The intricacies of the Korean language

When the idea of Santa Claus was first introduced into Korea, there was a slight problem. One of the most popular phrases used by Santa Claus, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” is the feminine way of laughing in Korean. Therfeore, since Santa is a man, this could not be possible. They had to alter Santa’s phrase to “Heo! Heo Heo!” The vowels ‘o’ and ‘a’ in Korean are considered to be feminine, while the vowels ‘u’ and ‘eo’ are considered to be masculine.

Korean is the official language spoken in Northern Korea and Southern Korea. It is also spoken in China, Kazakhstan, Japan, Russia, Uzbekistan and the USA. Korean is spoken by about 78 million people worldwide. Korean uses 2 systems of numbers. One system, the pure Korean system, is used for small numbers, while the other system, the Sino-Korean system is used for large numbers. For a long time, Korean was written using Chinese characters referred to as hanja. This was later changed to hangul in the 15th century. Hangul became more popular during the 20th century. Before the 1980s, Korean was written from left to right, however, writing from right to left has become more popular since then. Korean has different dialects, which are partially mutually intelligible.

Korean is generally considered to be one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn. This is due to the honorific system and also due to the word order used, as it differs from that used in English language. Honorifics refers to how you address another person based on the kind of relationship you have with them. This is by using special nouns and verb endings in sentences so as to indicate the person’s superiority. The bright side is that it is not that difficult to master the Korean alphabet and most Korean words can be easily pronounced by English speakers. Korean falls under the Atlaic language family. This means that it is closely related to Turkish, Manchu and Mongolian. Grammatically speaking, Korean is closest to the Japanese language. Korean shares 70 percent of its vocabulary with Chinese. This means that learning Korean will give you a headstart when it comes to learning Japanese and Chinese. The Korean language is not tonal.

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