Welcome to the official Korean Page of the Gathering Of All Languages
Don’t be fooled by the flag of South Korea. Korean is not only spoken in South Korea, but also in North Korea and even in some parts of China!
There’s an estimated 71 million people who speak Korean around the world!
So this is how it all began:
Up until 1446, the Korean people’s written communications were handled in Chinese. Every letter, official government documents, and even community announcements were written in Chinese.
Now, go check out the Chinese page above. It won’t take long for you to notice how difficult it must have been for the many illiterate Koreans to communicate in thousands and thousands of different Chinese characters. Without formal training, it was nearly impossible to master all the different Chinese symbols.
To resolve this problem of illiteracy, King Sejong the Great(세종 대왕) of the Chosun dynasty(조선 시대) , in 1446, commissioned and presided over a group of linguists to invent a new written language based on the “sound” of the words.
With 24 letters, 14 of which are consonants and 10 of which are vowels, Hangul became a new phonetic alphabet system which average Koreans could easily learn and master.
Consonants(rough counterparts in English): ㄱ(g) ㄴ(n) ㄷ(d) ㄹ(r) ㅁ(m)ㅂ (b) ㅅ(s) ㅇ(o,a) ㅈ(j) ㅊ(ch) ㅋ(k) ㅌ(t) ㅍ(p) ㅎ(h)
Vowels (rough counterparts in English): ㅏ(a)ㅑ(-ya)ㅓ(uh)ㅕ(yuh) ㅗ(O) ㅛ(yo) ㅜ (ooh) ㅠ(yooh) ㅡ(eu)ㅣ(e)
So you’d prefer learning from songs and videos? Here you go:
Here are what some foreigners said about Hangul:
“Hangul must be unquestionably ranked as one of the greatest intellectual achievements of humankind” – G. Sampson, Professor of natural language
“Hangul is the most developed phonemic alphabet” – Hiroyuki Umeda
“King Sejong systematized the phonological theory five centuries earlier than the West” –
Werner Sasse, German translator
Isn’t Korean a fascinating language? In fact, it is the one of the most easiest languages to master. It was, after all, written for the people.