We have often thought that learning a new language should and always be geared towards practicality. If the language is useful, we should take classes and learn about it. The most common reasons of people learning a language nowadays would be to enable them to understand the entertainment material from a particular country, or to have it useful when it comes to travelling, or just to smarten and brighten up one’s resume. It is not at all wrong to think so, but we sometimes do forget about the core about learning new languages: it shakes up your current understanding of the world you live in, and only through learning a new language, you would be able to peek into the minds of people to truly accept and understand their korean culture and thought processes.
Take an example of English per se, we have never known what it really means to have to specifically categorize our relatives into maternal and paternal sides, and to further classify them according to their age with a different way of addressing each of them. This would just also involve the different ways of addressing their life partners and what is the relationship of their children and their parents to you. All we know about family through learning English would be cousins, uncles and aunts. It stops there.
If you were to take Korean classes in Singapore, you will learn that there is a whole new world of ways to address your relatives, and it is never going to be simple trying to memorize all of them. You would try to ask the question as well: why should Koreans bother tackling such complicated name systems? The answer to this would be, Koreans, or the Asian community in general, places their own blood ties in very respected positions in their society. They have the utmost meticulous ways to name their relatives because it clearly shows their relationship of them with that person, and they would also avoid the problems of having inter-family marriages. It also a form of respect to the elderly when you get your difference in status and relationship right with them.
Learning a new language is never just about asking questions and understanding their answers in a foreign country. If you ever had the chance to attend our Korean classes in Singapore, you will definitely be immersed more in the world of cultural practices of Korea and develop a deeper understanding of their behavior with ease.