Korean is the only language in the world that we know who the inventor is!
Sejong the Great. The fourth king of Joseon Dynasty.
Back in the days when Korea was still in the early Joseon Period (the 15th century), Koreans had used Classical Chinese characters, called Hanja, to write the language they spoke. However, there was one problem: since Korean is grammatically different from Chinese, writing Korean with Chinese characters was such a difficult thing to do. That’s why most of the lower classes who didn’t have the privilege of education was not able to read or write.
In 1443, Sejong the Great created the unique Korean alphabets to promote literacy among the common people.
Hun-min-jeong-eum has two meanings :
1) The official name of the alphabets and a Korean writing system.
It was created in 1443 by Sejong the Great, that we now call Hangeul. Hun-min-jeong-eum means ‘the proper sound for the education of people.’
2) The title of a manual written in Chinese characters to explain how to use this new writing system.
It was written by scholars of Jip-hyeon-jeon* in 1446 under the order of Sejong the Great. This book is the National Treasure No. 70 and is registered as UNESCO’s Memory of the World.
*Jiphyeonjeon, also known as the Hall of Worthies, is a royal research institute set up by Sejong the Great.
Hangeul has a total of 24 alphabets: 14 consonants and 10 vowels.
Linguists love Korean language and refer it as the “most perfect phonetic system devised.” They have praised Hangeul for its logical and easy to learn features. One of the outstanding characteristics of Korean is that its written symbols correspond to the spoken sounds of the language. (which means you can literally write any sounds in Korean.) In other words, when Sejong the Great created Hangeul, he intentionally made it to be easy to learn!
Sejong the Great said, “The wise man will master it even before the morning ends. A fool can learn in ten days.”
Yes, he is talking about Hangeul. If you have enough motivation to learn the language, you’ll be able to learn how to read Hangeul within a few days!
Warning! Korean language itself can be quite difficult to learn because of its grammar, honorifics, and more.
???? Discussion for Today’s Topic :
What is, in your opinion, interesting about Korean language?
Feel free to share your opinion with us. ????