How to Count to 10 in Korean

by Kent Ninomiya

Learning to count from one to 10 in Korean can be challenging for a native English speaker. Some of the sounds are difficult to recreate for the English speaking tongue. To make matters even more difficult, there are two ways to count from one to 10 in Korean. Native Korean is used to count things, while Sino Korean is used to count time. Americans commonly count to 10 in native Korean while practicing Korean martial arts like Tae Kwon Do or Hapkido.

Count the number one by saying "hana," pronounced "HA-nah" in Native Korean or "il," pronounced "ill," in Sino Korean.

Count the number two by saying "dul," pronounced "dool" in Native Korean or "i," pronounced "ee," in Sino Korean.

Count the number three by saying "set," pronounced "set" in Native Korean or "sam," pronounced "sam," in Sino Korean.

Count the number four by saying "net," pronounced "net" in Native Korean or "sa," pronounced "sah," in Sino Korean.

Count the number five by saying "da-sul," pronounced "DA-sut" in Native Korean or "o," pronounced "oh," in Sino Korean.

Count the number six by saying "yuh-seot," pronounced "YA-sut" in Native Korean or "yuk," pronounced "yook," in Sino Korean.

Count the number seven by saying "il-gop," pronounced "EEL-gope" in Native Korean or "ch'il," pronounced "CH-eel," in Sino Korean.

Count the number eight by saying "yuh-deol," pronounced "YA-dool" in Native Korean or "p'al," pronounced "P-all," in Sino Korean.

Count the number nine by saying "ah-hop," pronounced "AH-hope" in Native Korean or "ku," pronounced "goo," in Sino Korean.

Count the number 10 by saying "yeol," pronounced "yool" in Native Korean or "sip," pronounced "ship," in Sino Korean.

Tip

  • It is very difficult to appreciate and reproduce the phonetics of Korean by just looking at the printed words. Find a native Korean speaker and ask them to count from 1 to 10 in both native Korean and Sino Korean. Compare the way the words sound to the way they are written. This is the only way to get the sounds exactly right.

About the Author

Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.

Photo Credits

  • south korea flag button image by Andrey Zyk from Fotolia.com