The Windows operating system offers a Korean keyboard option, which you can implement in a few simple steps. With the feature installed, you can switch between English and Korean by using the ALT key.
Activating this option makes little change in your computer (the only difference you will see is a tiny icon showing up in your taskbar), and you can revert the setting at any time.
In the Korean mode, your keyboard will work as shown above. All the consonants are entered by the left hand; all the vowels (except the one colored red in the figure) are entered by the right hand. The shift keys are used only for five compound consonants (shift + Q, W, E, R and T keys) and two compound vowels (shift + O and P keys).
Before We Begin
• If you only want to read Korean (documents or Web sites), you don’t need to do anything. The Windows operating system has basic Korean fonts activated by default, which will display Korean texts.
• This article is for those who wish to input Korean characters only when needed, while keeping the primary language of the computer as English. Converting your computer’s entire user interface into Korean requires a different procedure, which will not be covered by this article.
Table of Contents
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1) Open the Control Panel.
2) Select “Clock, Language and Region”.
3) Under the “Language” category, click “Add a language". At this point, the panel should look like this:
4) Click “Add a language”. Then, scroll down to section “K” to find Korean.
5) Select “Korean” and click “Add”. The panel should now look like this:
The Korean keyboard option is now available. You will notice that there is a language button (“ENG”) at the far right end of the taskbar. You will use it to toggle between English and Korean keyboards. How to use this button is explained in the next section.
Locate the language button (marked “ENG”) in the lower right corner of your screen. Click it once - a box will expand. Select "Korean Microsoft IME (Input Method Editor)".
Then the language sign will change from “ENG” (English) to (Korean), and at the same time, another icon (“A”) will appear left to the language sign.
In the picture above, focus on the two areas indicated by blue pointers (“Current Status” and “Language Mode”).
Language Mode (ENG or ): This shows whether you are in the English-only mode (ENG) or Korean-enabled mode (). You can shift between the two modes by selecting "ENG" or using the mouse.
Current Status (A or 가): Being in the "Korean-enabled" mode doesn't necessarily mean that your keyboard is ready to input Korean characters. It means you can activate Korean when you want. The default in the "Korean-enabled" mode is still English (hence the "A" sign). When you want to type Korean, hit the ALT key on the right side of your keyboard. (A keyboard may have two ALT keys; only the right one works for this purpose.)
When you hit the ATL key, the status icon will change to a Korean character, 가. Your keyboard is now ready to input Korean characters. You can toggle between Korean and English by pressing the right ALT key at any time.
There is a Typing Practice Section at the bottom of this article. You can move to that section by clicking here.
1) Open the Control Panel.
2) Select “Clock, Language and Region”.
3) Under the “Region and Language” category, click “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods”. A dialog box (“Region and Language”) will pop up.
4) Under the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click “Change Keyboards”.
5) The top half of the panel is “Default Input Language” - do not change it. The bottom half is “Installed Services”. In it, click “Add”. A dialog box (“Add Input Language”) will pop up.
6) Scroll down and find “Korean”. Expand the + sign next to “Korean”; and expand the + sign next to “keyboard”.
7) Check “Microsoft IME” (2nd box). Do not check "Korean" (1st box) or "Show More” (3rd box).
At this point, your "Add Input Language" window should look like this:
8) Click “OK”.
9) Click “Apply” and “OK”.
The Korean keyboard option is now available. At this point, you will see a language bar (marked “EN” [for English]) in the lower right corner of your screen.
If you don’t see the language bar in the lower right corner, it must be “floating” in the top right corner of your screen like this:
You can leave it there or close it by clicking the tiny square (above the tiny triangle within the bar) - then the language bar will come back to the bottom task bar.
Locate the language bar (marked “EN”) in the lower right corner of your screen. Click the “EN” sign once - a box will expand. Select "KO" (instead of "EN").
The language bar will then horizontally expand as shown below, giving you 4 different control icons.
Of the four, you will be dealing with Control 1 and Control 3 only.
Control 1 (KO or EN): This shows whether you are in the Korean-enabled mode (KO) or English-only mode (EN). You can shift between the two modes by selecting the KO or EN label, as shown in the previous figure.
Control 3 (A or 가): Being in the "KO" mode doesn't necessarily mean that your keyboard is ready to input Korean characters. It means you can activate Korean when you want. The default in the "KO" mode is still English (hence the "A" sign). When want to type Korean, hit the ALT key on the right side of your keyboard. (A keyboard may have two ALT keys; only the right one works for this purpose.) You will then see:
Note that Control 3 shows a Korean character, 가, instead of "A". Your keyboard is now ready to input Korean characters. You can toggle between Korean and English by pressing the right ALT key at any time.
We will explain the other two functions (Control 2 and Control 4) shortly, but you probably won’t use them at all. You can now skip to the Typing Practice Section (at the bottom of this article).
What are the other two buttons for?
Control 4: You won't need this unless you have deep understanding of the etymology of Korean words. Control 4 is used to convert Korean syllables written in phonetic alphabet (i.e. most modern Korean texts) into classical Asian logograms ("Chinese" characters), which had been for centuries the predominant writing system in Korea until the early part of the 20th century.
Control 2: Recall that, in Step 7 above (procedure for Windows 7), we recommended that you check only the second box (Microsoft IME) in the "Add Input Language" window. If you mistakenly checked the first box ("Korean") as well, that window would look like this:
With both of the boxes checked (not recommended), you will have two choices, which you can see by pressing and holding Control 2:
Note that, in addition to the green globe icon, you see a gray keyboard icon. The additional option (gray keyboard icon) apparently does not work as a Korean keyboard. Having this option only interferes with the the Microsoft IME (green globe icon) function from time to time.
If you happen to have the "gray keyboard" icon implemented, your keyboard may occasionally get stuck in the "gray keyboard mode" for unknown reasons (symptom: Korean entry stops working, and the ALT key becomes unresponsive). When this occurs, you can use Control 2 to move back to the "green globe" mode. If you leave the first box unchecked in Step 7 above (and activate only the second box), you won't have this problem, and you won't ever need Control 2.
When writing Korean on paper, you need to arrange the consonants and vowels into square-shaped clusters (each square being a syllable).
But on a computer keyboard, you can simply type them in linear sequence. The computer will automatically assemble them into syllabic clusters.
Let's type the Korean word for "summer", which looks like this:
This 2-syllable word contains 5 phonetic elements:
ㅇ, ㅕ, ㄹ, ㅡ, ㅁ
Before typing, make sure your language mode is in the mode and you have converted the "A" symbol to the 가 symbol, using the ALT key.
Now, type the 5 necessary elements one at a time (not the commas in the list – just the Korean characters with no space). You will see that the computer uses the first 2 elements to form the first cluster and the rest 3 to make the second.
For another example, let's type the Korean word for "fruit", which looks like this:
Like "summer", this word has 2 syllables and 5 phonetic elements:
Type the 5 elements. You will see that, this time, the computer uses the first 3 elements to construct the first syllable, and the rest 2 to make the second. But you don't need to concern yourself with the rules behind it. It is done automatically by the computer.
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