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This content is taken from the Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) 's online course, The Korean Alphabet: An Introduction to Hangeul. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsHello. So far we have learned about the Hangeul alphabet.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 secondsIt says in Hunminjeongeum: A foolish person can learn it in a week. A smart person can learn it in half a day. The German academic Werner Sasse said, “Hangeul is easy enough to learn in half a day.” The shapes of Hangeul characters are simple, and characters with similar pronunciations have similar shapes. Look at the characters ‘ㄱ-ㄲ-ㅋ’. From their similar shapes you can know that their pronunciations are similar too. Hangeul is composed of 19 consonants and 21 vowels. There are a total of 40 characters. These 40 characters can be used to express the over 8000 sounds that exist on the planet. Isn’t it amazing how so many sounds can be expressed using just a few characters?

Skip to 1 minute and 23 secondsBecause you can use Hangeul to write words the way they sound, Hangeul has been loaned to other languages that don’t have their own alphabet. There is an Indonesian ethnic group who lives on the island of Buton called the Cia Cia. They had their own language, but no writing system. Without an alphabet, it was difficult for the Cia Cia to record their history and culture. Learning of this, the Hunminjeongeum Society suggested using Hangeul, and the Cia Cia adopted Hangeul in 2009. There is a Korean teacher living in Buton, teaching Hangeul in elementary and middle school. As of 2018, around 3000 Cia Cia had learned Hangeul, and more and more Cia Cia people are learning to read Hangeul.

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 secondsThere are over 20 Hangeul signposts in the streets of Buton. Since 2007 the Korean government has been operating King Sejong Institutes around the world to promote global understanding of Hangeul. As of 2014, there were 130 King Sejong Institutes in 54 countries. Every year 37,000 people around the world learn Korean, Hangeul and Korean culture at the institutes. The King Sejong Institute offers standardized Korean language instruction developed by the Korean government. The King Sejong Institute uses the language curriculum and the “Sejong Korean” textbooks developed by national Korean institutions. It also makes and distributes teaching tools like traditional Korean toys and instruments to provide Korean culture lessons as well. Is there a King Sejong Institute where you live?

Skip to 3 minutes and 27 secondsCheck online to see if there is. If there isn’t, check out the King Sejong Institute website on your computer or mobile device. This is the website address. You can also access the mobile site via the second address. From this website you can learn about Hangeul, Korean language and culture on your own. There are educational tools about Korea such as photos, videos and animations provided for free at the King Sejong Institute website. In addition to being a writing system, designers also use Hangeul for artistic purposes. Lie Sang Bong is a famous fashion designer who uses Hangeul patterns in his designs. Here are examples of Hangeul used in fashion design. These pieces are all by Lie Sang Bong.

Skip to 4 minutes and 36 secondsYou can see how the characters complement the design and silhouette of the clothes. This lesson covered the advantages of Hangeul and how it is used. Because it is easy to learn, it can be exported to communities that don’t have an alphabet. It can also be used in fashion design. This is the end of the class. See you next time.

Status of Hangeul

Hangeul are a total of 40 characters.

These 40 characters can be used to express the over 8000 sounds that exist on the planet.

Isn’t it amazing how so many sounds can be expressed using just a few characters?


[KEY WORDS]

세종학당(King Sejong Institute)

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This video is from the free online course:

The Korean Alphabet: An Introduction to Hangeul

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)