HANGUL, THE KOREAN ALPHABET
Learn a few subtleties, cultural aspects, and histories of the language that should be taken into account when translating into Korean.
All Tasks, a translation company specialized in large-scale technical translations, technical standards, technical manuals and technical documentations, maintains a skilled and qualified staff to meet major demands for this language, which received great influence from Japanese, has been gaining more and more speakers, and is today considered the 14th most spoken language in the world.
A writing with recognized birth date and paternity
Language are means of communication that may be expressed orally or in written form by the combination and articulation of words and sounds within a socially established manner.
Thus, it is one of the elements that ethnically characterizes a society, seeing as, through language, each people convey their knowledge and culture.
The Summer Institute of Linguistics of the University of Texas has cataloged more than 6.900 languages in the world.
Despite that quantity, half of them are under threat of extinction.
One of the factors determinant of such fate is the lack of preservation mechanisms via written records.
Only 300 of the almost 7 thousand languages use some system of writing. The Korean language ranks 14th among those most spoken in the planet (72 million people).
And among the 20 most spoken languages in the world, eight of them use the Roman alphabet, whereas Korean is one of the few to have a writing system of its own.
Hangul, the Korean alphabet, was invented by King Sejong, the Great (1397-1450), 4th king of the Joseon Dynasty (1391-1910), and promulgated on October 9th, 1446.
In the month of October they will celebrate the 565th anniversary of Hangul, which at first faced the resistance of the educated elite against the dissemination of that means to convey knowledge.
The Chinese ideograms used until then were the exclusive domain of a lettered class concerned in preserving their realm of power.
The hiatus between the spoken language, Korean, from the Altaic family, and Chinese scripture, from the Sino-Tibetan family, encouraged the king to seek a written form that represented the sounds of Korean speech, reason for which it received the official denomination of Hun-min-jeong-eum (the correct sounds to teach their people).
However, the King said that everyone could learn it in a single morning, and called it “The writing of the morning".
The original document found in 1940 explains, much to the awe of skeptic linguists, the principle, the philosophy and the creation method for each vowel and consonant.
It is an actual treatise of avant la lettre phonetics that shocked the linguist community as a whole.
The material found was listed by UNESCO in 1997 as a World Documentary Heritage in their “World Memory" program.
The King's democratic spirit resulted today in a illiteracy-free Korea, and gained world recognition in 1989, when UNESCO instated the Sejong Award to promote the eradication of illiteracy in the world.
In Brazil, AlfaSol (Solidary Literacy), an NGO with the former first lady Ruth Cardoso as one of its founders, received that same award in 2004.