Happy Hangeul Day 2012

Hi everybody,

This week is full of interesting holidays. Yesterday was Fitness Day in Japan and today is Hangeul Day in Korea. The Korean writing was officially promulgated by Great King Sejong on the 9th day of the 10th month in the old calendar which has now become October 9th.

Portrait Of Sejong The Great

Hangeul, for those not familiar, is the alphabetic writing system used in Korean. Like many countries in Asia, they adopted Chinese characters in the old days, but they did not fit Korean very smoothly.1 So Koreans tried many times to find a reliable, simple way to express Korean using a native writing system, and after centuries of trial-and-error, they found a solution.

Most scripts were still complicated and awkward, but Hangeul was straightforward enough that even the peasant-class could learn to read it. Hangeul organizes syllables into “blocks”, but the blocks are made out of consonants and vowels (like English), with many different combinations possible. As one article shows, Hangeul is theoretically capable of producing 11,000 different sounds.

And even today, Hangeul is being adopted by tribes in Southeast Asia in order to develop their own writing systems.

Anyhow, Happy Hangeul Day Korea and congrats on developing such a cool, and useful writing system. 🙂

P.S. Last year’s post.

1 Japanese, Khitan, Mongolian and others all had the same issue.

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Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

6 thoughts on “Happy Hangeul Day 2012”

  1. in ancient time, there is no characters in Japan. Therefore, in order to leave exact tradition、stories and history, there was sound more than now. for example ヱ、ゐ。。。
    after that, characters were made and imported.. A similar sound has already become unnecessary in Japan.I think it is evolution of language.^^.

    >And even today, Hangeul is being adopted by tribes in Southeast Asia in order to develop their own writing systems.

    it would be impossible
    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2012/10/09/dont-be-believe-the-%ED%95%98%EC%9D%B4%ED%91%B8/

    Like

    1. Hi Hoihoi,

      I like reading the 百人一首, so I recognize those older characters. Indeed, Japanese has evolved.

      As for Hangeul in Southeast Asia, it might have failed for the Cia Cia tribe, but I am curious to see if it works in the Solomon Islands. Time will tell. 🙂

      Like

    1. Hi Kathrinjapan,

      If you can, please check out Seoulistic.com. They have some good resources for people visiting Korea, living there, etc. Have a great trip.

      Like

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