Hangeul, "the best alphabet one can dream of"
- 1. Reputation of Hangeul
- Registered as a UNESCO Memory of the World, Hunminjeongum was first published in 1446. The document was created by King Sejong to explain to Koreans the new writing system known as Hangeul. Pearl Buck, Noble Prize winning author of the novel The Good Earth, praised Hangeul as the best and simplest alphabet in the world and that the 24 letters allow for combinations which express every possible sound of the human voice in a remarkably accurate way. She even likened King Sejong, the creator of Hangeul, to a Korean Leonardo da Vinci.
- 2. History of Hangeul
- King Sejong the Great of the Joseon Dynasty created Hangeul because he understood that the Chinese writing that was used in Korea during his reign was very complicated. In 1446, he published the Hunminjeongum, a book expounding the Hangeul alphabet and phonics, so that the citizens of Korea could easily learn to read and write.
- 3. Brilliance of Hangeul
- Hangeul is a simple and intuitive writing system. So much so, that anyone can easily learn to write their name in just a day. Because of this, Hangeul has helped in creating a near 99% literacy rate in Korea. Every year, UNESCO compensates the work of governments, agencies and NGOs who are particularly effective in the fight for literacy with the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize.
- 4. New Wind of Korean Wave
- With rising interest in Korean culture, Hangeul has become a new center of the Korean Wave. The Sejong Hakdang (King Sejong Institute), which was launched to promote Hangeul worldwide, has 130 institutes worldwide. It comprehensively provides its students with an integrated study of Korean language and culture.