How do you type in Korean *properly?*

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New Member
English & Japanese
I hope this question does not come up too often, but I cannot find a solution that directly answers my question so hopefully someone can help.

I cannot type well in Korean. For some reason, I cannot just figure out how to 'terminate' a completed hangul symbol, creating run-on character sets that aren't intended.

Am I thinking too much in the way Chinese and Japanese is typed on a keyboard? In Japanese and Chinese, you usually have to 'confirm' what you typed with an enter, or another keyboard press to finalize it. I was assuming Korean had some sort of similiar system, in the sense that I had to finalize the word so if I have a word that just has "K + A" I can continue on to the next word without accidently adding the 3rd or 4th part (a pachim?)

Is it all automatic in Korean typing? Thank you.

  • Hi!

    You don't have to confirm with an enter. It's a bit hard to explain..
    In Japanes and Chinese, you don't have to do 'spacing words' and Chinese characters (Kanji) are used, so the finalizing is needed.

    Just like in English, when you typed 'a word' in Korean you just have to use the 'space bar' to separate a word from the next one.

    You don't have to worry about accidently adding the 3rd or 4th part to the next word because in Korean writing system a word(or a syllable) always starts with 'a consonant'.

    For example, when you want to type '안녕' you just type 'ㅇ ㅏ ㄴ ㄴ ㅕ ㅇ' orderly.
    The first 'ㄴ' stays in the first syllable and the second 'ㄴ' opens up the next syllable.

    This seems so complicated but no need to think too much.
    It's all automatic!

    Good luck. :)


    New Member
    English & Japanese
    Thank you very much for your kind help. I think I was overanalyzing and making it overtly confusing for myself. I am happy now! Many thanks once again.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Just to add a small historical note. There was a brief period when Korean input software wasn't quite as smart as it is now, in which you needed to distinguish (by hitting a different key) between initial and final consonants. If you pressed the key for an initial ㄱ, for instance, instead of the (in those days) different key for a final ㄱ , the machine got into just the sort of muddle you fear and couldn't correctly assemble the Hangeul character you wanted.

    But nowadays, you don't have to worry about consonant positions. There's just one key for each consonant irrespective of where it's placed within the Hangeul block and the software does all the clever Hangeul-composition stuff for you.

    The upshot is that there's no separate composition buffer, requiring user choice from proposed alternatives, as there is when typing Chinese characters. Your input goes directly into the application and you can watch the machine guessing which Hangeul character you intend, then correcting itself as you go along if your next keystroke shows it guessed wrongly first time round. If you watch scenes in Korean movies or dramas showing text being typed on to a computer screen you will see the characters actually changing in this way as the user types (Arabic entry systems do a similar trick, rewriting characters on screen depending on whether they turn out to be in initial, medial or final position).

    But there are still some textbooks on CHKV data systems where the sections on Hangeul keyboards are 20+ years or so out of date, so some people don't realize how very easy it now all is.

    Of course, if you want to insert Hanja into a predominantly Hangeul text, then you do need the composition buffer. "Real" Korean keyboards have a 한자 key (usually left of the spacebar). You type the reading in Hangeul, then press the 한자 key and up pops a picklist of candidate Hanja (along with their Korean meanings in most IMEs) for you to choose from..
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