|Statue of King Sejong- Founder of Hangeul|
Learning a new language always fascinates me. Although I am not that big of a linguist, Korean is one of the most interesting languages I think in the world. Thanks to Kpop and KDrama for when the absence of subtitles, we find ways to understand what our favorite Kpop song means or even the dialogues in Korean dramas.
Behind the Korean language is a Korean Alphabet. It looks difficult to learn, but believe me, if you are into it, you can learn Korean Alphabet in just one night. There are a lot of interesting stories behind the creation of the alphabet, but let me share with you the 3 important things you need to know.
1. It is called Hangeul in Korean
Koreans call their alphabet HANGEUL (한굴) which literally means “Great Script”. It is a system of writing Korean where vowels are composed of straight lines (horizontal and vertical) while consonants are composed of angles and curves. When you start learning Korean, it would be good to start by calling it Hangeul/Hangul.
2. King Sejong is the Father of Hangeul
The Father of Hangeul is King Sejong. He created this Korean alphabet system so that people with low education can learn how to read and write. Prior to this, Koreans write in classic Chinese and only the educated know how to use it because Chinese alphabets are difficult to learn. King Sejong decided to create a simpler system for Koreans, and that’s the birth of Hangeul.
3. Korean Alphabet is composed of Basic and Complex letters
Unlike the English alphabets, Hangeul has only 14 basic consonants and 10 vowels. Aside from that, they also have 19 complex letters and 11 complex vowels. If you will familiarize these letters and memorize their sounds, you’re good to read Korean words.
So, these are just the basic information about Korean alphabet. If you want to delve further into learning Korean language, then you’ll definitely need to start with Hangeul. Time will come, you don’t need to be under the mercy of subtitles to understand Korean.