Thursday, November 06, 2008

Japanese or Korean?

I was asked a question recently about my love for Asia and Japan, and why I chose to learn the Korean language. I wasn't originally planning on posting this, but the question really got me thinking and this is what came out:


Just curious, but with your love for all things Japanese, why are you considering learning Korean?


Well, when I was 12-14 yrs. old, I completely fell in love with Japan and I wanted to learn the language, but when I was 15, I met a Korean exchange student and it got me really thinking about Korea (because I didn't know a thing about the place, language, history, etc.). Then during and around that time, the show "Lost" began ;) ;) and two of the characters in the show are a Korean couple, and they would speak their language. It fascinated me and got me thinking...

Later on, I eventually fell in love with not only Korea, but also China and Vietnam, so I learned and studied the cultures and a bit of the languages...

I had always wanted to learn Japanese, but I was always afraid it would be too difficult to learn (not so much the speaking, just the writing system - it really intimidated me, the same with Chinese). So I thought, since I had fallen in love with many different countries and languages in Asia, why not choose a language that seemed the easiest?

"So I Chose Korean..."

So I chose Korean. What I love about the writing system is that each little symbol represents a letter, and the letters are formed into syllable blocks (and it is also read from left to right). That, I decided might be much easier for me to learn Korean (because I can relate it more to the English language - not much, but a little at least) than to learn say Japanese or Chinese with their pictograph character system (which is quite a mystery to me how one can memorize and recognize all those hundreds of characters and their vague meanings!), or Vietnamese (which is written in Roman letters, but the language is so tonal, the writing system is full of different symbols that represent the different tones).

So... yeah... Does all that answer your question? :laughs: