Hangul's relation to English
Like English, Hangul is a phonetic alphabet, where each letter represents a sound. Contrast this to logogram/morphogram-based alphabets, that represent words and/or units of meaning. Examples of logogram/morphogram-based alphabets include Chinese and Japanese. Due to their unifying rules, phonetic alphabets can be learned exponentially faster than logograms/morphograms.
In addition, the Hangul alphabet is famous for the speed in which it can be learned due to its featural, hyper-rational, and geometric, design.

Hangul's relation to Geometry
Unlike the linear alphabet of English, Hangul is non-linear. Hangul's letters are grouped together in square blocks, and change size and shape depending on their position. In the same way multiplication tables illustrate multiplication patterns, Hangul tables illustrate the geometrical patterns in which letters change size and shape. Another reason Hangul can be learned so quickly, is based on the fact all Hangul's vowels and 9/14 of its consonants can be written with a 90° angle motif.

A Hangul Table (left)
The 9 Block Patterns of Hangul (right)
I = 1st consonant M = vowel F = 2nd consonant


hangultable

Among the vowels, there is a unifying pattern, that links similar shaped letter progressions with their corresponding sound progressions. This pattern, shown in the diagram below, allows vowels to be converted to iotized vowels (1st progression) and gliding vowels (2nd progression). In the 1st progression a line is added to the original letter, the letter retains the original sound, except it now begins with a "y". In the 2nd progression, the letter shifts into its 3rd shape and retains the original sound, except it now begins with a "w". (note, the last two vowels only have a 1st progression).

Hangul Vowel Progressions (16/21 Vowels)



The 14 Consonants of Hangul



The remaining Vowels of Hangul



Selected Hangul block patterns showing how the vowels (blue) and consonants (red) are placed. Notice how vowel placement is dependent on whether the vowel's shape is vertical, horizontal, or both.



Applications of learning Hangul
Hangul is famous for many reasons, its featural/hyper-rational/geometric design, its spatial efficiency (letters that fold on to themselves like puzzle pieces, in a variety of space-conserving patterns), its creation's association with Taoist thought, and for the quickness in which it can be learned. Hangul can be learned in a hour, quickly bringing a person close to full literacy.

Because the sounds of Hangul remain constant (unlike English, much like Spanish) people can begin speaking without doubting their pronunciation. A benefit of learning Hangul, is that it acts as a potent catalyst for learning the Korean language. A person that knows Hangul, but doesn't know Korean, can speak Korean by articulating tech-based translations. Hangul provides a variety of cognitive and linguistic benefits. The script can also be used to communicate in English or as a form of cryptography.

Hangul was created by Sejong the Great in 1443.





Hangul vowel design





Hangul consonant design showing the 14 consonants, the 5 derivative double consonants, as well as the geometric nature of the script.



Hangul is a featural alphabet, meaning the shapes of Hangul letters encode the phonological features of the phonemes they represent.
("sounding", like the o in "flow")
("flat-sounding", like the oo in "book")
("sounding", like the oo in "soon")




More Hangul