Americans are having difficulty saying what U.S. troops are fighting over. Does Seoul, for example, rhyme with fool, soul, or Creole? "Soul" is closest: the eo is pronounced like the eo in George. All consonants in Korean place names are pronounced as in English except for j and r.

a as in father; ae as the a in cat

e as the ei in weight

i as the ee in see

o as in home; on as the on in son; ong as the ung in sung

oe as the u in fur

u as in rude or, when followed by i, p or m, as in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!