- Hangeul Poster Korean alphabet
The Korean alphabet is called Hangeul. Each letter in Hangeul indicates an individual sound or phoneme.
Hangeul is an alphabet system made by King Sejong in 1443 during the Joseon dynasty; the alphabet was initially called Hunminjeongeum.
Hunminjeongeum means "the right sound to teach the people". Until then, Korea had an oral language but not a native alphabet, so Idu--modified Chinese characters to the sound and structure of Korean--was used. However, this did not match with the structure of Korean and it was very inconvenient to indicate Korean sounds.
Therefore, King Sejong continued research to make an alphabet that matched the structure of Korean, and was easy to learn and write. In the end, there was a total of 28 letters, which consisted of 11 vowels and 17 consonants.
In the meantime, useless letters were deleted while necessary ones were added; hence 21 vowels and 19 consonants are currently being used in contemporary Korean.