You may consider yourself a professional when it comes to typing in your own native language, however typing in Korean is a whole different level.
When learning a new foreign language, learning how to practise typing in Korean may not be the first thing that comes across your mind.
However, once you’ve mastered the art of typing in Korean, you will reap great benefits such as chatting with your friends online – chat with us daily on Discord, commenting on Korean pages – follow our Facebook page & Facebook group or browse through Naver (a go-to app for those living in Korea).
Therefore, we’ve made this short guide for you on how to get started with typing in Korean as well on how to practise typing in Korean.
How to Set Up Before Typing in Korean
1. Install a Korean keyboard
The first thing you will have to do before you can start typing in Korean is of course set up a Korean keyboard on your computer.
There are two types of Korean keyboards:
-두벌식 (du-beol-sik, or 2-beolsik) keyboard
-세벌식 (se-beol-sik, or 3-beolsik) keyboard
The 두벌식 du-beol-sik keyboard separates the consonants on the left side of the keyboard and the vowels on the right sides.
The 세벌식 se-beol-sik keyboard has syllable-initial consonants (those that can appear in front of a vowel) on the right and vowels, consonant clusters and syllable-final consonants (those that can appear after a vowel) on the left.
Although the 세벌식 keyboard was designed for ergonomic purposes, the 두벌식keyboard is widely used among Koreans.
Once you’ve decided which keyboard you want to use, it is time to install the keyboard on your computer!
How to Set Up a Korean Keyboard on a PC
- From the Start menu, go to Settings.
- Click on Time & Language, then Region & Language
- Click on the Korean option, then Add a Keyboard.
How to Set Up a Korean Keyboard on a Mac
- Go to System Preferences (located on the apple icon in the corner).
- Click on Keyboard, then go to the Input Sources tab.
- Click the + symbol under the left sidebar (which will list all the language keyboards currently set up).
- Scroll down to the Korean option and choose your preferred keyboard type.
2. Memorize the keyboard layout
Memorizing the layout does not mean staring long and hard but that is probably not the best way to do it.
Instead, try to memorize general details of the keyboard such as where the vowels and the consonants and which keys have double consonants, and so forth.
One fantastic memorization way is to use a Korean keyboard or Korean keyboard cover.
Korean keyboard covers such FORITO Premium Ultra Thin Keyboard Cover for Macs can simply be laid over your existing keyboard.
If you want to be a little extra, you can buy an actual Korean keyboard. Thankfully most Korean keyboards are bilingual and also have the QWERTY layout superimposed with the Korean characters such as the USB Korean-English keyboard from Samsung.
The last option is to put Korean keyboard stickers onto your existing keyboard. This is definitely the cheapest alternative.
3. Learn Korean letter combinations
Written Korean consists of characters that are combined in a certain manner, leading to syllables that are sounded out by connecting the sounds of those characters.
The basic rule is that a consonant is followed by a vowel, and that vowel can then be followed by either a consonant or vowel.
When typing, it’s very helpful to have a good understanding of how Korean character combinations work. While typing you’ll notice that characters will automatically combine.
After you finish typing a syllable and when you move on to type the next, the starting consonant for that new syllable may automatically appear on the bottom of your first one.
Example: If you’re typing 가족 gajok, which means “family” and just finished typing out 가, the ㅈ character will first appear right under it to spell out 갖.
Don’t be triggered. This usually happens as any given Korean syllable can have more than two characters, so the computer won’t know immediately what you want to type. However, if you keep typing, the system will automatically correct itself and fix the words accordingly, so long as you type properly.
After completing these steps, now you can start utilizing some resources to finally start practicing!
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6 Resources for Korean Typing Practice
Type Racer is an award-winning typing competition website that provides a platform for users around the world to compete in typing. TypeRacer was designed to be educational and offers 50 different languages.
You will be typing quotes from different types of media all while facing off against other people.
10FastFingers allows you to get both private and shared typing training, so you can go solo in your practice or go the multiplayer route to compete with others. The multiplayer option is much like TypeRacer’s competitive format with a score leaderboard.
Individual practice consists of tests that are timed and are based on top words used in the Korean language, with the advanced level choosing from the top 1000 words.
TadakTadak is the Korean onomatopoeia for typing. This site is ideal for those who are just starting out in typing Korean or those who aren’t very quick with typing in general.
One Korean character is shown and a single key must be pressed per turn. There are illustrated hands that tell you which finger you should use.
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This is an application that is available for android devices where you can practice your typing on your phone or tablet. The digitized Korean keyboard isn’t much different from a standard physical keyboard.
This app teaches some Korean vocabulary along with typing practice, either offering direct translations of the words or showing pictorial representations. There is even voice support that will pronounce words for you and a timer to keep you alert.
This app is an ideal resource when you don’t have access to a physical keyboard but still want to get some practice on the go.
Memrise provides an instructive course to help you learn the basics of typing in Korean. This is a good option if you’re just starting out and want to get acquainted with typing in an organized manner.
There are ten sections covering the whole methodology of typing in Korean, so you’ll be able to process it slowly and get practice in each aspect before putting it all together.
Hancom Taja has a step by step typing practice starting from seat practice, word practice, short post practice, and long post practice.
The site also provides fun games such as the mole catch, coin stacking, and flip the plate.
Learning to type in Korean might be challenging, you might even have to hit a lot of backspace on your keyboard before you get better and faster, but if you practice typing in Korean persistently you will definitely get the hang of it.