Korean

Aug. 27th, 2017 05:07 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Was talking to [personal profile] matgb and [personal profile] innerbrat and [personal profile] magister yesterday and Mat told me how interesting Korean seems as a language: "Nobody really knows where it came from," he said. It's not related to other languages. Apparently there's a debate about whether Korean is related to Tamil, thanks to traders along the Silk Road, but that seems pretty mysterious in itself: why would that one group of people or words make an impact where apparently nothing else did?

I knew a little about the Korean writing system, which is also unique and intends to have similar sounds also look similar, and there's some connection between the characters and how the sounds they represent are made when they're spoken. This system, hangul, was apparently designed by the great Sejong, a 15th-century king (though he may have had help!), who was concerned at how few people could read and write so made this to help more people do so. He said, "A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days." So maybe there's hope even for me! Amid early opposition from a literary elite that apparently liked being an elite, hangul was apparently used mainly for things like women's diaries and books for children. Which just makes it sound all the more awesome to me, frankly.

Then Debi started talking about all the Korean dramas she could tell me about that she liked. I can't remember the names, sadly, but she was able to inform me that they all involve a lot of women cross-dressing. She isn't sure if that's a facet of Korean culture or just that which has filtered through to and appealed to her. Girls dressing up as their brothers to get educations not available to women and that sort of thing seemed to be common.

Then James was telling me about a zombie movie (which I think is called The Train to Busan?) that he says is really good. "You should learn Korean so you can watch that without having to worry about the subtitles," he said.

Imagine, me turning up to Korean class on the first day and being asked why I'm there. "I've heard the dramas and zombie movies are good."

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-27 04:37 pm (UTC)
syntaxofthings: Amy Pond from Doctor Who sitting among sunflowers. ([dr who] amy among sunflowers)
From: [personal profile] syntaxofthings
Korean dramas ARE really good though, and the Korean-beauty bloggers are all learning hangul in order to understand what's written on their products, so you're in good company for amusing reasons to learn Korean. I had a period of time when I was really into K-dramas: the movies I could find were so much more interesting than American movies (and that is probably still the case).

I am looking forward to hearing more Korean \o/

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-28 05:19 pm (UTC)
syntaxofthings: A great shot of a cloudy sky with the words "Head in the clouds". ([random] Head in the clouds)
From: [personal profile] syntaxofthings
:D

I remember Korean stuff on Hulu back in the day, before Hulu became subscription-only, so I imagine Netflix/Amazon has things too.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-27 05:11 pm (UTC)
strange_complex: (Eleven dude)
From: [personal profile] strange_complex
These all sound like pretty good reasons to me! And of course it will be an unusual and hopefully saleable skill to know even a little Korean and be based in the UK.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-27 08:32 pm (UTC)
brithistorian: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brithistorian
So you've settled on Korean?

If I was in class with you, I'd have to answer "So I can understand the lyrics of K-pop songs."

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-27 10:04 pm (UTC)
brithistorian: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brithistorian
Ah, OK. I misunderstood. It's funny how in a group of people you can have several arrive at the same conclusion from completely different directions.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-28 01:46 am (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
It's funny how in a group of people you can have several arrive at the same conclusion from completely different directions.

Yup, [personal profile] innerbrat suggested it without knowing I'd already done so while we were talking about it and we just started talking about all the weird things we knew that sometimes crossover (she's watched a drama set in my favourite bit of Korean history so knew stuff I didn't, etc).

(and I had to struggle to stop myself correcting [personal profile] magister's terrible pronunciation of Busan because I'm not sure mine is any better, I just knew his was wrong)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-27 10:41 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
Hangul / Hangeul is fascinating.

Also, xidnaf's rant on this is awesome:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K53oCDZPPiw

(it's a video, but you really don't need the images)
Edited Date: 2017-08-27 10:42 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-28 01:51 am (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Heh: Tamil would've come from sea based trade/settling if that's actually linked, Finno-Ugric would've come alone silk road trading, both are tendentious apparently: one of the problems tracing the earlier languages is hanja are of course pictograms not related to pronunciation so it's really hard to even trace the development of spoken Chinese despite the very long written record.

Apparently it's even possible that the languages split from a more central source like Taiwan that has now lost that language due to later conquest, which'd be weird because Taiwan is thought to be the source of the Polynesian settlers and they have a different language group again.

I've had to stop clicking through to another Wiki article now because I'm meant to be getting other things doneā€¦

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-29 10:20 am (UTC)
lenores_raven: (michael scofield)
From: [personal profile] lenores_raven
Oh, I was obsessed with Korean dramas during my previous vacation. They are too good! :-)

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