Forum Thread: Which language are you learning?

Which language are you learning?

What language are you learning or which have you decided to learn  and why did you choose it?

If there is one type of person I have always instantly gotten along with in this world, it was another language enthusiast. So, let's get to know each other and, most importantly, learn from each other!

If you haven't made a decision yet, what are your options?

As for me, I just started working on German because I'll be traveling  there in about 5 months. I'm confident I'll be fine by then, but the majority of Germans speak English so well! I guess I'll have to be stubborn and speak only German.

4 Responses

I spent some time in South Korea and found out that the written characters are actually a phonetic alphabet even though they look like pictograms. Each "character" is actually a syllable composed of multiple letters. The difference is that in English we write the syllable as one letter after the other whereas they combine the letters into blocks. The result looks like a pictogram but isn't.

So with the help of my Korean customers one evening we found an excellent book and tape cassette set for me and on a weekend I learned the basic alphabet. There are plenty of signs around Korea so I would try to read them phonetically. That got me started.

Now I make a Korean dish every now and then and shop at a Korean grocery store where I use my Korean and add a little to it all the time. Unfortunately I don't have any Korean friends or many opportunities to use it, but I enjoy as much of it as I can.

Korean is an awesome language, and their phonetic alphabet is a very interesting mix between western and eastern ideals in writing. 

To make it a little clearer to people how their language is constructed, I made up this little drawing (the smiley is a place holder for a consonant, when there is none):

Thanks a bunch for the reply, Steven, and I hope this World sparks your interest in continuing your studies in Korean. :)

Excellent drawing, Jeffery, right down to the placeholder! You gotta love that east/west mix.

It's amazing how many people don't begin learning Korean just because of how the writing (hangul) appears. Most of those that have heard the basic introduction of the writing are very surprised at how truly easy it is to learn. Sometimes I think it is easier for them to understand it as a "scientifically" created writing system by showing them that the various shapes somewhat equate with how the tongue and mouth is shaped when pronouncing each consonant (i.e. ? or g/k sound looks the same as the tongue arching to the roof of the mouth when it is pronounced phonetically).

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