Searching Korean Text

One technique I find extremely useful when writing a letter, essay, or research paper is to search through the paper for a portion of a word. Suppose I'm interested in finding a section of my paper that uses the word "converter", or maybe it was "conversion"? I don't remember, so I hit Ctrl+F and type "conver". This brings up both "converter" and "conversion".

Unfortunately, Korean words are represented by syllable blocks, and each block is a single Unicode character. The Korean word for Korea is two syllables long and six letters long: 한국.

The find functions in both Google Chrome and Notepad++ treat syllable blocks as letters, not groups of letters. If I search for "하" in either application, the word 한국 isn't highlighted despite containing the character sequence "하" as its first two letters. (If you're wondering, here are the six letters individually: ㅎ ㅏ ㄴ ㄱ ㅜ ㄱ.)

This causes a bit of a problem when searching through Korean text. For example, it's impossible to find all forms of the basic Korean verb 하다 (to do) because many of its forms share no important syllable blocks at all: 합니다 (do - formal), 해요 (do - polite), and 할 거예요 (will do - polite).

Photo of Sejong the Great by Katie Haugland