You might have felt like that Korean language is so weird that anybody except the Korean can't learn. One friend from Brazil said Asian languages including Chinese, Japanese and Korean always sound all the same like "JJING JJANG JJONG."
So far as I know, some people aware that the Korean, the Chinese and the Japanese are using the same characters and sounds or there is similarity among the three languages.
Now that I'm Korean and the purpose of my blog is pertinent to the Korean things showing, I am not going to mention about the differences of the three languages, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Actually, Korean language is named "Hangeul" (or Hangul) and has been made by the Great King Sejong of the Joseon(or Chosun) Dynasty in 1443. Before that time, how did Korean communicate each other? I don't know because I'm not a person from the era. ^^ As I've learned, the old Korean people used the old Chinese characters with the usage of Korean style.
In the past time, there was two social levels. It's kind of hierachical. One was Yangban centralizing the society. The other one was Cheonmin worked for Yangban. Choenmin didn't write and read anything, but Yangban did. As the hierachical systems collaped, many people felt hard and uncomfortable to use it freely. The Great King Seojong realized that and instructed the Joeson linguists to creat the useful and practical language for the Korean own. It's the origin of the Korean language, Hangeul. Because of that, there are lots of words of meanings based on the old Korean-style Chinese characters.
In any case, Korean characters are being composed of vowels and consonants; there are 10 vowels and 14 consonants. Huh? Only 24 components are making lots of meanings? Yes!
You can see the below.
- Vowels : ㅏ ㅑ ㅓ ㅕ ㅗ ㅛ ㅜ ㅠ ㅡ ㅣ
- Consonants : ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅅ ㅇ ㅈ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ
They can be combined to one word. I will give you some examples for your understanding.
- 한 = ㅎ + ㅏ + ㄴ
- 글 = ㄱ + ㅡ + ㄹ
- 닭 = ㄷ+ㅏ+ㄹ+ㄱ
- 가 = ㄱ + ㅏ
- 와 = ㅇ + ㅗ+ ㅏ
Keep in mind belows when you write in Korean characters.
- Write top-to-bottom and left-to-right.
- Each one consonant is able to have one or two vowels.
- After a vowel, one or two consonants can be followed.
Basically, you can easily write if you memorize those clauses.
How about the principle of Korean characters? As you may know, for Korean people, they just use it without any gramartical thinking; they would not explain specifically and gramartically. And I may not, either. Even if I may, I will make the best effort to know you Korean languages becaause I'm a nice guy. haha XD
In the next post, I will write about how Korean components are sounded. If you any questions, feel free to email me at my profile.