Anonymous asked: hey :) i really like your blog! i am looking for some advice. i plan to (possibly) double-major in international relations and linguistics next year. i am fluent in french, and have recently become very interested in the korean language, because it is so linguistically logical and beautiful. in this vein, would it be culturally appropriative of me to take classes in korean without taking classes in korean culture? i just don't want to be lumped in with all the koreaboos :(
What does anon mean by more “logical”? As a forth year linguistics student, I dont think its true that any language or grammar is more or less logical than any other other…. its pretty subjective, and all languages conform to rules of “universal grammar” anyway. I know that the korean writing system was designed by a linguist, so it doesn’t contain anywhere near English’s ambiguity when it comes to pronunciation (from what I know of korean anyway)…
but yeah.. just seems a weird statement. I’m curious what Anon means by this… It just sounds like a weird justification to me
This past fall, when Koreans celebrated the 567th birthday of Hangul, there were several articles in the mainstream media professing why Hangul is one of the most logical languages out there. (The most logical language? I dunno.) I remember “liking” them on Tumblr and perhaps even reblogging them. A quick Google search found these two in the Economist and Script Source.
I’m going with lostintrafficlights' original answer. I am not a linguist. Just a person who learned to speak English as a second language—and later learned to read and write (low level) Korean… I'll offer my two cents based on learning and now teaching those two languages to my child.
I help my son do his kindergarten homework (in English), as well as his Korean school homework every day. I am somewhat educated and have a masters degree. And yet it’s very difficult for me to explain to my kindergartener why English is the way it is. It makes very little sense. Yet I can easily explain how to write/read words in Hangul. It’s not 100% consistent, but it seems more consistent than English to me.
I’ve always maintained that English is a very difficult language to learn, although — to me, personally — English is easier for me to use now because it’s my dominant language. But it isn’t logical. As a little girl, I asked my father why p-o-l-i-s-h spelled both polish (as in polish the furniture) and Polish (as in the natives of Poland). What the hell?
And this comment isn’t aimed at either of you, but I’ve been seeing questions like this on FB and Twitter and here, of course. And I always think, why does anyone need to justify wanting to learn another language? I live in a country where most people wouldn’t dream of learning a second language. I welcome it for whatever reason. If this person is a Koreaboo, I don’t care. If this person is culturally ignorant/ethnocentric at a certain level (and I’m not saying (s)he is), perhaps learning the language will get them to learn more about the world in general and Korea in particular. That’s a good thing.
The Anon who asked the question says she’s fluent in French (and I’m assuming English). She has a knack for languages. I don’t know why he/she is even asking for permission or if it’s problematic. Learning is never problematic.