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Which Korean Keyboard to Use?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

When English speakers want to learn the Korean language, one of the best tools they can use to have a better understanding of the language is the Korean keyboard. Knowing how to type in Korean can further your learning of the language because you will be able to visit more Korean websites and chat with Korean people online.

Before you can explore more of the Korean language, you will need to know what Korean keyboard layout to use. There are two keyboard layouts that are commonly used in Korea, the 2 set and the 3 set. However, the 2 set is used a lot more often and is a better choice for Korean typing.

Both Korean keyboard layouts are available on Windows and Mac.

If you want to learn more about Korean characters and typing in the language, we recommend using the 2 set layout. On this page, we’re going to discuss more about Korean typing and the keyboard layouts they use. Keep reading for more information.

Do Koreans Use Standard or 10 Key Keyboards?

Typing in Korean is a whole different experience than what English speakers are used to. Most Koreans use a 10 key keyboard that is different than the ones people use in North America. The Korean alphabet is made up of symbols that look a lot different than the Latin alphabet that English speakers use.

A 10 key keyboard is very small, and it’s similar to the right side of a standard keyboard. In order to use a 10 key Korean keyboard, you need to be a fast typer. This is because you need to select combinations to create characters. If you type too slowly, it will make an error with the symbols.

The standard keyboard is recent to Korea and most people are used to typing Korean on a 10 key keyboard. The younger generation was introduced to the standard keyboard and has a good grasp of how to type efficiently on both styles of keyboards.

However, the older generation has more difficulty memorizing all the keys’ locations on the standard keyboard. They feel more comfortable using the 10 key keyboards because they can type faster.

Are Korean Keyboards Different

Korean keyboards are a lot different than the ones people in North American use. One of the main differences between the standard Korean keyboard and the North American keyboard is that Korean typing doesn’t require as many keys to express what needs to be said. Using “shift” and other key combinations, Koreans can get all of the letters they need.

The Korean alphabet uses different symbols for letters than the Latin alphabet. If you are using an American made computer, the computer keyboard likely doesn’t have the Korean letters on it. If you download one of the Korean keyboard input methods, you will need to learn which key represents which letter to accurately type a Korean word.

Typing in Korean does take a lot of practice, but you can get help. Purchasing a keyboard cover or keyboard stickers with Korean letters can help you with typing Korean.

It’s highly recommended that you learn how to type Korean on a computer keyboard. Learning the Korean keyboard layout on a mobile device can be very difficult, especially if you aren’t a speedy typer.

How Fast Do Koreans Type

Koreans are known for typing very fast. These speedy typers can type at the same speed that they speak. Even when they use an online keyboard through their mobile device, they can get those words out quickly.

The Korean keyboard layout appears smaller but there are more combinations to memorize, especially when using other input methods.

Korean speakers are typically fast typers because they have memorized every key they need to his to make a Korean word. They know how to deliver the message with as few symbols as possible.

If you ever pay attention to how a Korean is typing, you will notice that they aren’t looking at the keyboard at all. They are paying attention to the screen and watching the words come up in case they need to fix any mistakes. Memorization is very important when it comes to the Korean keyboard layout.

Most Koreans type faster because they teach themselves the keyboard layout and other input methods through memorizing them.

Instead of watching what keys they are pressing to make a word, type blindly so they know what mistakes they have to work on. This method of learning has trained them to be faster typers.

Typing in Korean can be very challenging if it isn’t your native language. However, if you want to improve your Korean language typing, there are many ways to do so. Of course, taking the time to practice is the best way.

There are also many resources (free and paid) online featuring games and activities to speed up your Korean typing.

How Do Korean Typewriters Work

Writing Korean is a lot different than other languages because certain characters are made up by combining other characters. Instead of typing each character out beside one another to form a word, many Korean characters are placed in combinations where one character is below the other.

With a Korean keyboard, you can press a certain combination of keys and the computer will recognize it. How does this work with a Korean typewriter?

As you may be familiar with, typewriters will print the letters as you type them which doesn’t leave room for errors. If you are familiar with the Korean keyboard layout, then you should have no trouble using a Korean typewriter. The typewriters are set up very similar to American typewriters.

Keep in mind, all Korean typewriters are antique. They haven’t been manufactured since the ’80s and the technology is not up to date.

However, if you can use a Korean keyboard, you can use a Korean typewriter. There are just a couple of key buttons you need to know about and you will be set to type:

  • Shift key- Hitting shift will allow you to add a symbol below a character
  • Space bar is used to unlock the shift key


If you have a Windows or Mac PC, you can download a Korean keyboard to learn more about the language. There are several different Korean keyboard input methods, but we recommend using a 2 set because it’s the most commonly used keyboard layout in Korea.

Practicing Korean typing is one of the most efficient ways to learn how to use the language.

Korean keyboard layouts are a lot different than what people are used to in the US. Don’t be discouraged if it takes you a bit longer to catch on to using a Korean keyboard.

Once you become more familiar with the Korean keyboard, you will be able to visit more Korean websites and chat with others who know the language.

A Korean keyboard cover can be a great helping hand when you’re learning which keys stand for which Korean character.

Once you feel more comfortable with the layout, you should practice typing without looking at the keyboard. Blindly typing is one of the greatest ways to get used to where all of the keys are.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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