Culture Language Technology Tutorial Ubuntu

How to Get Korean (Hangul) Working on Ubuntu 16.04

EDITED October 31, 2016

This tutorial might also work on Ubuntu 14.04, I haven’t tried yet.

I love Ubuntu and I love Hangul but I’m not going to deny it – it’s not hyper-easy to get it running on Ubuntu, not because it’s super hard but because there aren’t any helpful blog posts out there to walk someone through it.

By golly, miss molly, that ends today!  Let’s begin…

  1. Hit the super key and type ‘languages’ and then click/open the “language support” icon as per this:


2. Click ‘install/remove languages’ as per this:


English should be selected already (if your mother-tongue install was English).

3. Choose “korean” from the list, then apply, and wait (a really long time sometimes) while it downloads King Sejong and the kitchen sink…


EDIT! Some have reported not finding the Korean option in this list.  I cannot explain why this would be, nor have I experienced this, but I would recommend that if this is your case try logging out completely and logging back in and trying again.  Let me know if that helped.

Here is where the non-intuitive stuff starts.  You’d think doing the above would be all you need but you need to do a bit more.

EDIT! If you have tried this tutorial before, make sure you *log out* here completely and log back in or you might not see the next “Korean (Hangul) (ibus)” option.

4. Go to the top right of the screen where you see English (En) and click that and you’ll see ‘text entry settings’


Now you will English sitting there all alone.

5. Press the + sign and then type ‘korean’ and select it.  Then you’ll see a screen like this.  Choose Korean (Hangul) (Ibus).


I had some issues leaving the ‘master keyboard’ (that’s a name I gave it) switching with the default (something with the super key) and so I changed mine to Control + space bar.  You can do whatever you want by just clicking in the space where the default is and hitting your favourite combo in on your keyboard.  When finished just close the window and your changes will be saved.

Remember, this is *not* the hangul-english keyboard language switching combo.  This is the keyboard combo that switches your keyboard from the “English only” (En) one to the “Korean with English capabilities” one.


Now, we’re getting close to being able to angle your Hangul, but just one more critical step that will save you the pulling out of multiple strands of hair.

6. You must now either reboot, or log out and log back in again in order to be able to eat your green eggs with Hangul.

You will know that you have successfully reached Hangul-Land when the top right area that used to say “En” is now a colourful Korean swirl like so:


Although you now have full Korean capabilities, you now must use the keyboard combos found within this Korean keyboard in order to switch between English and Korean.  The default combo is shift + space bar, and you can try it out now for a fun test.  You may, like me, wish to change this keyboard combo to something else. If you do,  go on to the next section.

How to Customize Your Shiny New Korean Keyboard with a Custom Language Toggle Keyboard Combo

Click the colourful swirl and select ‘setup’ as per this:


Next, you will see the Hangul toggle key space with the defaults. If you want to change the keys used to toggle between Korean and English, just click ‘add’ and then, even though it says ‘key’ singular in the pop up, you can hit the key combo with your computer and it will work.

*Warning!* It shows this popup when you hit ‘add’ under the Hangul toggle area, which is *incorrect*. It should say ‘hangul’ not hanja here. Both hanja and hangul display the same pop up box so it just needs a bug report to fix this but I’m too tired at the point of writing this blog…


In this case, I used control +right alt key because I remember using something like that back in the day and it felt comfortable.  You can do whatever floats your boat.


아이구! 신기 신기! 오렛동안 한국말 이컴퓨터에서 못했어….  드디어.

Hope this helps you grow in Ubuntu and Korean!


Humour Language

The Sunny Shores of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch: I never knew this place existed.  I never knew it was real.  And now that I know, there is nothing I can do about it because I could never say it or spell it.

This guy, however, should be given some kind of award:

I was also thinking about how cool it would look on a Canadian letter mailed.

Wayne Out There

#12 – 1551 53rd Street,

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, BC


Update: Thanks Debbie for this link of the Global News people trying their best to say it on the air

Business Humour Language


Today I had a very unique problem related to the English language. Even today it bothers me and so I’m reaching out to the world webs to see if anyone can help me.

So I’m using this contact management system for my sales job.  During the course of my job (and if you are in sales or many other businesses you are doing the same thing) I have to follow things up. I have to set little alarms and reminders to make sure I’m doing stuff and that money doesn’t fall off the table because of negligence.

One of the very specific tasks I have to do very regularly is ‘Follow Up Quote’.  I need to write a quote and then follow up the quote to see if a decision is going to happen or if I need to adjust the quote to make it fit the customer better.

The problem is this: I have to write ‘follow up quote’ so much in these reminders that I need to abbreviate it.  But every time I tried, it sounds like I’m using profanity.

  • F.U.Q.  <– say that loud in front of your mother and see what happens!
  • F-UP quote <– I don’t want to F it UP before I finish! (another slap from mom)
  • F.U. quote <– Come here, quote. Now… FU Quote!  (SLAP from mom)

I quit.

Someone help.


Language Life Skills

Typoglycemia and Speed Reading

Today I was thinking about the mind and how typos can be easily read and understood by people of the same mother tongue.  I finally found the example by searching the keywords ‘ESL, typos, understand, native,”.  Here is a good summary of what’s up with typoglycemia

What jumped out at me was the explanation of why ‘they’ think it happens. They say it’s because if you don’t change the first or last letter of the word it doesn’t affect the readability.  Weird.  Hmm. So then I started thinking about a post I just happened to write last month about speed reading

It seems as though these two work side by side and that reading isn’t really understanding your abc’s and how those individual abc’s work together to form a word, but more so the *memorization* of the general shape and form of those words as a unique ‘picture’ if you will.

I was also meandering in my mind about how this might also help understand why captchas are sometimes brutally hard for humans at times but nearly impossible for robots…

Anyways, what I’m thinking is that the eyes recognize words more as a ‘picture’ in much the same way that you can recognize people you know by quickly scanning through a group picture of hundreds or thousands of people.

Do you know your abc’s?

Maybe it doesn’t matter as much after all….


Language Life Skills

Speed Reading: Man I wish I took this course in Elementary School

Today I learned how much not learning speed reading cost me in my life.  The concept is simple when you break it down.  Time is money.  Why is time money?  Your life is simply how much time God has given you before you die.  Ta-dah.

So if you want to get more out of your life, wasting less time and being more effective with your time is paramount.

After doing just one 20 minute session from this awesome post I was able to increase my reading speed (with comprehension) from 240 wpm (yes, I wasn’t the fastest kid on the block) to 480 wpm.  The coolest thing about this number is that it’s easy to do the math on which I also suck at.  I can see (even without a calculator, Mom!) that my reading speed *doubled* in less than 20 minutes.

What are the implications here?  Well, this book I have in front of me has about 200 pages of content pages.  Each page has an average of 32 lines per page with an average of 12 words per line.  32 x 12 x 200 = 76,800 words.

I used to read at 240 wpm which would have taken me 76,800 / 240 = 320 minutes or 5.3 hours of straight, hard, punishing reading to get through.

At my new speed of 480 wpm that would be 76,800 / 480 = 160 or 2.7 hours saving me 2.6 hours of my life.

Perhaps this already jumps out as you as important.  For me I jump back to my university days and think to myself how many less hours I could have spent in that stinky old UBC underground dungeon library. The other thing that jumps out at me is how much more information I could  now have in my head.

The former regrets I cannot fix but the latter has inspired hope.

Let’s say one only reads two books per year,  not for fun, just for painful learning.  Why not save 5 hours per year for the next 30 years or add an extra 6 days of ‘free time’ to your life to spend with your family or friends?

This is awesome and I will diligently focus on this until I can do it and teach my kids.

Humour Language

Bangus Spanish Style

I’m trying to grow up.  Really, I am.  The problem is that I keep running into things that make my inner 12 year old laugh.  Thanks to a Spanish company, I’ve immatured again.

This blog is only really funny if you are Korean or if you have studied Korean a bit.  It also may qualify as funny if you are into linguistics.  If you find bodily humour or toilet humour funny, this also may be acceptable to you.

In Korean, the word for fart is ‘bangoo’ or ‘bangu’ – the great part is that I don’t know how to Romanize it.  Here is the straight Hangul for you if that helps you:


So, let’s see the different kinds of bangus this company produces:

As you can see from our featured image and the gorgeous lady, you can get Gourmet Bangus.  You can tell by looking at this striking lady that she knows Gourmet Bangus and won’t settle for less.

There are also the Spanish Style Bangus.




Don’t forget the Bangus that come straight from the Belly!




But without a doubt, this one made my inner 12-year-old crying and gasping for air from laughter.  I’ve since recovered.  I hope your inner Korean 12 year old will laugh as well.




So, forget ‘Oppa Gangnam Style’.  This is “Bangu Spanish Style!”

Humour Language Life Skills

Why the Crapital Letters?

So there I am typing an email to someone who sits somewhere between a friend, an acquaintance and a business partner.  I had begun the email typing very quickly, not even taking the time to hit the shift key to capitalize his name.

At the end of the email, as is customary, I nailed the shift key and typed my ‘W’.  That’s short for ‘Wayne’ if you are curious.  Just before I pressed send, I realized that my recipient’s name was underlined by the browser’s spell check feature, but my ‘W’ wasn’t.  Immediately, I thought ‘This will look bad if my name is capitalized but his name is not.”

Then the real thought struck me:

Why are the names of mortals like us capitalized at all?

I did a search in a major search engine and to my surprise, I couldn’t find an article on this topic.  I could find many articles about how and when to use capital letters, but not why we use them.

I can understand capitalizing God’s name because God is God – He is worthy of a capital letter -He created the heavens, the earth and all that is therein.  But not me.  Nope. I’m not worthy of a capital letter – my poop stinks and I talk too much.  I’m not worthy of having my name distinguished as if I have done some great thing in this world.  And even if I had done some great thing in this world that some human thought was important, did that warrant a capital like God?  Did I create flowers and DNA and the stars and the moon or a newborn babe or the eagle soaring in the air? Methinks not.

Don’t get me wrong. I think people are important.  I think they are so important that God sent His own Son Jesus to die for them, for crying out loud;  You don’t see Him doing that for pigs or cows – not that they don’t have their place in creation.  So people are dearly important. However, I think it’s arrogance and ego that started the capital letters on people’s names. Let’s humble ourselves a bit and not think of ourselves as so great.

So, starting today, I encourage you to start removing the capital letter from all these people’s names.  If they would allow you to put their thoughts and the rotten condition of their heart on a big screen, the world would quickly see (in HD quality) that they do not deserve a capital letter.  So, backspace, type your boss’ names again without the capital.  Be sure to include a link to this article so they don’t blame you for this act of what they will probably consider defiance, rudeness or lack of English language proficiency.

If you don’t buy into the theological reasons for killing the crapitals, at the end of the day, think how much faster you could type if you didn’t have to hit the bloody shift key for every ‘proper name’.

-wayne taylor, december, 2012