Pronouncing Korean can be difficult given the many exceptions to basic pronunciation rules. In many cases, words seemingly simple have a different pronunciation from their 한글 spelling. Below are listed the most common words that have a different pronunciation from their spelling. These common words were selected among words 1501-2000 from the book A Frequency Dictionary of Korean. This list will be updated with relevant pronunciation guides on KoniKorean when available.
Notes about the table:
- Rank corresponds to the rank in A Frequency Dictionary of Korean, from most common in the Korean language to least common.
- Pronunciation was extracted from the Naver Dictionary of Korean.
- Words with especially tricky pronunciation are in yellow rows.
- Meaning is presented for quick reference; many words have different meanings depending on context.
- The colon : indicates that the preceding syllable is a long one.
|← Cf. Part 2 for words 1001-1500|
|1510||거짓말||거:진말||a lie||⚠️Common mistake for beginners.|
|1523||결정하다||결쩡하다||to decide||Cf. #1290 of Pt. 2.|
|1597||연극||연:극||play (theater)||⚠️ Not pronounced [영극 (X)], the ㄴ sound
needs to be pronounced separately from 극.
|1605||건강||건:강||health||Same as #1597.|
|1618||닭||닥||chicken||Consequently, 닭고기 is pronounced [닥꼬기].|
|1624||제공하다||제공하다||to provide||⚠️ Not pronounced [제꽁하다 (X)].|
|1628||대중||대:중||the public||⚠️ Not pronounced .|
|1650||손가락||손까락||finger||⚠️ Common mistake by foreign learners.|
|1661||관련하다||괄련하다||to be related to||Cf. #831 of Pt. 1|
|1735||신라||실라||One of the Ancient
Kingdoms of Korea
|Also the name of a Chaebol
(신라백화점, 신라호텔, etc.)
|1742||이튿날||이튼날||the next day||⚠️ "two days" is written 이틀.|
|1749||밟다||밥:따||to step on|
|1780||붉다||북따||to be red (crismon)|
|1783||맑다||막따||to be clear|
|1800||인기||인끼||popularity||⚠️ One of the most frequent errors made by learners of Korean.|
|1804||불과하다||불과하다||to be just (~merely)||⚠️ Not pronounced [불꽈하다 (X)].|
|1854||없애다||업쌔다||to eliminate||⚠️ Not pronounced [업새다 (X)].
The ㅅ of 없 needs to be accentuated (ㅆ).
|1856||훈련||훌련||a drill (e.g. military)|
|1874||정리하다||정:니하다||to arrange, clean|
|1877||한국인||한:구긴||Korean person||Same as #1597.|
during the colonial war
|1943||실시하다||실씨하다||to implement/carry out|
|1982||문자||문자||character, letter||⚠️ When 문자 is pronounced [문짜], it means
a "message" sent through cellphone.