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In many countries around the world, many peoples have their own languages but a smaller number of peoples have their own written characters. Koreans have their own unique alphabet and language. The alphabet is called 'Han-geul'. Han-geul was created during the Joseon Dynasty(1393~1910) under King Sejong for Korean people. At that time, Han-geul was called ‘Huminjeongeum’ and only in the 20th century, people began to use the name, Han-geul.
Han-geul is a phonemic writing system, and it consists of letters for consonants and vowels. Unlike general phonemic writing systems such as the Roman Alphabet, it was uniquely designed to combine consonant letters and vowel letters into syllabic units. For example, a word, '사람(man)' is written like '사람' not like 'ㅅ ㅏ ㄹ ㅏ ㅁ'. The syllable as a letter is divided into three positions: the initial sound, the medial sound, and the final consonant. Any one among 19 consonant letters can be an initial sound. 'ㅇ' among those 19 letters does not have a sound. For example, in case of '우유(milk)', two 'ㅇ' s are just there filling the space without making any sound in '' and '' Any one among 21 vowel letters can be a medial sound. One out of 16 single consonant letters(This is called Hotbatchim ;ㄱ,ㅋ,ㄲ,ㄴ,ㄷ,ㅌ,ㅅ,ㅈ,ㅊ,ㅎ,ㅆ,ㄹ,ㅁ,ㅂ,ㅍ,ㅇ) and 11 double consonant letters(This is called Gyeopbatchim ; ㄳ,ㄵ,ㄶ,ㄺ,ㄻ,ㄼ,ㄽ,ㄾ,ㄿ,ㅀ,ㅄ) can fill the final consonant location.
(The National Institute of the Korean Language; www.korean.or.kr)
- ① is called Choseong(consonant), ② is Jungseong(vowel), and ③ is Batchim
     (final consonant). There are letters with or without Batchim.

- Hotbatchim letters have a Batchim with only one final consonant. ⇒ 책, 손, 물

- Gyeopbatchim letters have a Batchim with two final consosnants. ⇒ 삶, 흙, 값