A linguist explains why Korean is the best written language

Korean, the world’s largest language isolate and the official language of both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, uses a system called ‘Hangul’ in the South and ‘Chosŏngŭl’ in the North, a system which is so logical, so concise, so peerless that it is widely regarded as one of the best writing systems in the world.

It is certainly a source of immense Korean pride, and this writing system has the technical distinction of being the only one in the world with two national holidays – October 9th in South Korea, and January 15th in the North.

Hangul is special on several fronts. Firstly, it is a cross between an alphabet and a syllabary – so the symbols transparently reflect the individual sounds in each word, but are also assembled into clear syllabic blocks (neither of which English does with any precision).

Unlike any other modern writing system you care to mention, Hangul is not a cobbled-together descendant of some previous form. Its unusual history began in the 15th century with a tale of sudden innovation by one visionary statesman – King Sejong the Great, who is credited with masterminding the design of this bespoke system. Although the single origin theory is disputed by some, Sejong certainly had many things to say about Hangul, and he extolled its key virtue of unrivalled simplicity.

Read more: Tech Insider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

19 − seven =