Handwritten Hangul

How are you at handwriting Hangul?  Reading artistic or handwritten Hangul?  How did you learn?

I have avoided learning how to write Hangul letters.  I read the caution that stroke order was important and I should carefully learn how to write the letters.  I decided to ignore all that, willful creature that I am.  Haha.  I scrawled some Hangul to take notes, but figured there would never be a chance that anyone would have to read my Korean, so why bother learning the right way to make letters?

Then I joined Interpals and got myself Korean pen pals.  I sent postcards to Korea.  I started submitting handwriting samples to the TTMIK posts.  I found myself reading handwritten Hangul on the white board of my Korean Digital Academy video classes.  I struggled with any font that wasn’t strictly sharp angles, unable to read Hangul in posters for a new Korean drama.  Handwritten Korean notes were a mystery I was unable to decipher.  I would often just stare baffled at someone’s scrawl bemoaning “but where are the vowels? I don’t see any vowels!”

Rob gave me a clue when he wrote something like ng on the white board when he was talking about 누구 (who).  I’m ready to object to a lack of vowels, when he erased it and wrote the bottom letter as ㅜ.  Apparently, when someone is writing ㅜ it can look like ㄱand a Korean will make sense of this knowing that each syllable block needs a vowel.  Therefore if you know the proper stroke order, you can better guess at imprecise handwriting.

cursive_writingIt is not like I haven’t encountered proper stroke order for creating letters before.  Remember learning cursive in grade school?

I even bought myself a pad of that special lined paper to practice writing Hangul letters the way I did when I learned how to write English letters.




A basic rule is when writing characters, draw lines from left to right, top to bottom.  So when I write ㄹ, I just wrote it in one long stroke never picking up my pen.  That is wrong.  It should be like this:


Three strokes.  Corners are done without removing the pen from the paper.

I bought the book “Learning Korean With A Smile:  Reading and Writing Hangul”  which is on my long “to-do” list.  I am also tempted to buy the TTMIK Hangeul Master book.

Some things you just have to do to master the skill.

The first step is admitting you have a problem … haha

Learn Korean With A Smile - character blocks

character blocks

There is some partitioning of the block for syllables when combining Hangul letters that eludes me at the moment.  How to split the block in half vertically or horizontally and positioning the letters appropriately?  The letter ㄷ looks different in syllables 다 , 단, and 돘.  The letter stretches or shrinks to accommodate it’s neighboring letters.

Heck, I would be making progress if my Hangul syllables came out looking squarish and in a straight line! Haha

“Learning Korean With A Smile” comes with a game too!


Impossible Characters Game

Ever looked at text and been confused by symbols like 퓨, 옷, 논, 악, 학?  I swear Hangul is made for people with better vision!  In some type, it seems the letters all run together or I have to squint to tell if it is an ㅗ ㅜ, ㅈㅊ.  Ah well, such are our challenges as learners of Korean, right?




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