Young Pioneer Tours

Learning Korean

It is ashame really, that the Korean language is limited to the Korean people and a few foreigners that make the effort to learn it. I found myself on the bus stood in the Kim Il Sung Square, staring at the Korean writing everywhere trying to decipher it. As we speed around Pyongyang I would squint into the distance breaking down the alphabet.

Looking so foreign, it is an intimidating challenge to learn it but really it is so simple and logical that with one days hard study, you can get a good grip on the the characters. It is rumoured that Chairman Mao considered converting Chinese characters into Korean back when they were deciding to simplify the characters and steer away from traditional characters. Interestingly a change that Korea gradually made itself many years ago, as they wanted to distance themselves from their time under Chinese rule.

If the Chinese had followed Korea with it’s alphabet, perhaps more people would be willing to study it, as currently learning the thousands of Chinese character needed to read a newspaper is a monumental task.

Either way, I hope more people endeveour to pick the language up as North Korea and South Korea continue to develop.


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