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Korean Perspective
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Hangul Language

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Personal Insight



"The One Script"

"Annyonghaseyo"  --  Hello!

How are you?

Hangul is actually what Koreans refer to their written language. Thus, when non-native speakers go about learning Korean, or any Asian language, they must learn the spoken and the written forms. Many also feel to fully learn, one has to be exposed to both forms for better understanding. My husband started out teaching me the alphabet, before focusing on the spoken phrases. Unlike Japanese hiragana or Chinese characters, for instance, Hangul had been structured so that someone with simple education could read it.

t was in 1446 that King Sejong of the Chosun Dynasty, commanded an extensive research to be done to put forth an effective writing system. He called upon a sophisticated teams of scholars to conduct a phonological analysis of the Korean speech pattern. The Korean alphabet, Hangul, is perhaps the most outstanding scientific and cultural achievement of the Korean nation.

Han-gul came as the result of his efforts. It originally contained 28 symbols, although 4 have dropped out of use. The alphabet has 10 vowels and 14 consonants. The consonants represent the simplified outlines of the parts of the mouth and tongue used to pronounce them. Even more interesting, the vowels are associated with elements of the philosophy of the Book of Changes.


any will notice that Korean grammar is structured differently from English, so much that it seems the sentence structure is set up backwards. Grammatically, Korean is also related to the Japanese and Mongolian languages, in that the structure of three languages are very similar. Strangely enough, Korean is not at all related to Chinese as thought. It had been derived from the Tungusic and Turkish languages.


s Americans like to borrow and incorporate many foreign world in with the English, the Korean language also borrows many words from the Chinese language and other countries.

2002 Sharon Lee