Introduction to Korean

March 7, 2013 in Korean

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of posts by our volunteers that aims to inform and excite you about some of our many diverse language sessions! We hope you enjoy reading them!!

Annyeonghaseyo (Hello)! Korean is the official language of North and South Korea, spoken by approximately 78 million people worldwide. The Korean writing system, hangul, is similar to that of English, as it uses vowels and consonants to form words and is also known as the “Korean alphabet.” You may already know a few words in Korean such as taekwondo, kimchi, bulgogi and bibimbap and some words borrowed from English such as 토마토 (tomato), 바나나 (banana), and 피아노 (piano). However, some of the English words have taken a different meaning altogether and are considered “Konglish” – 오바이트 (over eat) means vomiting and 컨닝 (cunning) means cheating on an exam.

Although Korean is said to be one of the more difficult languages for English-speaking students to learn due to the honorifics system as well as the numerous case particles and verb endings, the good news is that it does not have tones, gender and number agreements or articles. Despite this, Korean is becoming a popular language to learn worldwide due to a growing interest in the Korean culture, such as K-pop, Korean TV shows and movies. Whatever your motivation may be, come join us on Saturdays and we would be more than happy to assist your journey of learning Korean!

Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Author: Walter Lim

Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Author: Walter Lim

Citations:                                                                                                                                             BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013. “Korean Language.”                                                Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 June 2013. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.