Jamo

Introduction

The jamo is the set of consonants and vowels used in Korean Hangul. The word jamo is derived from ja, which means consonant, and mo, which means vowel. The Jamo represent sounds similar to the way how Latin letters represent sounds. A Korean syllable consists of a lead consonant, a medial vowel and a tail consonant. To write syllables with an initial vowel, a special sign for a mute lead consonant must be used. In open syllables (syllables ending in a vowel), the tail consonant is omitted. Isolated vowels can be considered regular syllables with a mute initial and a missing tail.

Number Tail Jamo Character

The total number of tail consonants is 27; some of them are very rarely used in modern Korean. Most of the tail consonants can also appear as leads; the Jamo for these consonant pairs look very similar. Tail consonant 21 ㅇ (NG) corresponds to the mute lead consonant ㅇ (12).

1 G
2 GG
3 GS
4 N
5 NJ
6 NH
7 D
8 L
9 LG
10 LM
11 LB
12 LS
13 LT
14 LP
15 LH
16 M
17 B
18 BS
19 S
20 SS
21 NG
22 J
23 C
24 K
25 T
26 P
27 H

Number Vowel Jamo Character

There are 21 vowels in Korean. Some of these vowels are classified as diphthongs in other languages. Some vowels contain a Y as part of the vowel.

1 A
2 AE
3 YA
4 YAE
5 EO
6 E
7 YEO
8 YE
9 O
10 WA
11 WAE
12 OE
13 YO
14 U
15 WEO
16 WE
17 WI
18 YU
19 EU
20 YI
21 I

Number Lead Jamo Character

There are 19 different lead consonants, including the mute consonant. The following table gives these consonants in their canonical order, and their Unicode values. Consonant number 12 is the mute consonant.

1 G
2 GG
3 N
4 D
5 DD
6 R
7 M
8 B
9 BB
10 S
11 SS
12
13 J
14 JJ
15 C
16 K
17 T
18 P
19 H

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