There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the Korean language. Some of this stems from the reason that people are scared to know the language better. The language has roughly about 78 million speakers worldwide and most people speak it without losing their minds so you needn’t and shouldn’t worry. Over here we’ll tell you of some myths about Korean that simply aren’t true.
At first glance, Korean can seem to be a language from another world because we refuse to acknowledge its worldwide existence. People believe that its grammar is one of the most complex to understand and use. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Korean’s grammatical structure is very simple and easy to understand. The verbs and nouns just have changes in prefixes and suffixes that you need to get a hold of, as is the case when learning any language.
Many people believe that Korean is an isolated language and there aren’t many similar languages. If you ever took a korean course you’d know that the Korean language is actually a part of a group of ancient languages from Northeast Asia, known as Paleosiberian languages.
There are stories going around that the Korean language has an alphabet with 1000 letters in it. The next person who says that should have to buy you an ice cream for their stupidity. The Korean language has a very simple alphabet because the language is agglutinative. This basically means that while the language may have lots of expressions, the base characters don’t really change and you won’t have worry about memorising an alphabet with a thousand letters.
Many people have this suspicion that the ancestor of the Korean language is the controversial Altaic family of languages. This suspicion is baseless as the Korean language is actually a part of the Paleosiberian family and the Altaic family is still a proposed language and academics are unsure of whether it actually existed or not.
Another common misconception is that the vocabulary is distinct. It is not that special however as majority of the vocabulary is Sino-Korean. The words are either borrowed from written Chinese or were coined in Korea or Japan but Chinese characters were used.
The biggest crime against the Korean language is the belief that the text is too hard to understand. The text was specifically created so that it could be learnt easily by common, less literate folk at a time when Korean was written in classical Chinese. When it was first developed and pushed out for general use, the Hangul script was denounced by nobility for being “too easy to learn”. Don’t let the fear of a hard script turn you away from trying out a Korean lesson as it one of the most enjoyable languages to learn.
The Korean language is a beautiful language and is very interesting for all linguists. Don’t let ridiculous myths like the ones mentioned above keep you from exploring a beautiful language.