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4 Surprising Facts About the Korean Language

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Have you developed an interest in the Korean automobiles or their K-pop tunes in the last few decades? If you have, then you should consider taking Korean lessons in Singapore for you to understand their culture, history and their delicious cuisines. You will also need to know the language for you to live or work comfortably in South and North Korea. The Korean language has not been very popular in the past few centuries in most countries including Singapore, but it has been gaining traction worldwide in the past one decade. It is currently the 11th most popular language in the world with approximately 80 million speakers from North and South Korea, Australia, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, USA and other countries. Below are facts you should know before taking a Korean class in Singapore.

Korean Alphabetical System
The Korean language dates back to over one thousand years. Koreans wrote using Chinese characters until the 15th century when King Sejong ordered the creation of Korean alphabet (Hangul) to make learning easier for everyone. Hangul was then formalised into an official writing system in the 20th century. Korean alphabet consists of 24 letters in total comprising of 10 vowels and 14 consonants. Every consonant takes the shape of the mouth during pronunciation making it easy for most people to learn the most letters in less than two hours. The Koreans also celebrate the Korean Alphabet Day every year on October 9 and January 15 in South Korea and North Korea respectively.

The Korean Language Follows a Strict Honorifics System
The speech level used while speaking the language relies heavily on the social status of the person you are speaking to, for example, an employer, child, wife, husband, or teacher. There are seven speech levels in Korean with each of them representing a certain level of respect, so you should take your time to learn them lest you make people offended. Learning the speech levels can be daunting at first for anyone taking korean lessons in singapore, but it gets easier after practice. Every noun or verb ending should match the level of respect and honour bestowed on the person you are addressing.

South Korean Language is Different from North Korean
If you are taking Korean lessons in Singapore with the intention of visiting South and North Korea, then you should be very keen on the type of language you are learning. The language used in North Korea is slightly different from South Korea with each of them having different vocabularies, grammar rules, and pronunciation, hence the need to customize your classes depending on the country of visit. Additionally, you will find many English loan words in the language spoken in the south while North Koreans have retained their traditional language. There are also other dialects used across regions but the language used in Seoul remains standard for everyone.

Korean Has Two Counting Systems
Unlike English or Chinese that have one counting system, Korean uses two distinct counting systems while counting small and large numbers. One counting system uses words from native Korea while the other one derives its words from Chinese characters. The system that uses Korean vocabulary goes up to 99 while the other one is used for numbers from 100 and above. The two are also limited to certain occasions where the system of the Chinese origin is used in mentioning distances, money, time, and dates. The other system, on the other hand, is common while giving time in hours, telling your age, or counting items.

Korean lessons in Singapore are easy to master unlike other languages like Chinese or Japanese. The language does not carry the hard tones or the complex grammatical rules that are hard to master hence making it a favourite language for most people in the country. The two Korean countries are quickly expanding their operations to other countries in the world. As a result, more people are picking up Korean. Therefore, you should consider mastering the language as early as possible if you want to compete fairly in the business and technological world in the next few years to come.

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