What is Korean Alphabet, Hangul?

Did you know that Koreans have their own alphabet? Did you know that it was invented by King Sejong? Check out this article to learn something interesting about Hangul, the Korean alphabet, and how it was invented!

Why did Korea invent their own alphabet?

Korea has a very long history and has improved their unique language, but before the year of 1443, there was no their own alphabet system, so the Koreans had to use Chinese characters to write Korean. At the moment China was the most powerful country in Asia and historically Korea had been influenced a lot by China. But the problem was that the Chinese characters didn’t match well with the Korean language. So King Sejong wanted his people to read and write in their own language system and made a decision to invent a new alphabet, which they could use when they wrote books or poetry or anything else. That’s how the korean alphabet came into being!

The history of the creation of Hangul,
or the king’s script.

King Sejong required that the new alphabet be easy to learn and use; it would have an even number of syllables per word (which meant no irregular conjugations), each character should contain one consonant plus a vowel, words should end in vowels, and syllables should be written in groups of three. Creating such a script was considered ambitious and even looked impossible because Korea had been using Chinese characters for more than 1,000 years with little change. Nonetheless, The Korean alphabet, called Hangul, was created in 1443 by King Sejong. And then he ordered his scholars to work on testing it and creating manuals for proper usage of Hangul.  It took them a couple of years to finish.

Was King Sejong really behind its invention?

However, there’s still some debate as to whether or not King Sejong was actually behind its invention. Some people believe that his scholars were responsible for creating Hangul. But now the widely accepted theory is that it was King Sejong who did invent Hangul.

What are some cool facts about hangul?

Hangul has a long history more than 5 hundred years. Today, Koreans still remember King Sejong as a brilliant ruler who brought literacy to his people. October 9th is celebrated as Hangul Day which was the date King Sejong firstly announced the birth of Hangul to the people in 1446.

Hangul is unique because it does not follow traditional principles of other writing systems like Chinese or Japanese, but instead uses a more phonetic approach to writing. Hangul is special among alphabetical scripts for its extraordinary visual appeal — each letter resembles a beautiful picture. The shapes of letters are designed to be easily distinguishable from one another with no need for written instructions or diacritical marks. 

The word Hangul itself means Great script. So what makes Hangul so great? Here is one fun fact about hangul:  – Hangul is easiest alphabet to learn in the world! If you are an ordinary person, you can learn hangul in less than 5 hours. It means you can read and write all kind of hangul characters even though you still don’t understand what it means. Doesn’t it cool?

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