October 09, 2019 08:21
Koreans consider their own alphabet, Hangeul, beautiful and are proud of its ingenious combination of vowels and consonants, even though no other country uses it and it creates a welter of problems in a globalized world.
The National Institute of the Korean Language in a survey found that 92.1 percent of respondents found Hangeul beautiful, 91.8 percent rational, and a patriotic 86.8 percent the best in the world pending further information about others. Some 88.9 percent claimed to be interested in Hangeul and its history.
As of the end of 2017, an estimated 77.2 million people spoke Korean as their mother tongue, making it, despite its narrow geographic distribution, by some reckoning the 13th most spoken language in the world, just behind German but ahead of French.
Thanks to the great popularity of Korean pop culture, many others are learning it as a second or third language, with the number of students enrolled in Korean classes around the world run by the King Sejong Institute, surpassing 60,000 last year.
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