You will have noticed that some of the consonants are represented by two roman letters, for example ㄱ:k/g, ㄷ: t/d and ㅂ:p/b. When these consonants end an individual syllable, we use the k, t, p set of sounds but the sound is cut off. The same thing can happen in English. Say the words pot, pop, pock very quickly. You will find that you don’t actually make the t, p, k sounds at the ends of the words. Your mouth goes to a position to make the sounds but doesn’t go through with it. We say that these end consonants are ‘unreleased’. While in English you can say these words more clearly and enunciate the end consonants, in Korean these t, k, p end consonants are always unreleased when we say a syllable on its own.

But when we run syllables together, the end sound can shift depending on what follows. Again the same thing applies in English. Say the following sentences quickly, and with a bit of a drawl:

look over there
sit on the chair
drop in some time

When you say these quickly, you always sound the k, t, and p at the end of ‘look’, ‘sit’ and ‘drop’. But the sound can also slide: k to g, t to d and p to b. If you say these consonants in pairs, you will see that the way you use your mouth to make them is very close. So when you talk quickly, it is very easy to slide from one to the other. Another example is the phrase ‘sit down’. When you say it quickly, it naturally becomes ‘siddown’. It takes more effort to make distinct t and d sounds and you have to talk more slowly.

People generally like to speak quickly, and the sound shift allows that with minimum effort. Look at the Korean word for ‘think’:
생각해요 = Saeng-kak-hae-yo

The romanization represents the pronunciation if you say it very slowly, one syllable at a time. Practise these separately and then say them quickly, running them together. You will find that the sounds shift a bit and a smooth and natural pronunciation is saenggakaeyo.

For the same reason :

1) 책이  is not  chaek-i  but  chaegi
2) 먹어요  is not  meok-eo-yo  but  meogeoyo
3) 미안합니다  is not  mi-an-hap-ni-ta  but  mianhamnida
4) 한글  is not  han-keul  but  hangeul

If you have any confusion, pls ask me.

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  1. Hi, may i ask this. i tried to look for the meaning that you provide examples, that chaegi and meogeoyo. i found it, it was books and eat right? i wanna ask, why when we write the words,(i use google translate) when we put a space between those two syallables it comes in different meaning? sorry if it confusing u ;)

  2. It's ok.I love it when ppl ask me because it shows that you're learning.Thank you.For your quest, of course we cant put a space in between because it is in one word. As an examples chaegi.The actual word is chaek which means book.It becomes chaegi when we wanna use that word in our daily conversation.In other words, the "i" at the back is just what we called remuneration or "imbuhan" in malay. It has no meaning. My advice is,just learn my notes. I really dont reccommend any online translation bcoz it is too formal and sometimes can even translate wrongly. Otherwise,when you're really good in Korean,then it's ok to use that because you can differentiate between the formal and informal words.

  3. Thanks so much, i keep learning from your blog, but now i'm quite busy with my current studies. I'll learn some more from you. Gomawo, what can i cal u? Sunbaenim? :D

  4. Thank you for learning. Hopefully my notes could help you improves your korean. Just called me any names that you want. Sunbaenim is also fine eventhough I think that I really don't deserves that yet :)

  5. i am sorry maybe i am to stupid but i am little confused about this lesson can you help somehow ??? and i am sorry for inturupt