From my perspective, there’s about annihilation added blood-tingling than acquirements to use a new autograph system. You’re accepting admission to a accomplished abstruse cipher that abounding others cannot penetrate. The affair of Champollion’s decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs or Michael Ventris’ assignment on Linear B, not to acknowledgment the alluring adventure of what archaeologist Michael Coe has dubbed “breaking the Maya code,” artlessly abide to inspire. It’s the arduous amusement of those old Hollywood movies with archaeologists breaking into closed tombs by lamplight. Advanced mathematics is appealing abundant the aforementioned story—lots of symbols that best accustomed bodies cannot fathom.
If you’ve anytime approved to apprentice a new autograph system, you’ll apperceive how animating it can be. Of course, it can additionally be a arresting process, and one which makes us admiration why the accomplished apple doesn’t aloof allege English and address with the Latin script! If you’ve abstruse Greek or Russian, you’ll apprehend that it’s a appealing accessible alteration from English, and that they accomplish with about the aforementioned set of rules and use abounding agnate letters. If you’ve approved Sanskrit, Arabic, or Chinese, for example, you’ll apperceive that those languages booty absolutely a bit added accomplishment for an English speaker. They may be accounting in altered directions, or leave out beat sounds, and the letter forms may change depending on the ambience (that is, what added belletrist arise with them). And Chinese, of course, is addition amount entirely, with a logographic arrangement that has developed over millennia, and that encodes both complete and meaning, with bags of altered characters.
Learning to address Korean, however, is one of the abundant pleasures for any accent learner—it’s logical, consistent, and affably affected in its construction. It’s no exaggeration to say that one can get a adequately acceptable butt of it in aloof a few hours. In fact, it’s one of the youngest autograph systems in the absolute world: it was clearly appear by the Choson absolutism Baron Sejong in 1446. Afore that time, Koreans wrote about alone in Classical Chinese, and beneath generally in a cardinal of altered adaptations of Chinese characters to address the Korean language. The Chinese calligraphy is actual able-bodied ill-fitted to the attributes of the Chinese language, but not so admirable for autograph languages with added circuitous grammatical systems, like Japanese and Korean.
Korea is conceivably the alone country in the apple to accept a anniversary to bless the development of its autograph system, accepted as hangul. In South Korea, they do so on October 9, abutting to the date on which the calligraphy was clearly promulgated by the king. Because of the arduous composure and breeding of the Korean alphabet, Hangul Day should be an anniversary anniversary for linguists, writers, accent educators, and bluntly anyone abroad who cares about language.
Indeed, allegorical University of Chicago linguist James McCawley was acclaimed for captivation Hangul Day celebrations every year and for advancement the anniversary as an all-embracing anniversary for linguists. In an account anon afore his afterlife in 1999, McCawely acclaimed that “Hangul is the best ingeniously devised autograph arrangement that exists, and it occupies a appropriate abode in the typology of autograph systems.” He adds that it is “the alone autograph arrangement in the apple that divides sentences not alone into words and syllables and alone sounds, but additionally articulatory features, and the accomplishment of its creators in the 1440s was absolutely amazing. They were accomplishing assignment that would authorize as accomplished linguistics by the standards of 5oo years later.”
Hangul is an alphabet. That is, anniversary letter corresponds to what linguists accredit to as a phoneme—essentially aloof an alone complete (a beat or consonant). This differs from added autograph systems, like Japanese, that are syllabaries, in which anniversary letter represents a abounding syllable. So in Korean, to address the complete /ka/, like in English, you address the two belletrist “k” ㄱ “a” ㅏ to accomplish the admixture 가. In Japanese, by contrast, for the complete “ka,” you alone address one letter, “ka” か. That sounds convenient, until you apprehend that you again accept to apprentice abstracted belletrist to address “ki” き, “ku” く, “ke” け, “ko” こ, and “ra”ら, “ri”り, “ru”る, “re” れ, “ro” ろ, etc. This after-effects in 46 audible letters, about bifold the cardinal acclimated in the English alphabet. The phonology of Japanese is mercifully absolutely simple. If we were to use a syllabic autograph arrangement for English or Korean, we’d charge abounding added belletrist to almanac the alone sounds of the language.
What’s abundant about Korean is that you address words with alone belletrist (phonemes) but additionally accumulate them in syllabic units. So the chat for “Korea,” hanguk 한국 is accounting as two syllables, /han/한 /guk/ 국. McCawley additionally mentions articulatory features, which are things like aspiration (exhaling from the aperture aback pronouncing a sound) or delivery (vibration in the articulate cords aback pronouncing a sound). Korean belletrist appearance the connections, for example, amid aspirated and unaspirated, and blurred versions of the aforementioned sound, e.g. /ga/가and /ka/카, /da/다and /ta/타, /ba/바and /pa/파, and /ja/자 and /cha/ 차. What’s alike added absorbing about Korean is that the letter shapes for the consonants are fabricated to attending like the positions of the mouth, teeth, tongue, and throat aback pronouncing the sounds. Some of these are a bit adamantine to see, but the /n/ ㄴ , for example, represents the tip of the argot aloft against the bendable aficionado (the high gum line) and the /k/ㄱ represents the aback of the argot actuality aloft in the aforementioned direction. The vowels accept associations with acceptable abstract ideas, abnormally yin and yang.
It’s bright that Baron Sejong and the linguists who helped to devise the calligraphy had a bright compassionate of Chinese phonetics, phonology, and linguistic theory, and additionally acquaintance with the ‘Phags-pa script, which was advised by a Tibetan abbot for Kubhilai Khan as a accepted autograph arrangement for all the languages of the empire, including Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese. In this sense, added than about any added calligraphy in use today, hangul was the acme of an organized, accurate action aimed at creating an calmly affected autograph system.
If Korean TV dramas, movies, pop songs, or video amateur aren’t acumen abundant to alpha acquirements Korean, again hangul ability aloof be all the action you need!
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