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Did you know that you can learn to read Korean in just 15 minutes? No, for serious! I made a guide just for you!

Free downloadable version:
Manuel Galli's profile photoKim Barclay's profile photoSharone G.'s profile photoSir Floops (floopy212)'s profile photo
Nice......I actually want to learn Chinese & Arabic...
+Alka Negi If you find a way that can be summarized in 8 comic panels, let me know!
yup, that's Korean... doesn't get any simpler.
I got spoiled, traveling to Korea first. I set aside like a month to learn to read Korean and an hour after opening the book I was all “huh, that was easy. So a day before I moved to Thailand I was all “Hm, I think I’ll learn to read Thai tonight.” NOT SO EASY.
+Ryan Estrada - after being here nine years, My reading level has finally matched my six-year old son's level (who was born here in BKK).
Interesting, but then, to actually know what each word means...

If it were just like Japanese Katakana, where it's mostly English written with Kana.
+Ashley Connor - don;t forget that many words aren't really read l-r, such as the Thai word for "iron" เหล็ก. The opening sound of the word is the third character!
But remember! Chinnese is not Korean. You'll need not 15 minutes, but 15 full human lifes in order to learn it.
took me 10 long days and nights to learn Korean!!! still can't speak it!!
this is awesome!!! I didn't even plan to learn Korean before this, but I just might now...
Very cool, although the half phonetic descriptions are wrong. But fun to read and look at :-) Love Korean, it's such a fun language to learn.

Be aware though that although Hangeul, the script, is easy to learn, pronunciation and grammar are quite difficult, at least for us westerners ;-)
this is a jumbled powerpoint of weird and confusion.
Rex Su
best designed alphabet system in the world. and this is coming from a Taiwanese.
So simple and easy??????????????
Hr Tien
Unless you're fully inclined to learn it, and you have background exposure, seriously, 15 days is just NOT enough. Take it from a person who's a Chinese, speaking Chinese and reading Chinese. I am trying to pick up Japanese which is fairly easy given how the scripts and characters are half the same.

But even with that kind of "advantage" on my side, 15 days is not enough to learn the whole thing about it; so 15 days on Korean, for random people, just seems superficial now.
+Matthias Käppler I tried to keep it simple, relating everything to the closest equivalent Western sounds... just like Koreans do when they first learn English. There are nuances to the individual sounds that sound very similar to western ears, but people will need to learn it before they can hear the subtle differences.
Thanks for this! I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to make a pdf out of the images so I can save it on my phone for reference.
i was in taekwondo, which comes from korea, so i dont have a problem speaking korean!!!
Yes, maybe a more accurate name would be ‘How to read Korean with a slight accent’. Some sounds are slightly different from the English-language equivalents, but the differences are hard to hear unless you’re familiar with the language in the first place. Folks like +Matthias Käppler have done a good job at pointing out some of those differences through the comments.
i do taekwondo so it's not a problem
Not sure if trolling or really just awesome...
this is cool.. However, I still need to try hardest! >.<
Funny, Im actually in Korea right now..We'll see..
You can read, but do you know what is the meaning of the word.
Wow! amazing!!!
thank you for sharing this nice guide to reading Korean. :)
+Breezy townsend Some people can. It’ll take longer than that to get super good at it, but after 15 minutes you should be able to write your name at least.
Brilliant. Now I just have to remember what all the sounds mean... aCHIM nasheeGA josamneDA...
+Scott Reiboldt -they live in Korea - they plan to travel to Korea -they have a Korean love interest -they have Korean friends -They have an interest in linguistics -They work with Korean companies -They enjoy Korean comics, literature or movies -other reasons
ana b
+Sirius Black Fear not everyone, this is real, and I’m never going to post a fake guide. Just because someone talks about jokes on April Fools Day doesn’t make them a psycho, just like wearing green on St Patrick’s Day doesn’t make you Irish and being nice on Christmas doesn’t mean you’re not a jerk.
wrote it down on paper, tried it out, took me half an hour, now i'm going to try it on my corean colleques of samsung and GS and see if it works in any way, al least try to read their names out. good for relations, thanks a bunch!
Jon Kim
Scott sounds like a hillbilly.
Jon Kim
Kadi, start by learning English first!
great guide, but I doubt 15 minutes will be enough hah
i got bored by the time i reached the end, but thanx 4 trying :)
Spelling in Korean is much easier than English!
I can only teach stuff that I know!
if we can learn this we can show off about this
This was awesome, but I'd just like to point out to the students of Korean in the audience that although the basics of the alphabet can be learned in fifteen minutes and basic phonetic reading can really be achieved in just a day or two, there are many complicated phonics rules to actually reading Korean much more difficult. (For instance, making the "시" actually sound like "shee" and not "see" or complicated linking sounds.)

Still, this was a great introduction to how simple the Korean alphabet really is, and I wish English would follow Korea in retooling the writing system.

(Thai, mentioned above, is much more complicated, and took me almost six weeks of full-time study to get to the same level that two days of Korean study did, and years more to get all of the exceptions to the many phonics rules. As my Thai teachers used to say for so many words, "You just have to know the word." There are even books published to help Thais clear up common mispronunciations. I don't think such things exist for Hangeul.)
do anybody knows similar thing for Thai.. ???
Sounds good, i will try it, Thanks.
Not having read all the other comments, let me say after taking Korean language for two years, this is a great simplification! Thank you for doing this, perhaps it will help Americans expand their language skills.
Small print: learning what the words mean will take 15 years!
That's pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing!
And I thought this was going to be a racist joke article.
Only 3 phrases you will need In SoKo. Seoul-si. Yogi. Soju.
Thanks, I am traveling to Korea for business over the summer!! Thsi si very helpful!!
How do you say "Please don't eat my dog" in Korean?
Very interesting. But I still didn't learn anything. I thing I would need to study it for more than 15 minutes. but thanks.
Great Korean guide, simple and fun!
Jess H.
I didn't get it!
I wish I had a guide this easy in order to speak Romulan.
I'm wondering if this is just coincidence, but there seems to be a few parallels to the Greek alphabet:
The "G" sound looks like an uppercase Greek Gamma
The "N" sound is very similar to a lowercase Greek Nu (turned 45°)
The "P" is pretty much a Greek Pi with an additional line along the bottom.

Any ethymologists willing to comment on this?
Very impressive. A very innovate way of teaching language. I love the "Let's kick it up a notch" face.
+Maiko Gabriel Kinzel Engelke Katakana are not English words, these are English pronounces in Japanese manner. :-) That makes it very difficult to recognize, if possible at all: WTF is "pasakon"? — ah, PERSONAL COMPUTER and "pee she" means PC....
Wow! A nice simple tutorial!
Wow, I haven't EVER had anyone teach me anything this useful in such a unique way before. Who did this sequence?
That is soooooo cool even tho I still do not understand it!!!! ☺😉
나는 한국어 학습 후 1994 년 국방 언어 연구소 졸업. 제가 많이 사용하지 않기 때문에 이것은 좋은 알림했습니다.
I wish I had a guide this easy in order to speak Ebonics.
wow. it wasn't a troll. (illegal in arizona :).)
I learned to read and speak it in under a year while in the military. The really fun part of learning it is that you can figure out why they mispronounce a lot of english words ( and why people do a fake asian accent the way they do). For instance, the character that looks kinda like the number 2 is pronounced as both an R and an L depending on if it is at the beginning or end of a syllable. So if you write the world ´little´... many times they will prounounce it ´rittle´.. again, classic stereotype jokes.. but based on fact. When I taught english while there.. ´Red Lobster´ and ´really´ was on their graduation test.
This reminds me exactly of my korean classes as a kid. The "B" is bucket is still how I remember the letters.
Ill be hitting korean girls in no time! In about 15 min >.<

although. . . >.> not sure if trolling or just awesome
I wish my 1st grade teacher back in Korea had this comic. Nice comic!
I wish I had this guide when Kim Jong Ill was alive.
Married to a Korean woman who has given up teaching me, this definitely helps. These days, I watch subbed variety shows to learn, but all I learn is silliness and checking out cute girls. Lol.
ㅋㅋㅋㅋ 이거 완전 웃겨요^^
married is an important things for man to get a social life . Through this he can know the reality of life
Do you know if there is some way to run Arabic in 30 miniutes? So Americans can understand better them and there will be no war.
You may try to do it. And the world would say that you get the Nobel prize
+Scott Reiboldt I made the comic, and it’s my teaching technique.
+Kevin Gibbons There should be a “download” button on each frame, but I may post a pdf soon, since people seem interested.
Now all the Starcraft players can chat in-game!! lol
Don't get me wrong too. It is easy and it get a solution too.
+Scott Reiboldt Not at all! Many people have no use for Korean, but many people do and I always have to write this out on napkins to teach them. Now it’s all in one place so I can direct them to it.
Good, but what if you want to say it in Korean?
It seems Korean is a basic language!^v^
It doesn't work if you have a lisp.
How's that possible !! but i want to learn it too 
Awesome ! How do I learn in such short time.....
One thing that you are forgetting is that if you want to learn a new language you have to tell how to respect their culture. And as long as i know Koreans don like to get their language posted and let every body make fun of it.
+Santiago Mellado Who is making fun of Korean language? As I said, it’s a genius writing system that I prefer to my native tongue! All the Koreans I know are happy when others study their language!
If you teach this language tell to your Korean friends how can you learn to respect another cultere.
cant even learn a sentence in an hour
I am sorry. You are American. You don't know how to do it
+Santiago Mellado I don’t think I understand your concern. I live in Korea. I live in Korean culture. Studying a language and culture is part of respecting it.
The origin of modern Korean writing system is fascinating: the emperor decided that his people needed to learn how to read, and an entire system was created. people are often surprised to learn that the "blocks" can be sounded out. As my kids cry when I tell at them for their inability to memorize Chinese characters, I often wish Chinese were phonetic also...
Santiago, I think you are being narrow minded. No one expected you to English culture when you learned to speak it. btw it is obvious a second language for you. thank you Ryan. I won't be able to pronounce the words but with my translation program I can make my shopping list better.
Jian Hu
whats mean? little white(means anything not know on something subject.from China BBS.its very popular).who can explain it for me?
Yes Victor, the Korean word for this writing system is called Hangeul. But if I called it “learn hangeul”, no one would know what it meant because they haven’t learned it yet!
Ok. I can see that racist Americans are getting engry.
Jon Lee
yes yes interesting haha
Years back I was visiting a friend in the US. While he was in the bank, his son and I were bored in the car. So I taught him this. We finished, his dad got back, we left, and I assumed he’d already forgotten about it. Months later I get an email from his dad. “Did... did you teach my son to read Korean?” Apparently he’d been reading signs all over town.
+Santiago Mellado No one’s angry, we’re just confused about what you’re trying to say. (unless you’re referring to someone else, for all I know someone in this thread may be angry and racist)
Well done Ryan. I like the way you make fun over any culture, believe, and any people because there is a simple answer you are an American.
Wow, this will aid me in learning Korean. Good Work, Man!
does it have a program for spanish??
Thank you so much. Thanks to practicing reading Korean with the way you guide, I now know a little bit about Korean.
This is super cool! Love the presentation style of it; works nicely with G+ albums.
+Molly LeBlanc Crap??? Not at all, it is true! Well, maybe not in 15 minutes, but I learned how to read and write hangul in less than two months, with no more studying/practicing than maybe five hours per week. But of course, learning how to write and read hangul is not the same as learning Korean: I can read (to my Korean wife) out of a Korean newspaper, and she understands perfectly well what I'm saying... However, my own understanding of what I'm saying is virtually nil... Still, after 15 years (shame on me)! Grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, and learning the different "levels of politeness" one needs to know to properly address people that are younger (one form), older (another form) or of the same age (yet another form) as oneself, adds up to very difficult (IMO... maybe I'm not smart enough?). +Ryan Estrada, very nice! I would change the title from "Learn Korean" to "Learn Hangul," but that's me ;)
+Henry K.O. Norman But Hangeul is a Korean word and people who haven’t learned Korean don’t know it yet! Yes, I know it’s the wrong word, but “learn to read Korean” is still okay because Hangeul is the system used to read the Korean language.
Dudes, stop making racist death threats in my comments. It’s not cool. I’m just gonna keep deleting them.
This is awesome! I hit a snag with my own name though - I couldn't do my last name (which starts with an F). I don't see any letter for F or V, but perhaps I missed something.
That would stupid...WWIII would start and there'd be no more Hello Kitty or those awesome led pencils! lol
This is really cool how you came up with this so easily to help the rest of us slow learners 😊
+Ryan Estrada thank you for your effort. Resharing this to my bookmark circle. And friends. =)
Thanks for this, +Ryan Estrada . I have no idea if I'll ever have a need for reading Korean, but +***** and I love to learn languages (even just little bits) and teach them to our kids, and we'll definitely be using this as a resource (hope you don't mind. :) )

Btw, after going through the comic just once quickly, I was able to recognize "Batman" at the end, so that was pretty exciting. (Thanks for taking something that looked so complex and making it that simple)
Great stuff. I have always been a fan of Hangul, for obvious reasons. :-)
Interesting...I know Korean now :)
But doesnt this just teach you to write english in korean? That might be their syllables but its not their language. Thx for showing me how to write english w/ korean script.
Is that even possible to learn a language that quickly?
Yep. Korean is super easy to learn to read, provided you keep practicing. And one thing to note, the pronunciations of the characters don't match up as well to English letters as this would have you believe, but all in all this is a good start. Learning to speak Korean is the hard part!
The record time was a day for a good friend from college. But this guy managed to break that with a set of sensible mnemonics. The "oo" vowel in "Brook" is actually a sound that is hard to pronounce for English speakers, but it's DEFINITELY NOT a "oo" sound as in European pronunciation of "u". There is a separate vowel for that sound, but the innovative author has done this to simplify learning process. The usual transliteration is "eu," and the both corners of your mouth should be going wide, not narrow as when you make a "oo" sound.
포스트하신 정보가 한글과 한국어를 배우는 많은 사람들에게 도움이 되었으면 합니다. 건강한 하루 보내시길 바래요.
+Ryan Estrada sorry if +Santiago Mellado took offense to my statement and posted obnoxious things here. I was not trying to start anything. This really will help with the communication barrier where I shop.I eat mostly thai, malay, indian, and indonesian food. However I also shop at a korean grocery for some of the staples that are ubiquitous to eastern asia. This will help. I can make a cheat sheet. Again I'm sorry if I instigated anything.
in 15 minutes ? what a class !!!!
I wish i had this 3years ago when i went to korea. Spent so long memorizing the alphabet
I can finally make sense of the year I spent in Korea!
OH Korean, i thought it said "Learn to read in fifteen minuites" i had to do a dubble take! lol
same old here, i'm not a geek. haha i believe it tell us not less than 15 minutes but longer if you r not. :P. thanks Ryan.
Totally cool, but still WAY above my head!! But, thanks for trying!
really really cool and simple too!!!! :)

That is a great idea! Want people to actually learn? Use comics!
what a great lesson... i'm killin' at korean already...
Awesome this is great. If I get it though I want it to be at a low price. Speaking of which... how much does it cost? Also, does it come in a different color like black of tan?
For serious??? Maybe you should learn English first...
My north korean lieutenant colonel girlfriend was not amused. but I was.Thankyou.
Menda T
I'm going to try this out as soon as im done with my midterms! :D
Alphabits are easy I can teach you all runic alphabits in 5 min but languages and grammer that's a whole nother story
Pretty sweet ;)
Now if only Japanese was that simple....
Yes, now we need Japanese and Chinese tutorials :)
some driving lessons for those people driving only with one hand
Why? Korean is a gutter language.
learn korean and visit korea. really fun&hot place ;)
+Caleb Lau Look me up on Facebook, it’s posted there publicly, feel free to reshare.
I'm learning Japanese now, but I'm definitely intrigued by Korean. It would be nice to know how everything is read, which is not immediately possible in Japanese.
Wowsa that is awesome i love tjat photo
+Ryan Estrada this was really helpful, so thanks for that. I love linguistics. If you are looking for a good read on the subject, or when you learn that next language... Check out 'how to learn any language' by Barry Farber. He offers some cool approaches to learning a new tongue, and your techniques would fit right in.
Hi Ryan, did you come up with this fantastic idea? I would love to use your slides at one of the presentations. How do I get an approval from you? Thank you so much. Erik
It looks so simple!! Is there a way to understand Korean too?
This is super cool!!!
Though it needs a bit of time and practice but
i just loved the guide. Great way of learning :-)
메란 +Mehran Ghorbani Nezami
Korean Alphabet "Hangul" is created by King Sejong not coming from Taiwanese. +Rex Su
Superb! +Michael Benton

Answer for Practice!
Harry Potter

Thank for +Ryan Estrada for article. I'm Korean. :)
Just needs stroke order and it has everything! ;)
+Dong-il Kim ,
I think you misunderstood. +Rex Su meant that he is a Taiwanese person, but still thinks that Korean is amazing. That's a nice compliment, considering that BoPoMoFo (Taiwan's phonetic alphabet system) is super easy to learn, too. Hangeul wins by a little bit, though. No tones!
I like it very beautiful always i wish to stay there for ever
wow its cute...i love it because i never knew it was dis easy...
참 재미있게 해설하셨는데요...참 잘했어요. 처음 배우는 외국인에게 많이 유용할 것 같은데요.
i should correct my english pronounciation with this material! ex) the pronounciation of 'Book' is 븍, not 북.
재밌네요. 한국인인데 이거 보면서 한글 다시 배워봄 :)
this is cool~ thx for sharing~
Hot topic! It is worth pointing out that hangul is (AFAIK) the only script in the World that has not "evolved" from earlier methods of communication, but was invented (only some 400 years ago!) with the express intent to make it easy to learn and easy to use, while retaining a distinct "Chinese feel" (the syllable "boxes")! King Se Yong was a wise ruler indeed (annoyed by the fact that back then, only relatively few of the "elite intelligentsia" (yang ban) could read & write, and then only in Chinese). Again AFAIK, no Korean script existed before hangul, which is remarkable considering that the Korean language goes back all the way to Korea's mythical founder, Tan Gun, some 4,300+ years ago!
It is awesome guide for people who are learning korean!!

-some error pronunciation on guide: BOOK→븤(X) BOOK→북(O)
+Ryan Estrada This is the easiest, simplest Korean-learning guide I've ever seen!
Let me suggest an additional tool: Periodic Table of Hangul (designed by Darim Kim)
Plus several billion. Got a 15-minute sheet for the vocabulary?
Hilariously genius!! I LOVE it...i should share with my huhby so he can pick up korean...i feel bad speaking around him. :p
BJ Zapf
Thanks for the downloadable version
Seeing who posted this, I knew it would be good.
So Good, Beautiful Korean - HanGul(한글). King Sejong the Great created Hangul in 1446.
You made up the simplest way to learn to read Korean... Genius!
From 김홍석 @ 서울
I gbadu dis simplest way...................................
Perry R
That's hilarious -- and very nice mnemonics. (I happen to already know the alphabet, so I was very entertained by your descriptions.)
Better be titled learn to PRONOUNCE Korean in 15 mins. If this being the standard of reading, I bet within 1 hour you can read any major alphabetic languages in the world other than English. Well, Japanese might be a real challenge for it has 100 letters. But hey, can you then pick up a newspaper and tell me what does the front line mean?
Hmm, now I need to go decipher my taekwondo belt...
do it picturies send
I can not the English language
베리 나이스!! 판타스틱!!
Very impressive...well done!!
Nicely abstracted!!!!
Thumbs up!!!
And I like that practice part at the end.
I had no idea. Thanks for this!
Good work, now I just need to practice :-)
+Ralph Mettier In Korean alphabet, the shape of consonant letters originated from human vocal organs.
Letters for "G", "N" sounds mimic shape of tongue when we make voice "G", "N".
Letter for "P" sounds mimic shape of lips. ( "Consonant letters as outlines of speech organs" section )
do you have confidence on human unity?i don`t think so unitedly Ants can do much much and much more than what you have seen.Anyhow it`s not a bad idea, IF and only IF that much of UNITY IS ACHIEVED AMOUNG HUMAM BEINGS.Best of luck
Excellent. Best Korean alphabet tutorial I've ever seen.
Interesting. Now if only there was a method of reliably remembering the Japanese Kana character sets...
Yes this is cool. Would you send more similar but advance reading practice lessons? thanks
Stupidest thing I've ever seen!!! Confusioso

That's awesome. But, honestly, how accurate is it?
As a bilingual, i have to say that this is as easy to understand as it gets and very accurate.
I didn't recognize Harry Potter ... so I was giggling as hell when I realized that, pronouncing the last syllable
I see a lot of people complaining that they can't understand what they're saying in 15min, but as I see it your method drastically lowers the hurdle of learning an asian language with its own (may I say freakishly weird ... to me) writing system

just out of curiosity I did a few beginner thai lessons using a shareware "thai trainer" some time ago. The program primarily used the latin alphabet to teach the language (at least the free lessons)
The language itself seemed quite easy to get into, yet it was really bugging me that I would possibly never be able to decipher the writing

+Ryan Estrada Now this already feels great :) Thanks a lot!
Know some good (free?) online korean lessons ?
The korean alphabet is very easy to learn. The big trick is to understand that what appears as one ´letter´ is actually a syllable comprised of 2-4 actual letters. The letters get squeezed if there are 4 letters involved. Most people look at the syllable and think it is only 1 letter.
Hmm, is there really no F-sound consonant ? interesting ... how would they write "Firefox" ? Do they translate firefox to korean?
What about names ... like Frank or Philip ?
+JaMaZz Jackson Nope, no F. Firefox would be “pa-ee-a-po-ku-su” Frank, “pu-ran-ku” and Philip “pee-lee-pu"
:) hilarious, reminds me of Erriku Kurapputon ... I see

Makes sense to substitute it for a similar (location-wise) labial consonant ... P just didn't occur to me
Thx for the hint!

btw I really enjoyed your comics about your trips to japan
Cheers from germany
daebak! :)) i was having hard time learning hangul script.. you did great! :)) i'll be looking forward for the jap lesson :P
So your name is '라이언 에스트라다' in Korean.
+Ryan Estrada I have MS and need to "exercise" my brain in order to help me with cognitive decline. Things like this help so much. Your comic and the system you use to teach the language is so valuable to me because you have taken the intimidation factor away from the experience. I also have something to take up with my kids during their summer off from school that is fun and rewarding! Thank you VERY much for posting this...if you are ever in New Mexico, USA, please look me up or let me know. Would love to buy you a margarita and dinner for giving this out to everyone!
+Ryan Estrada I didn't know that you had created this yourself. Great job.

If I could suggest a couple of tiny tweaks, though, it would be the following:

Slide 5: (ㅔ) BEFORE or (ㅐ) AFTER
I think it's better to say that both pronunciations are more or less the same, closer to AFTER, since the BE in before would be better expressed as (비), with the single vertical stick (ㅣ).

Slide 6: (와) WATER
Closer to wah, as in wah wah pedal, since many people pronounce WATER like they do WONDER.

+Trustle Ree That's how Korean's would write Ryan's name, but a better capture of the actual English pronunciation -- even though Koreans wouldn't do this, mainly because it's harder to say the 롸 (rah) -- would be the following:

롸이연 에스트롸다
I'm going to try this with 15 7th graders this week.  Yay!
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