How to activate your Korean keyboard

I've seen it asked a few times, including in some sentence discussions, so here a quick note on how to activate the Korean keyboard on your computer. I'll update it if any thing is not exactly accurate (or if it's different depending on the version of the OS you're using).

If you are on mac, you simply go into the Preferences, followed by the Languages Text panel, followed by the Input Sources tab. There you can look for Korean (maybe called Hangul, not sure). In that submenu, you can pick the one you want. I suggest choosing 2-set Korean as it is the most widely used (also on physical keyboards in Korean). Get a picture like this one to help you remember during the first few days or weeks (you'll learn fast enough).


(shift-letter for double letters)

You can easily switch between keyboards using either a shortcut keyboard combination (in my case, command-spacebar) or by clicking the icon in your top menu bar.

For Windows, I got my information from here (not personal experience). Also check @KateVinee's comment below.

Windows 8:

  • open the control panel
  • select "clock, language and region"
  • Under the “Language” category, click “Add a language"
  • Click “Add a language”. Then, scroll down to section “K” to find Korean.
  • Select “Korean” and click “Add”.
  • The Korean keyboard option is now available. You will notice that there is a language button (“ENG”) at the far right end of the taskbar. You will use it to toggle between English and Korean keyboards.

Windows 7

  • Open the Control Panel.
  • Select “Clock, Language and Region”.
  • Under the “Region and Language” category, click “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods”; “Region and Language” dialog box will pop up.
  • Under the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click “Change Keyboards”.
  • The top half of the panel is “Default Input Language” - do not change it. The bottom half is “Installed Services”. In it, click “Add”; “Add Input Language” box will pop up.
  • Scroll down and find “Korean”; expand the + sign next to “Korean”; expand the + sign next to “keyboard”
  • Check “Microsoft IME” (2nd box). Do not check "Korean" (1st box) or "Show More” (3rd box).
  • Click “OK”.
  • Click “Apply” and “OK”. (If you want to deactivate this option in the future, simply take the steps in reverse.)
  • The Korean keyboard option is now available. At this point, you will see a language bar (marked “EN” [for English]) in the lower right corner of your screen.

I initially installed a set of stickers to help me remember the position of the letters on my laptop. For macbook I used the ones I mention here (outside link containing sponsored content) and more than a year later, they are still perfectly in place. You can also simply search your favorite (online) retailer directly of course using the "Korean Keyboard Stickers" keywords.

October 19, 2017


Also, if you're on Windows (I don't know about Mac), there is a separate toggle for Hangul/Latin alphabet.

What I mean is, there's a button for which keyboard you're using:

...and clicking on it shows your list of keyboards (I have three: regular US English, international English, and Korean):

...but once you've selected Korean, you then also have the Hangul/Latin toggle next to it, which you can change either by clicking on it or by hitting the RIGHT ALT key on your keyboard. (Note that it must be the RIGHT-side Alt key; the left-side Alt key won't work.)

Edited to add: I also printed out the keyboard layout graphic on this site and put it above my computer, since I don't have keyboard stickers.

October 19, 2017

If you only need the keyboard for duolingo you can use DuoKeyboard. It supports Korean layout Dubeolisk and Sebeolsik as well as Korean Revised Romanization! Available for: Chrome, Firefox and Opera

It changes your keyboard input and provides and shows you the keyboard layout if you need to learn the layout of the keyboard

October 24, 2017

Thanks for the information! (Gave you a lingot.)

I have a question. How easy is it to learn the new keyboard with the new lesson layout? I have learnt most of the Hebrew keyboard and some of the Russian by stabbing around the keyboard until I found the right key, but I'm scared it won't work with the new lesson layout where the popup answer covers up what I'm typing. (That is a good feature for better recall once you know the keyboard, but before...!)

Is it still possible to learn a keyboard solely through Duolingo?

October 19, 2017

I already knew how to type before getting started with Duolingo. At first, I practiced a bit with this tool. I became better in my day to day use when I started writing texts on Lang-8.

Bottom line, there is no one way. Keep practicing, it will come fast enough. Did you notice in 2-set Korean layout, consonants are on the left, vowels are on the right? The most common ones are right beneath the resting position of your fingers.

I presume Duolingo will help you get there too.

Maybe try to remember the popup answer in your head, type what you remember and then get double check by hovering over it again?

Or take a pen and paper next to your computer and practice writing them then? That might actually help you learn the very important skill of writing in Korean, indispensable if you ever get into a Korean language program. In this case, make sure you first learn the right order to write the strokes in the letter... better avoid building bad habits.

October 20, 2017

Thanks so much!!! gave you a lingot

October 20, 2017
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