K-LEARNING | March.27.2024

Efficient Korean Typing: Demystifying the QWERTY Keyboard

Have you checked out the post on the Chunjiin keyboard? Have you had the chance to install it on your mobile device and give it a try? The Chunjiin keyboard can be mastered in just 10 seconds once you grasp its principle.



However, the Chunjiin keyboard is only available for use on mobile devices and can't be used on computers. 


Today, let's dive into the QWERTY keyboard, which, while as popular as Chunjiin, can be used on both computers and mobile devices. Let's start with wide eyes!



🚨 Even though we usually use "type" for computer keyboards and "tap" for mobile devices, we'll stick with 💻 "type" for simplicity. This is because what we are about to explain applies to both computer and mobile keyboards just the same.


On a QWERTY keyboard, consonants are typically positioned on the left side of the center, and vowels on the right, allowing for quick and efficient entry of letters based on their frequency of use.



🧐 For instance, if you're typing “mother" using an English QWERTY keyboard:


  - mo (right hand for M, right hand for O), 

  - ther (left hand for T, right hand for H, left hand for E, left hand for R)



🧐 Conversely, when entering '엄마(mother)’ on a Korean QWERTY keyboard:


  - 엄 (left hand for ㅇ, right hand for ㅓ, left hand for ㅁ)

  - 마 (left hand for ㅁ, right hand for ㅏ)



This means, unlike English, the Korean QWERTY keyboard layout encourages alternating between left and right hands for consonants(left hand) and vowels(right hand), offering several advantages such as:



1️⃣ Speed and Efficiency Improvement

Alternating between consonants and vowels allows one hand to prepare for the next letter while the other hand is typing, enhancing typing speed. This is one reason why Koreans can type exceptionally fast!



2️⃣ Balanced Hand Usage

Since both hands are evenly utilized, rather than one hand doing most of the work, it reduces finger fatigue. This makes it easier to type for extended periods without much strain on the fingers.



3️⃣ Reduced Typing Errors

Alternating hands decreases the likelihood of using the same finger consecutively, lowering the chances of making typing mistakes.



How to Use the QWERTY Keyboard


⚠️ Since the principle behind computer and mobile keyboards is the same, we'll explain using the computer keyboard for easier understanding.



Just like in the photo above, you alternate between the consonants on the left side with your left hand and the vowels on the right side with your right hand to type out letters!



⌨️ How to Type


나는 너를 사랑해. (I love you.)


🧡 나는 (I): ㄴ > ㅏ > ㄴ > ㅡ > ㄴ > space key

💛 너를 (you): ㄴ > ㅓ > ㄹ > ㅡ > ㄹ > space key

💚 사랑해 (love): ㅅ >ㅏ > ㄹ > ㅏ > ㅇ > ㅎ > ㅐ> . key



🖐️ I Have a Question!

"How do I type double consonants?“



▶ This is when you need to use the 'Shift' key.


⭕  For ㄲ: The basic letter is ㄱ, so you press the ‘Shift’ key and ㄱ together.

🚨 It's important to keep pressing the Shift key while you press ㄱ! Don't let go of the Shift key!


⭕  For ㄸ: The basic letter is ㄷ, so you press the ‘Shift’ key and ㄷ together.

⭕  For ㅃ: The basic letter is ㅂ, so you press the ‘Shift’ key and ㅂ together.

⭕  For ㅆ: The basic letter is ㅅ, so you press the ‘Shift’ key and ㅅ together.

⭕  For ㅉ: The basic letter is ㅈ, so you press the ‘Shift’ key and ㅈ together.



On a computer keyboard, the double consonants ㅃ, ㅉ, ㄸ, ㄲ, ㅆ are marked above the Q, W, E, R, T keys respectively.


By pressing the Shift key and then the basic consonant keys Q, W, E, R, T, you can change them to double consonants ㅃ, ㅉ, ㄸ, ㄲ, ㅆ, respectively.



Remember, mobile keyboards might not display the double consonants like computer keyboards do, so pressing the changes it to a double consonant!



🖐️ “How do I type vowels like ㅒ, ㅖ, ㅘ, ㅞ, etc.?”



We'll explain how to type vowels not directly available on the right-hand vowel keys (such as ㅒ, ㅖ, ㅘ, ㅞ, ㅟ, ㅢ, etc.). There are two different methods for typing vowels depending on their type, but don't worry, it's quite simple.



1️⃣ First, let's look at ㅒ and ㅖ.



We mentioned that for consonants, you need to press the corresponding key with the 'Shift' key for double consonants. 



To type ㅒ, you press the ㅐ key located on the English O key with the 'Shift' key. 

And for ㅖ? You do the same with the ㅔ key located on the P key with the 'Shift' key!



2️⃣ For all vowels except ㅒ and ㅖ, you combine vowel keys located under your right hand.



🖐️ Want to type ㅘ? 

Press the ㅗ key, then the ㅏ key.



🖐️ How about ㅞ? 

Press the ㅜ key, then the ㅔ key.



💯 Quiz: How would you type 'ㅟ'?

① ㅡ key > ㅣ key

② ㅜ key > ㅣ key

③ ㅠ key > ㅣ key


The answer is ② ㅜ key > ㅣ key = ㅟ.



Let’s summarize how to type in Korean using the QWERTY keyboard:

  1) Based on the center of the keyboard, consonant keys are located on the left, while vowel keys are positioned on the right.


  2) Alternate between left hand(consonants) and right hand(vowels) to type letters.


  3) To type double consonants and ㅐ and ㅖ, use the 'Shift' key.


  4) Except for ㅐ and ㅖ, all vowels are typed by combining right-hand side vowels.



See you next time!



📍 This content is partially excerpted from KONOGRAM. Various details on how to use the Chunjiin keyboard, including demonstrations of direct input, are sourced from KONOGRAM.com. You can find more information there. Click here!


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