар (Russian) They even kept the apostrophe!
  • Côte d'Ivoire (Tagalog) 0 for plagarism!


Korean ->(tohkyo)/(도쿄) English ->(Tokyo)


도쿄노래 = Tokyo song?


yes correct but space between them 도쿄 노래


It's an unaspirated consonant. The unaspirated consonant is pronounced differently depending on their position in a word.

ㄷ- Initial Sound~ t- Middle Sound~ -d- Final Sound~ -t

Hope this helps.


Why is it 도 쿄 and not 토 쿄?


If you transliterate Tokyo (as an English word) to Korean, it is 토쿄, but there's no point in transliterating multiple times through different languages. It is 도쿄 because when と is the first letter of a word, it is most similar to 도.


You are awesome! Thanks! I could see that you are learning many languages :)


I guess it's because ㅌ is more forced "T" whereas ㄷ is a sound in between "D" and "T"


Yeah maybe, I also thought the same


because it is what the korean king said


In Korean its pronounced Dokyo not Tokyo so if you are ever typing in Korean when talking about Tokyo, write 도쿄 :)


It’s most definitely not “dokyo”… Korean does not have an equivalent sound to transcribe that.


Oh yeahhhh~ it's Dokyo! Wait, is it tokyo or doktyo???? I'm confused


You mean king Sejong made it??? Overwatch


Its the same thing, really, but it just depends on how you say it. But again, it doesn't really matter anyway because "d" and "t" make the same sound in the Hangul alphabet


The ㄷ in the beginning is pronounced ㅌ


is never pronounced like in the initial position or between vowels. Although it is slightly aspirated, it is not strongly aspirated like . However, they are both t; English does not make a distinction between the different pronunciations of t so the same letter represents many different sounds including those represented by and .

What Pronunciations the Consonants are NOT


I got confused with the same thing.


That´s the same question that I am in


Why is the first place that I learn in Korean (and approximately the fourth word altogether) a city in Japan? (I'm not trying to be snarky, I am simply curious what sparked the decision to choose this particular word in the acquisition of knowledge of the Korean language and, for some, potential survival in travel to the country, which to the best of my knowledge, is NOT where Tokyo is located!)


It's to help you learn Korean by using the characters we've been learning to write words. Also it's actually the 9th word we've learnt:

  1. This/These
  2. Child
  3. Milk
  4. Yes/Instances
  5. Raincoat
  6. Stomach
  7. Song
  8. Ant
  9. Tokyo.


wait I missed this/these then! i've been taking notes and Tokyo is my eighth word...


Tokyo is the third word I've gotten, and I started about 3 days ago. Song and ant were before it.

Looks like the beta is being reworked quite a bit.


Duo mixes up the problems, so it may be the 9th word for you, but the 4th for another person.


And also in the word choice there's really only one answer, so it's impossible to get wrong.


I missed Raincoat Stomach :-(

  1. Child
  2. Milk

I don’t recall learning those separately in this course… It was always “child milk.” Maybe I breezed through too quickly to notice.


한국어를 배우는데, 구지 tokyo 라는 일본의 수도를 예시로 사용하는 이유를 모르겠네요, 차라리 Seoul 이라든지 Busan 이라든지 많을텐데요.


why can't it be 도교?


개미-ant (?????) 아이-child (ai) 이-this ( i ) 우유-milk (uyu) 여ㅣ- yes (ye) 위-above (wi) 노래-song (?????) 뽀뽀-kiss (?????)

Please answer this ☝


개미= Gaemi. Your yes spelling is incorrect. It's, 예. 노래= Norae. Pronounced- Noore. 뽀뽀= Ppo ppo. Pronounced- poppo. There you go. :)


How do you know when ㅃ is B or P ?



based on this, it seems korean does not differentiate those consonants (or g&k, d&t, j&ch) like english does. Rather, they differentiate based on if it is "plain", tensed, or aspirated. that post helped me a lot, hopefully it will be useful


I wrote Dokyo and it was right


한국어 배우는데 뜬금없는 도쿄....


Remember the times we had

The times you and me had


This all is soo confusing


Is it like the city Tokyo, Japan?


Hiw about b and p?is that the same as d and t?


They have similar sounds. Follow my page

[deactivated user]

    what is the difference between ㅋ and ㄱ


    Allegedly, ㄱ is plain and ㅋ is aspirated. I don't really get what that means. But I do notice that ㄱ is more like (not exactly) a "g" at the first of a syllable and more like a "k" at the end. ㅋ always seems to clearly sound exactly a "k".


    There's only an option to choose


    Pls i always remember momo when learning this lmaoooo


    Its written as "dokyo" what about "tokyo"?


    gcf in tokyo.




    why are we learning how to say "tokyo" in korean. why not like seoul or busan or something XD


    Why is it 도쿄 instead of 토쿄 (_/) ( •-• ) / vv \


    Every word has its own spelling in every language, it can't be changed


    Your question has been asked many times, and answered about twice or thrice.


    Maybe these will hlp my pronounciation but its really dificult for me to say hmm so sad


    I like how its literaly saying its name just with a accent.


    나는 열렬한 팬 태형


    What is the meaning of "Tokyo"


    I think he making us Fool because please 1 time Try this When you have to Speak don't speak the Word which is give speak other Word or Speak it Wrong But he tell you That you Speak right Word For example When he give me to Speak Tokyo I just Speak no and he tell me that I Speak it right

    Please try this and please Share your Experience

    Take Care amd I hope you will meet BTS Soon

    Related Discussions

    Learn Korean in just 5 minutes a day. For free.