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Romanization of Korean

Romanization of Korean

1. Basic Principles for Transcription

(1) Romanization is based on standard Korean pronunciation.
(2) No symbols except Roman letters are used so far as possible.

2. Summary of the Transcription System

(1) Vowels are transcribed as follows : simple vowels

Simple vowels

Simple vowels (ㅏ, ㅓ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅡ, ㅣ, ㅐ, ㅔ, ㅚ, ㅟ)
a eo o u eu i ae e oe w

Diphtongs

Diphtongs (ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ, ㅒ, ㅖ, ㅘ, ㅙ, ㅟ, ㅞ, ㅢ)
ya yeo yo yu yae ye wa wae wo we ui

Note 1: is transcribed as ui, although being pronounced as .
Note 2: Long vowels are not reflected in transcription. 

(2) Consonants are transcribed as follows :

Plosives (stops)

Plosives (stops) (ㄱ, ㄲ, ㅋ, ㄷ, ㄸ, ㅌ, ㅂ, ㅃ, ㅍ)
g, k kk k d, t tt t b, p pp p

Affricates

Affricates (ㅈ, ㅉ, ㅊ)
j jj ch

Fricatives

Fricatives (ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅎ)
s ss h

Nasals

Nasals (ㄴ, ㅁ, ㅇ)
n m ng

Liquids

Liquids (ㄹ)
r, l

Note 1 : The sounds , , and are transcribed respectively as g, d, and b before a vowel; they are transcribed as k, t, and p when they appear before another consonant or as the last sound of a word. (They are transcribed as pronunciation in [ ].)

The sounds ㄱ, ㄷ, and ㅂ (구미, 영동, 백암, 옥천, 합덕, 호법, 월곶, 벚꽃, 한밭)
구미 Gumi 영동 Yeongdong 백암 Baegam
옥천 Okcheon 합덕 Hapdeok 호법 Hobeop
월곶[월곧] Wolgot 벚꽃[벋꼳] beotkkot 한밭[한받] Hanbat

Note 2 : is transcribed as r before a vowel, and as l before a consonant or at the end of a word: ㄹㄹ is transcribed as ll.

The sounds ㄹ, ㄹㄹ (구리, 설악, 칠곡, 임실, 울릉, 대관령)
구리 Guri 설악 Seorak
칠곡 Chilgok 임실 Imsil
울릉 Ulleung 대관령[대괄령] Daegwallyeong

3. Special Provisions for Transcription 

(1) When Korean sound values change as in the following cases, the results of those changes are transcribed as follows:

The case of assimilation of adjacent consonants

The case of assimilation of adjacent consonants (백마, 신문로, 종로, 왕십리, 별내, 신라)
백마[뱅마] Baengma 신문로[신문노] Sinmunno 종로[종노] Jongno
왕십리[왕심니] Wangsimni 별내[별래] Byeollae 신라[실라] Silla

The case of the epenthetic and

The case of the epenthetic ㄴ and ㄹ (학여울, 알약)
학여울[항녀울] Hangnyeoul 알약[알락] allyak

The case of palatalization

The case of palatalization (해돋이, 같이, 굳히다)
해돋이[해돋이] haedoji 같이[가치] gachi 굳히다[구치다] guchida

The case when ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, and are adjacent to

The case when ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, and ㅈ are adjacent to ㅎ (좋고, 놓다, 잡혀, 낳지)
좋고[조코] joko 놓다[노타] nota 잡혀[자펴] japyeo 낳지[나치] nachi

However, aspirated sounds are not transcribed in case of nouns where follows ㄱ, ㄷ, and , as in the examples below.

The aspirated sounds are not transcribed in case of nouns where ㅎ follows ㄱ, ㄷ, and ㅂ, as in the examples below. (묵호, 집현전)
묵호 Mukho 집현전 Jiphyeonjeon

Note: Tense (or glottalized) sounds are not transcribed in cases where morphemes are compounded, as in the examples below.

Tense (or glottalized) sounds are not transcribed in cases where morphemes are compounded (압구정, 낙동강, 죽변, 낙성대, 합정, 팔당, 샛별, 울산)
압구정 Apgujeong 낙동강 Nakdonggang 죽변 Jukbyeon 낙성대 Nakseongdae
합정 Hapjeong 팔당 Paldang 샛별 saetbyeol 울산 Ulsan

(2) When there is the possibility of confusion in pronunciation, a hyphen ‘-’ may be used.

When there is the possibility of confusion in pronunciation, a hyphen ‘-’ may be used. (중앙, 반구대, 세운, 해운대)
중앙 Jung-ang 반구대 Ban-gudae
세운 Se-un 해운대 Hae-undae

(3) The first letter is capitalized in proper names.

The first letter is capitalized in proper names. (부산, 세종)
부산 Busan 세종 Sejong

(4) Personal names are written by family name first, followed by a space and the given name. As a rule, syllables in given names are not seperated by hyphen, but it is admitted to use a hyphen between syllables. (Transcription in (  ) is permitted.)

Table for personal names (민용하, 송나리)
민용하 Min Yongha (Min Yong-ha) 송나리 Song Nari (Song Na-ri)

Assimilated sound changes between syllables in given names are not transcribed.

Table for Assimilated sound changes (한복남, 홍빛나)
한복남 Han Boknam (Han Bok-nam) 홍빛나 Hong Bitna (Hong Bit-na)

Transcriptions of family names will be established additionally.

(5) Administrative units such as 도, 시, 군, 구, 읍, 면, 리, 동, and are transcribed respectively as do, si, gun, gu, eup, myeon, ri, dong, and ga, and are preceded by a hyphen. Assimilated sound changes before and after the hyphen are not transcribed.

Table for Administrative units (충청북도, 제주도, 의정부시, 양주군, 도봉구, 신창읍, 삼죽면, 인왕리, 당산동, 봉천 1동, 종로 2가, 퇴계로 3가)
충청북도 Chungcheongbuk-do 제주도 Jeju-do 의정부시 Uijeongbu-si
양주군 Yangju-gun 도봉구 Dobong-gu 신창읍 Sinchang-eup
삼죽면 Samjuk-myeon 인왕리 Inwang-ri 당산동 Dangsan-dong
봉천1동 Bongcheon 1(il) -dong 종로 2가 Jongno 2(i) -ga 퇴계로 3가 Toegyero 3(sam) -ga

(6) Names of geographic features, cultural properties, and man-made structures may be written without hyphens.

Tablefor Names of geographic features, cultural properties, and man-made structures (남산, 속리산, 금강, 독도, 경복궁, 무량수전, 연화교, 극락전, 안압지, 남한산성, 화랑대, 불국사, 현충사, 독립문, 오죽헌, 촉석루, 종묘, 다보탑)
남산 Namsan 속리산 Songnisan 금강 Geumgang
독도 Dokdo 경복궁 Gyeongbokgung 무량수전 Muryangsujeon
연화교 Yeonhwagyo 극락전 Geungnakjeon 안압지 Anapji
남한산성 Namhansanseong 화랑대 Hwarangdae 불국사 Bulguksa
현충사 Hyeonchungsa 독립문 Dongnimmun 오죽헌 Ojukheon
촉석루 Chokseongnu 종묘 Jongmyo 다보탑 Dabotap

(7) Proper names such as personal names and those of companies may be written as they have been so far.

(8) When it is necessary to convert Romanized Korean back to Hangeul in special cases such as in academic articles, Romanization is done according to Hangeul spelling and not pronunciation. Each Hangeul letter is Romanized as explained in section 2 except that ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㄹ are always written as g, d, b, l. When has no sound value, it is replaced by a hyphen. It may also be used when it is necessary to distinguish between syllables.

When it is necessary to convert Romanized Korean back to Hangeul in special cases such as in academic articles, Romanization is done according to Hangeul spelling and not pronunciation. (집, 짚, 밖, 값, 붓꽃, 먹는, 독립, 문리, 물엿, 굳이, 좋다, 가곡, 조랑말, 없었습니다.)
jib jip
bakk gabs
붓꽃 buskkoch 먹는 meogneun
독립 doglib 문리 munli
물엿 mul-yeos 굳이 gud-i
좋다 johda 가곡 gagog
조랑말 jolangmal 없었습니다. eobs-eoss-seubnida