Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Oct 2013 23:54 UTC
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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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RE[2]: Comment by Berend de Boer
by bnolsen on Mon 14th Oct 2013 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Berend de Boer"
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

please please please don't use english as an example of a phoenetic alphabet. From my limited experience if you want an example of a good phoenetic alphabet look at german (and I think italian as well). And koine greek was assumed to be phoenetically correct as well.

Reply Parent Score: 2

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

please please please don't use english as an example of a phoenetic alphabet. From my limited experience if you want an example of a good phoenetic alphabet look at german (and I think italian as well). And koine greek was assumed to be phoenetically correct as well.


In a Filipino language, F may sounds like P in some situations, hence the Filipino and Pilipino confusion.

Reply Parent Score: 2

J-Ho Member since:
2007-01-19

I quite like the Georgian script in that regard. The consonant clusters of the language are a bitch to master, but at least the script will tell you exactly how they're pronounced, due to it's one-to-one mapping with the language's phonemes.

Reply Parent Score: 2

ThomasFuhringer Member since:
2007-01-25

Ancient Greek and Latin can be considered phonetic because the alphabets were designed to reflect the sounds. Other languages used a foreign alphabet to approximate the sounds of the language.

By that logic Russian should also be phonetic. Unfortunately e.g. the o is not always pronounced as written. I would assume the language has evolved from a state where it was phonetic.

Reply Parent Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

please please please don't use english as an example of a phoenetic alphabet. From my limited experience if you want an example of a good phoenetic alphabet look at german (and I think italian as well). And koine greek was assumed to be phoenetically correct as well.

I wouldn't use German as an example either. Its a lot easier than English and, if you do learn German and understand the various combinations, you could read just about anything out loud even if you don't understand the meaning. However, the reverse state is by no means true, i.e. you can't necessarily hear something in German and immediately figure out the spelling without being somewhat familiar with the language as well. Various letters in German change their sound based on where they are in a word and what is around them, 's' is a perfect example. Just to describe the various sounds 's' can represent in German, with examples, would probably take more characters than OSNews allows. This generally isn't a problem for those who are somewhat familiar with German, as these various sound changes too follow a logical pattern, but if you're unfamiliar with German you may find looking up words you hear to be an exercise in masochism. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3