The written Korean language is unique insofar as it not only has a its own set of characters, but these different characters join together to create one character in a “block”. macOS does a very good job of implementing this writing system in a way that is easy to use and understand. In this article we will cover how you can start typing Korean Hangul characters on your Mac, with a standard keyboard and without changing your system language or anything like that.
There are two main ways you can type Hangul on your Mac. We will start with the Gongjin Cheong input method, which works by the user typing Korean consonants and vowels using roman characters and macOS converting them to Hangul characters in real time. This would be the easiest method for beginners, although those more experienced might want to skip ahead to the next method (2-set Korean input method).
The first thing you will have to do is add the Gongjin Cheong keyboard in the System Preferences under Keyboard > Input Sources:
Now you will be able to switch to this keyboard in the menu bar, like so:
Once you have switched to the GongjinCheong Romaja keyboard you can spell out Korean consonants and vowels using roman characters. Typing “ng” will give you “ㅇ”, while “I” will give you “ㅣ” and “R” will give you “ㄹ”. However because macOS automatically groups the characters into blocks for you, typing these characters in sequence will give you “일”.
The more advanced method of typing Korean Hangul is using the “2-Set Korean” keyboard. Like the GongjinCheong Romaja, the 2-Set Korean keyboard can be added via the System Preferences. Once you have added and switched to it, each Korean vowel and consonant will be assigned a key on your keyboard. Pressing the correct key will give you the correct Hangul character — Roman characters do not entrer the picture at all. So for example to type 일 as we did earlier you would need to press the keys equivilant to “D”, “L” and “F”.
It could be very tricky to remember which keys corrospond to which characters, so you might find it useful to enable the Keyboard Viewer via the menu bar, like so:
This will give you a virtual keyboard showing where all the Hangul characters map to:
A more long term and convenient alternative would be to purchase a set of Korean Hangul keyboard stickers online, so you can look to your physical keyboard for reference instead of having a virtual one sitting on the screen and taking up space.