The last time I wrote about this, pointing out how the Korean language lacks certain sounds, and that therefore the Hangeul writing system doesn't actually provide for them, I received several interesting comments.
Which, by the way, I am always grateful to read. And publish. Well, unless they're spam. So comment away.
Anyway, I was attempting to make the point that the Jjia-jjia or whoever have hopefully made the determination that Hangeul can adequately represent the phonemes of their language, since otherwise they will end up with Jjiageul. Or Kongjjia. Or something.
The Korean language, as was saying at the time, has no "eff" sound. It also has no "vee" sound. And I could go on, without intending to slight the Korean language or its speakers in the least. Hell, English lacks those wonderfully expressive click sounds I love so much in Swahili and maTonga. I'm just stating facts.
So, since Korean doesn't have an "eff" sound, it is quite understandable that Hangeul doesn't have an "eff" symbol. This is simply and unequivocally a fact.
This fact has two significant results:
1) Koreans as a rule don't ever make an "eff" sound, even when saying English words that have an "eff" sound in them. Instead, they substitute a sound they do have. So, instead of a fork, you get a pork. Actually, you don't even get that, because of the second point:
2) Hangeul simply cannot reproduce certain words. Period. I just said that the Korean for fork was pork, but I was lying. Other aspects of Korean linguistics also come into play. For example, many English diphthongs are disallowed by Hangeul, one of which is "rk". "Lk" is okay (like in a word for chicken flesh), "ng" is infuriatingly ubiquitous, "ch" and "sh" are pretty common, too.
Phonemes, individual syllables, also have particular rules, especially about ending consonants. Coming back to the fork-pork example, calling it a pork won't do, because the "r" is disallowed in conjunction with the "k". Considering the availability of "lk", I am unsure why people don't eat with a polk. But in Korea, they don't. Instead, they eat with a pok-uh.
An anonymous commenter on the previous post asserted the following:
A writing system doesn't need to conform with any specific pronunciation in any case; it's just symbols.
This explains why I review comments--even if I let this go through; it was probably my intent to respond, though I never did (I have a life, y'know). I'll do so here:
Friend! Yes. Yes it does. That is the function of a writing system. "It's just symbols" that represent how you move your mouth, tongue, lungs, diaphragm, etc, in order to create meaningful sounds of your language.
Well, now that I've expended 500 "symbol groups representing meaningful sounds" I see I haven't even touched on the new controversy of Hangeul and the Cia-cia. I mean, the Jjia-jjia. Or however you say it.
Bonus Photograph: Mr Hwang's young son enjoying gopchang in our neighborhood "Korean beef innards specialty restaurant":