Ch'ang Hon Taekwon-Do

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The pronunciation of Korean words (i.e., pattern names, commands, etc.) often seems difficult.  Part of this difficulty is in establishing sounds in the English language, which correspond to Korean vowels and consonants.  This web page and the two pages linked below [Korean-English Dictionary and English-Korean Dictionary] contain many Korean words in their Romanized form which are often used in Taekwon-Do classes.  The lack of a direct correlation between many of the Korean Han-Geul characters and the English alphabet has made the Romanization of Korean words a varied and controversial issue over the years.  During most of the last century, the Romanization of Korean words was often carried out using the McCune-Reischauer transliteration method.  In 2000, the South Korean Government established a standard method for this transliteration.  This method has been used in all of the dictionary entries contained on this website, with the exception of most proper names and a few commonly accepted terms used in Taekwon-Do since its inception.  For more a detailed discussion concerning this subject, and a complete list of Korean words used in the various forms of the art of Taekwon-Do, please refer to “A Martial Artist’s Guide to Korean Terms, Translation, and Han-Gul”  (ISBN 1-884583-00-8).

To aid in the pronunciation of Korean words and enable the student to more readily look up Korean words, several interesting sets of characters are listed below.

The Korean alphabet has two “o” type character pronunciations which are confusing -- an “o” which is pronounced like the “o” in “rope”, and an “eo” which is pronounced like the “au” in “caught”.
The Korean alphabet has two “u” type character pronunciations which are sometimes confusing --  a “u” which is pronounced like the “oo” in “root”, and an “eu” which is pronounced like the “u” in “cup”.The Korean alphabet has three “b” or “p” type character pronunciations which are sometimes confusing – a “b” which is pronounced like the “b” in “begin”, a more aspirated “p” which is pronounced like the “p” in “punch”, and a more sharply aspirated “pp” which is pronounced like the “p” in “spill”.The Korean alphabet has three “j” or “ch” type characters which are sometimes confused in pronunciation – a “j” which is pronounced like the “j” in “judge”, a more aspirated “ch” which is pronounced like the “ch” in “champ”, and a more sharply aspirated “tch” which is pronounced like the “t” in “trick”.The Korean alphabet has three “d” or “t” type character pronunciations which are sometimes confused in pronunciation – a “d” which is pronounced like the “d” in “dog”, a more aspirated “t” which is pronounced like the “t” in “tackle”, and a more sharply aspirated “tt” which is pronounced like the “t” in “tip”.The Korean alphabet has three “g” or “k” type characters which are sometimes confused in pronunciation – a “g” which is pronounced like the “g” in “game”, a more aspirated “k” which is pronounced like the “k” in “karma”, and a more sharply aspirated “kk” which is pronounced like the “k” in “skill”.The Korean alphabet has two “s” type character pronunciations which are sometimes confused in pronunciation – an “s” which is pronounced like the “s” in “sample”, and a sharper “ss” which is pronounced like the “s” in “simple”.