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Korean Lesson 5: The Two Number Systems

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Korean Lesson 5: The Two Number Systems

Professor Oh teaches you the two number systems used in Korea: the Native & Sino-Korean Systems. When do you use what? Watch to find out:

The Native Korean Numbers:

1 = 하나 (ha-na)
2 = 둘 (dool)
3 = 셋 (seht)
4 = 넷 (heht)
5 = 다섯 (da-suht)
6 = 여섯 (yuh-suht)
7 = 일곱 (eel-gop)
8 = 여덟 (yuh-duhl)
9 = 아홉 (ah-hop)
10 = 열 (yuhl)

20 = 스물 (seu-mool)
30 = 서른 (suh-reun)
40 = 마흔 (ma-heun)
50 = 쉰 (shwin)
60 = 예순 (yeh-soon)
70 = 일흔 (eel-heun)
80 = 여든 (yuh-deun
90 = 아흔 (ah-heun)
100 = 온 (ohn)


When numbers go beyond 10, you create combinations. For example, to say the number 13, you'd combine 10 and 3 (see image below).

10 + 3 = 13
YUHL + SEHT = YUHLSEHT

native korean number 15

What about the 20s, 30s and beyond? For example, you want to say 37. You combine 30 and 7 together (see image below).

30 + 7 = 37
SUH-REUN + EEL-GOP = SUH-REUN EEL-GOP

native korean numbers

The Sino-Korean Number System:

1 = 일 (eel)
2 = 이 (ee)
3 = 삼 (sahm)
4 = 사 (sah)
5 = 오 (oh)
6 = 육 (yook)
7 = 칠 (cheel)
8 = 팔 (pahl)
9 = 구 (goo)
10 = 십 (ship)

11 = 십일 (ship eel)
12 = 십이 (ship ee)
13 = 십삼 (ship sahm)
14 = 십사 (ship sah)
15 = 십오 (ship oh)
16 = 십육 (ship yook)
17 = 십칠 (ship cheel)
18 = 십팔 (ship pahl)
19 = 십구 (ship goo)
 

20 = 이십 (ee ship)
30 = 삼십 (sahm ship)
40 = 사십 (sah ship)
50 = 오십 (oh ship)
60 = 육십 (yook ship)
70 = 칠십 (cheel ship)
80 = 팔십 (pahl ship)
90 = 구십 (goo ship)
100 = 백 (baek)

The Sino-Korean Number System is similar to the Native Korean System, however has its differences. Notice how the number 30 is literally 3 (sahm) and 10 (ship) combined together. Three tens make a thirty.

How do you say the number 21 using the Sino-Korean Number System? You say 2, 10 and 1. In this exact order. EE, SHIP, EEL.

How do you say the number 21 using the Sino-Korean Number System? You say 2, 10 and 1. In this exact order. EE, SHIP, EEL.

To learn more about the Sino-Korean Number System and how to tell the date in Korean, you are invited to watch KWOW episode 15:



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Korean Lesson 4: Diphthongs (Complex + Compound Vowels)

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Korean Lesson 4: Diphthongs (Complex + Compound Vowels)

Diphthong. It's a funny word. Try not to divide it into two. As naughty as the term may sound, diphthongs are actually complex and compound vowels. You'll see them in Korean text on a daily basis.

Let's learn about diphthongs with Professor Oh in Lesson 4:

There are 11 diphthongs in the Korean language. A diphthong starts with one vowel sound and ends with another.

The diphthongs in alphabetical order.

The diphthongs in alphabetical order.

Diphthongs rearranged to show repetitive patterns.

Diphthongs rearranged to show repetitive patterns.

How to pronounce the diphthongs when they are combined with the silent consonant (the circle in red).

How to pronounce the diphthongs when they are combined with the silent consonant (the circle in red).


Some of the diphthongs (when paired with the silent consonant) are a word. For example, YEH means the formal "yes" in Korean.

Some of the diphthongs (when paired with the silent consonant) are a word. For example, YEH means the formal "yes" in Korean.

Billy Jin demonstrating how to use YEH when speaking to your elders.

Billy Jin demonstrating how to use YEH when speaking to your elders.


WEH means "why" in Korean.

WEH means "why" in Korean.

Granny Kim asks Billy Jin why her hair is so big using the diphthong WEH.

Granny Kim asks Billy Jin why her hair is so big using the diphthong WEH.

Congratulations to the CF girl on making her debut on "Let's Learn Korean with Professor Oh"!

Congratulations to the CF girl on making her debut on "Let's Learn Korean with Professor Oh"!


To download the following worksheet, right click on your mouse. Then press "Save Image as..." and save to your intended location. Have fun practicing your Korean skills!

korean lesson 4 worksheet


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Korean Lesson 3: The 5 Double Consonants

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Korean Lesson 3: The 5 Double Consonants

Professor Oh teaches double consonants in the Korean alphabet. We pair them up with the AH vowel and learn how to pronounce them.

Consonant twinsies! Good news: there are only five double consonants to memorize.

double consonants

Some of the characters shown above are actually words.

BAH BBAH means "busy."

BAH BBAH means "busy."

SSAH means "cheap."

SSAH means "cheap."

JJAH means "salty." It can also mean "stingy."

JJAH means "salty." It can also mean "stingy."

To download the following worksheet, right click on your mouse. Then press "Save Image as..." and save to your intended location. Have fun practicing your Korean skills!

lesson 3 worksheet


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