Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Oct 2013 23:54 UTC
In the News

Happy Hangul Day! October 9th is a South Korean national holiday held in honor of the invention of the Korean writing system, which experts have called the most "scientific" (also "ingenious," "rational," "subtle," "simple," "efficient," "remarkable") writing system ever devised.

It's a bit outside of OSNews' regular stuff (although not unheard of), but as a language specialist myself, Korean, and Hangul in particular, has fascinated me for quite a while now. In contrast to other writing systems, which have developed over centuries - or millennia - without clear guidance, Hangul was more or less designed and set in stone 600 years ago, specifically for the Korean language. It is an absolutely beautiful alphabet, with a clear structure, and a unique way of organising letters - they are grouped in square morpho-syllabic blocks. To the untrained eye, Hangul may resemble e.g. Chinese characters - however, each 'character' actually consists of several letters.

Even though I'm not a programmer myself, Im pretty sure those of you who are will find Hangul fascinating. Due to its structured nature, it's incredibly easy to learn - I taught myself to read and write Hangul in a matter of days - and once you do take a few hours to grasp the basics, you'll surely come to appreciate its innate beauty and structure.

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Thom is right. F is closer to V than P, P is closer to B... in fact, if you look at your his own native language in that respect, you can see that V is often used where F is in English. Even if in English, F and V being distinct is a fairly early notion (for the written language, post Norman conquest, I guess), you can still see traces of the older usage. Examples being: Fox/Vixen, Calf/Calves, half/halves etc. In many English dialects, even Thom's example falls down - fort and forth, in many Irish dialects, sound pretty much identical.

The problem with using English as an example of phonetics is that there is so much variation, that it's almost impossible to actually model English as it is spoken on paper, without creating a lot of mutually unintelligible written forms. Just in my local dialect alone, Free and Three are pronounced the same, as are Duke and Juke (as in Juke box). The unvoiced TH becomes and F, the voiced becomes a V, most H are dropped, T anywhere appart from the initial position becomes a glottal stop, and L regularly becomes a W in similar positions.

Ball = Baw
House = ays (rhymes with "ace" I guess)
Bottle = Bo'aw
This ball was in my house. It broke my window - Vis baw were in me ays. I' broke me windah.

Wonders of Working class South coast English meeting Working class London Cockney in the 19th century.

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