Nasal Assimilation and Pronunciations of Korean Consonants
When you say thank you (감사합니다) in Korean, you say gam-sa-ham-ni-da. You do not say gam-sa-hab-ni-da, due to nasal assimilation.
Nasal assimilation, or nasalization, is a process to convert a consonant into one of the nasal sound ㅁ(m) ㄴ(n) ㅇ(ng). When an ending consonant of a hangul is followed by a hangul with a beginning consonant ㅁ(m) or ㄴ(n), then nasal assimilation takes place. See the table below for the assimilation process.
|Ending Consonant||Pronunciation||After Assimilation||Example|
|ㅂ ㅍ ㅄ ㄿ ㄼ||ㅂ||ㅁ||감사합니다 [감사함니다]|
|ㄷ ㅌ ㅈ ㅊ ㅅ ㅆ ㅎ||ㄷ||ㄴ||믿는다 [민는다]|
|ㄱ ㅋ ㄲ ㄳ ㄺ||ㄱ||ㅇ||작년 [장년]|
Here are more examples:
|Example||Pronunciation After Assimilation||Meaning|
|몇년||[면년]||how many years|
|갔나요?||[간나요]||Is he gone?|
|밥 먹어요||[밤 머거요]||I am eating rice|
|옷 많아요||[온 마나요]||There are many clothes|
As you can see in the last 2 examples, the nasal assimilation process can apply across word boundary, especially when you say it fast enough and do not pause between the words.
Related Grammar Points
- Pronunciations of Korean Consonants at the Beginning of a Word
- Resyllabification and Pronunciations of Korean Consonants
- Tensing and Pronunciations of Korean Consonants
- Voicing and Pronunciations of Korean Consonants
- Easy Ways to Memorize Korean Hangul – Beginning Consonants
- Stroke Order of Korean Hangul
- Easy Ways to Memorize Korean Hangul – Vowels