안녕하세요! 10월9일은 한글 날이에요,신나죠? (Hello! 9 October is Hangul Day. Are you excited?)
Hangul Day (한글날) is the day where many Koreans celebrate the pride and joy of the creation of Hangul. Hangul Day falls on 9 October, is a Korean national commemorative day that marks the invention of hangul (한글), – the native alphabet of the Korean language invented by King Sejong (reign 1418 – 1450).
Before Hangul, Chinese characters called “Hanja” had been used in writing. However, Hanja was difficult to learn especially for people of lower social status with little or no access to education because of its sheer plethora of characters. This led to widespread illiteracy in the country. In order to resolve the problem, King Sejong began developing a new writing system that is methodical and logical where there is some logical reason behind each stroke of its characters. The invention of Hangul has reduced the illiteracy rate in Korea. Today, Hangul is regarded as the most systematic alphabet in the world.
What is Hangul?
The name ‘Hangeul’ is made up of two words: Han (한) and Geul (글). ‘Han’ means either ‘big’ or ‘great,’ and ‘Geul’ refers to the alphabet; Hangeul, therefore, means ‘the greatest alphabet.’
Hangeul is a writing system that involves combining 2-4 of the 14 consonants and vowels to form one-syllabus letters. Each vowel is made of a line or lines that reflect the shape of a human mouth during pronunciation, while consonants represent the sky, the earth and the human. Together, they form a total of 40 commonly used letter combinations.
Where to learn Korean in Singapore?
For those who are keen in picking up some basic Korean, the Korea Tourism Organization in Singapore offers Survival Korean (I) and Survival Korean (II) lessons. Only those who have passed the Survival Korean (I) class will be able to advance to the Survival Korean (II) class. For more information on the class schedules please click here.
A list of Korean Language Schools in Singapore. Please click on the link for more information on the language schools.
Singapore – Korean Festival 2011
For those readers out there who have some knowledge of the Korean language, you might be keen in participating in this year “Say It in Korean – Korean Speech Language Contest” jointly organized by the Korean International School in Singapore and Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Singapore.
Registration starts from 9 Sep 2011 to 8 October 2011 (2pm)
Preliminaries will be held on 15 Oct 2011 (2-5pm) at the Singapore Korean International School
Finals will be held on 22 Oct 2011 (2-5pm) at Square 2 in Novena
For more information regarding topics of discussion and criteria of the contest, please click here.
For more information on the Korean Festival 2011 in Singapore, please visit here.
Hope that by reading this article, you will a better understanding of Hangul – the writing system in Korea.