The Invention of Han'gÅ­l

December 3, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Center for Korean Studies Add to Calendar

Professor Emeritus Chung Kwang of Korea University will survey the historical background behind the invention of the Korean alphabet, han’gŭl, in the fifteenth century. The people living north of China long tried to compete with the culture of Chinese characters before the invention of han’gŭl. They continuously tried to make phonograms, and such efforts eventually resulted in han'gŭl. In particular, the change in the standard language due to a change in Chinese dynasties, and the resultant need to teach the new Chinese words, probably led to the creation of these new characters. King Sejong wanted to adapt the pronunciation in Korea to fit the pronunciation from China. The phonetic symbols used to write these sounds then came to be used to write the Korean language and have become the present han’gŭl.

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Center for Korean Studies, Mānoa Campus

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