Unique Korean Alphabet

(1) Hunminjongum

Hun Min Jong Um. (Photo Credit Voice of Korea)

Hunminjongum is a unique Korean alphabet.

It was invented in December 1443 (January 1444 by the solar calendar) by renowned scholars under the direct supervision of Sejong, the fourth King of the Feudal Joson Dynasty.

Hunminjongum is a succession to the Sinji characters invented by Korean ancestors in the ancient times.

It means correct pronunciation (jong um -kr) for teaching the people (hun min -kr).

When it was invented, Hunminjongum had 28 letters including 17 consonants and 11 vowels. Later, as the linguistic life became rich and diverse, the consonants increased to 19 and the vowels to 21 to become similar to the modern Korean alphabet.

(2) Hunminjongum

Hunminjongum was modelled after the shapes of vocal organs such as tongue, lips and throat which are changed when people make sounds.

It can write nearly all sounds of words of any other countries in the world and vividly express the human feelings.

It is easy to learn and convenient to write as its letters have simple strokes and are systematically related to each other.

Many foreign linguists and informatics experts recognize that the Korean letters are most ideal as common letters of the world or for computer use.

A university professor of Japan said "it seems that King Sejong had foreseen the appearance of computer before making the Korean alphabet". A university in Europe well-known in the linguistic world commented that "the Korean letters took the first place when all characters of the world were ranked on the basis of their reasonableness, scientific accuracy and originality".

(VOK - February 18, 2021)

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