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감사합니다, 세종대왕!
October 9, 2009 3:55 AM   Subscribe

October 9th is 한글날, or Hangul Day. Hangul is the Korean alphabet, and it has a fascinating history, so let's celebrate! (YT). Better yet, here are some videos that will help you learn Hangul for yourself: [Introduction] [Advanced] [Hangul Rap!] [Beginner's Vocabulary]
posted by bardic (15 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
On Google Korea there's a neat little piece of art to commemorate the day.
posted by bardic at 4:04 AM on October 9, 2009


Before Han-geul, our ancestors had to use Chinese letters for enjoying literal life.
Hee. They could play Second Life in an early vernacular though.

It's a beautiful script, especially the brush calligraphy and what I know of the logic behind it, very cleverly conceived. All the circular or oval elements are very visually satisfying and quite unlike anything in Chinese - often wonder if the aesthetic of all those Buddhist monks doing calligraphy circles had any influence on that.
posted by Abiezer at 4:21 AM on October 9, 2009


Did you know that the Korean Language and Korean Writing are the greatest cultural inheritance of everything in the world?
posted by martinrebas at 5:30 AM on October 9, 2009


Cool!
posted by malaprohibita at 5:49 AM on October 9, 2009


So when's Turtle Ship day?
posted by ignignokt at 6:10 AM on October 9, 2009


One interesting tidbit on the language is that the vowel sounds were based on three concepts representing heaven, man, and earth. The symbol for heaven was a dot (representing the sun), the symbol for man was a vertical line, and the symbol for earth was a horizontal line. By combining these symbols you would create vowel sounds. The dot evolved to be connected to the main line (whether vertical or horizontal). For example, the symbol 다 has one consonant (the first character) and one vowel (second character). The vowel would have originally been a vertical line with a dot to the right of it. The placement of the dot relative to the lines was important. For example, heaven above earth made an "Oh" sound, heaven below earth made an "Oo" sound. Heaven to the right of man made an "Ah" sound, heaven to the left of man made an "Uh" sound. These sounds influence the follow on sounds as well, but that gets even more complicated.

Another tidbit I learned (though, I'm not sure how true it actually is), is that the consonant symbols were done as a general representation of a persons mouth.
So the symbol 다, where the consonant (the first character, the one that looks like a block-ish C) makes a "D" sound. If you imagine looking at an x-ray of a person's mouth in profile, with the person facing to the left, you can see the symbol could correspond to a person's tongue reaching to the top of their mouth near the end of the mouth. Just like what happens when you make a "D" sound. So the symbols themselves give you clues to their pronunciation, which seemed pretty cool to me.
posted by forforf at 6:21 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hangul is actually based on 'Phagspa script. It's a very clever derivation, but... so is hiragana and that script doesn't get its own day of the year.
posted by shii at 7:36 AM on October 9, 2009


It was YESTERDAY in Korea :) There's a saying: "A man can learn Hangoul in a Day, a dumb man in 10. You really can learn it in a day with flashcards.
posted by GilloD at 9:07 AM on October 9, 2009


Wow, following shii's link it seems Korean might actually have some basis on the Phoenician alphabet as well. I would have never guessed that hangul and latin may have had the same base alphabet.
posted by forforf at 9:23 AM on October 9, 2009


Hangul is spreading beyond Korea! Latin isn't the only choice of script for languages that are just beginning to be written down.
posted by rolandcrosby at 2:25 PM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


For the last 10 years or so, the preferred and government-mandated (Ministry of Culture and Tourism proclamation No. 2000-8) romanization for the 'ㅡ' character in '글' is 'eu'.

Sloppy romanization of hangeul and/or fallback to the McCune–Reischauer system used during the last few decades of the 20th century are one of the several thousand things that make me cranky.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:09 PM on October 9, 2009


What an amazingly cool writing system. I learned so much today -- thank you!
posted by contessa at 11:16 PM on October 9, 2009


Romanization is an imperfect art at best. There are many other things you should spend your time worrying about.
posted by bardic at 11:59 PM on October 9, 2009


Well, you gotta choose your battles, or your battles will choose you.

or something like that
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:31 AM on October 10, 2009


re: Hangul is spreading, there's also...

Indonesian Isle Tries Script From Seoul
On the Indonesian island of Buton, South Korean linguists are hoping for a breakthrough in their quest to spread a Korean script.
posted by kliuless at 7:07 AM on October 10, 2009


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