Cool Korean Bookmark

Since I am writing about Asian writing systems this week 😉 I wanted to show readers this gift from a Korean friend of mine:

Korean bookmark

This bookmark features the Hun-min-jeong-eum (훈민정음), which is the Korean document that announces the new writing system of Hangeul promulgated by King Sejong the Great.  Here is a closeup of the bookmark and the document:

Korean bookmark

The text of the document, which was a mix of classical Chinese characters and the new Korean hangul, reads as follows:

Hunmin Jeongeum

Translated as follows:

Because the speech of this country is different from that of China, it [the spoken language] does not match the [Chinese] letters. Therefore, even if the ignorant want to communicate, many of them in the end cannot state their concerns. Saddened by this, I have [had] 28 letters newly made. It is my wish that all the people may easily learn these letters and that [they] be convenient for daily use.

The rest of course is history. 😉

On interesting note is that the Hangul at the time looks somewhat different than Hangul now.  Certain letter combinations used now apparently didn’t exist at the time, and thus Hangul looked a bit more disjoined.  For example the document’s name is currently written as  훈민정음 but at the time was written as 훈〮민져ᇰ〮ᅙᅳᆷ.

Anyhow, here’s a salute to King Sejong the Great for his accomplishments in improving the lives of his people.  🙂


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.

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