sometimes I get a little annoyed when people claim that they can pronounce all Korean words easily once they learn Hangul. It’s a mistaken view that Korean has a transparent spelling system, unlike English. There are alot of rules and regulations when it comes to pronunciation. Some are learned easily as they apply to all words, but some are only applied to certain 한자 characters and there are exceptions here and there.
Almost 3 years into learning Korean, I still feel that I’m inadequate in many aspects and I’m gradually refining my pronunciation. Thought I’ll share the stuff that I’ve learned on this blog ^^ It helps me consolidate what I’ve learnt (since I’m reading the original text in Korean) and I hope it’s helpful to others too.
When 한자 starts with ‘녀, 뇨, 뉴, 니’, it will be written and pronounced as ‘여,요,유,이’
예) 여자 (女子）
In non-initial positions, it is written and pronounced as 녀,뇨,뉴,니
However, in cases of a bound noun, 냐 and 녀 can be written and pronounced in this way
예) 년 – 삼년 (三年）
In the case where another 한자 acts like a prefix to form a complex noun, the hanja behind which starts with the above sounds will be written as 여,요,유,이 even though it is pronounced as if the ㄴ is there. (okay, i know it sounds confusing)
예) 신여성( 新女性 ) [신녀성]
In the case where a native noun is added in front, it follows the same principle as the rule right above.
예) 한국여자대학 ( 女子大學) [한궁녀자대학]
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll try to post up more next time! ^^