Geulja Geek: ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, and ㅊ

Welcome to part 2 of our series, Geulja Geek (geulja = letter). If you haven’t read Part 1, I highly recommend starting from there. It gives some context on things to look at when learning to read/write Korean as well as details that need special attention for those interested in type design.

Part 1: ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, and ㅁ
Part 2: ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, and ㅊ
Part 3: ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ,  and ㅎ
Part 4: 아, 야, 어, 여, 오, and 요

Let’s get started with this months letters: ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, and ㅊ


Hangul Character: 

Character Name: Bieup
Pronunciation: Between a b and p sound

When at the beginning of a character block bieup is closer to a b sound and when at the end of a character block it is closer to a p sound. There is a letter that is strictly for the p sound so it won’t ever sound like a harsh p.
Geulja Geek - Bieup


Hangul Character:
Character Name: Shiot
Pronunciation: S or sh sound

This one gets a bit confusing sometimes as it makes both the s and sh sound. When paired with the i sound it’s pronounced as shi. And when paired with other vowels it’s pronounced as s. There are other exceptions to this rule, but for now remembering this much is good.
Geulja Geek - Shiot


Hangul Character:
Character Name: Ieung
Pronunciation: Silent or an ng sound

It’s easy to distinguish if it ieung is silent or not. If a character block starts with a vowel sound ieung will take the space of the beginning consonant. Meaning, if a character block starts with ieung, the ieung is silent. If ieung is at the end of a character block then it’s pronounced with an ng sound.
Geulja Geek - Ieung


Hangul Character: 
Character Name: Jieut
Pronunciation: Between a j and ch sound

Jieut is normally written with the stroke order as displayed in the stroke order diagram. When shown as it is in the modern and original styles this is normally applies to typefaces rather than everyday handwriting.Geulja Geek - Jieut


Hangul Character: 
Character Name: Chieut
Pronunciation: A ch sound

Just like jieut, chieut can be written in two ways and the same principles apply to chieut. My guess on how this letter evolved is that the version used for handwriting, as shown in the stroke order diagram, uses one less stroke which makes it easier to write. To write the original style stroke 2 would be separated into a horizontal stroke and downward stroke, so after time people started to combine those two strokes. Geulja Geek - Chieut
Don’t worry if this sounds confusing right now as we’ve only introduced the first few consonants but we’ll go into more detail when we cover combining sounds. Do you have any favorite letters so far? Let us know which one and why in the comments below!

Part 1: ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, and ㅁ
Part 2: ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, and ㅊ
Part 3: ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ,  and ㅎ
Part 4: 아, 야, 어, 여, 오, and 요

Typefaces used:
Gothic (top): Nanum Gothic
Gothis (bottom): Dohyeon
Myeongjo: Un Batang
Modern: Shin Graphic
Handwritten: Nanum Songulshi
Original: Heumjeonguem

  • Annabelle

    I’m enjoying this series so much! It’s super informative and well designed. I eagerly await the next part!

  • Jason

    Thanks for this! I look forward to the rest of the series.