The Korean language, spoken by nearly 80 million people, is often considered to have few still-living closely related languages. Some scholars have posited connections with Japanese, and even Finnish, but there is still much debate regarding whether these similarities are indicative of a common evolution.
Korean gained a writing system in the 15th century, called Hangul, an alphabetic system largely resembling characters, but phonetically structured. Hangul was designed to replace the widespread adoption of Chinese characters, due to political and religious influence of thought from China.
About the Courses
All Korean language courses are oral-intensive (with additional hours required in the Language Lab) and all include individual oral examinations at the end of each term. Korean is currently offered at the elementary (100), intermediate (200) levels, and advanced (300) levels.
The following resources can be used to gain a better understanding of the geography, history and popular culture relevant to Korean language study.
- Korean Focus: A website in English that brings together historical and current events.