Welcome to our first edition of Dialogue This Week.
In this corner we will invite guests from in and out of Korea to talk about a wide variety of issues ranging from culture, sports, to the latest trends around the world.
Like you probably guessed, I greeted you in the Korean language as our topic for this week is Hangeulnal, or the Korean Alphabet day.
Every October 9th is Hangeul Day in Korea, which commemorates the promulgation of Hangeul, or the Korean alphabet created by the 15th-century Korean monarch Sejong the Great.
The day has been designated as a national holiday in South Korea since 1970.
This year, it falls on a Saturday, allowing us to have a three day long weekend.
For a more in depth discussion on the background and the rising usage of the Korean language across the globe, we are joined by Dr. Anders Karlsson, Chair of the Center of Korean Studies at SOAS University of London.
Also joining us will be Nway Nway , a Myanmar student studying in Korea University.
Its great to have you both in our show.
1. First off, let's start with Dr. Karlsson, I heard that you teach Korean language and Korean culture in London. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, and your job as a Korean lecturer at SOAS?
2. Since you've been studying the language for so long, for starters, can you please tell us a little bit about its background and its use? What makes the Korean language unique?
(answers can include: since when did we start using Hangul? Invented by Sejong, before that Korea used Chinese characters, Hangul is most logical, most ingenious and most scientific writing system in the world, can represent various sounds, uses 24 basic letters and 27 complex letters.)
3. Nearly 30 countries across the world are adopting Korean as a second foreign language. In fact, the number of people learning Korean seems to be increasing day by day. What’s behind this, do you think?
(answers can include: k-pop, drama etc)
4. Speaking of which, let's turn to Nye Nye, I heard you are a student from Myanmar who came to South Korea and you're studying in one of the country's most prestigious universities.
Can you introduce yourself to us and tell us why and how did you came to Korea?
5. Wow that is very impressive But before that, in the first place, why did you decide to learn the Korean language with the professor?
6. Then I must ask, can you tell us how popular is the Korean language in Myanmar?
Dr. Karlsson, As a non-Korean who both learned and is teaching the Korean language and Hangul, the written form of the language, do you think it's easy to learn compared to other languages and writing systems?
Lately, there is a lot of “so-called” K-content that can help people learn Korean, such as K-pop songs, K-dramas and even content on Netflix.
The popularity of Squid Game has also played a big role in the language garnering people's attention. But when you were learning it, I'm guessing there weren’t that many resources available. How was learning Korean for you?
Nway Nway, like we just said, learning a new language isn’t that easy. How was it for you?
Now that you’re capable of speaking and writing the Korean language, what advantages has this brought you?
Dr. Karlsson, You've been teaching the language for a long time, out of curiosity, people from which countries or regions are most interested in learning Korean and Hangul? Do people of a specific nationality learn it more easily compared to others?
Can you give some tips for foreigners who want to start learning Korean?
How about you Nway Nway? do you have some tips for other foreigners who seek to learn Hangul like you? or do you have any message for them?
And before we let you go, Dr. Karlsson, do you think the Korean language has global competitiveness? Why and what can we do to raise its competitiveness? or lead to more opportunities professionally?
I'm afraid we will have to wrap up our discussion at this point.
Thank you so much Dr. Karlsson and Nway Nway for the meaningful discussion on the Korean language and the alphabet Hangul.
Hope to speak to you again soon.