Happy birthday hangul!Today is the 561st anniversary of hangul. It is the only language in the world where both the creator and the exact date on which the language was born are known.
Hangul is also acknowledged to be one of the most technically accomplished languages. Unesco recognizes hangul as a world cultural property.
The Korean government has established the King Sejong award, which is given to those who contribute most to lowering illiteracy rates.
However, Hangul Day should not just be about celebrating a language. This is the second year that Hangul Day has been designated a day of national celebration.
We must cultivate a more dynamic and abundant means of communication in this era of globalization.
Of course the basics come from a love and respect for hangul. The Finnish and Danish people are fluent English speakers, but they stick to their mother tongue when conversing among themselves This is an example Koreans can learn from as foreign words flood into everyday Korean speech. But at the same time, hangul must not be forced to maintain within the row boundaries of nationalism.
Borrowing foreign words has become a natural phenomenon in this global era.
The National Academy of the Korean Language and other related organizations may select appropriate foreign words or come up with alternate Korean words for new expressions. Using Chinese characters can also, to a degree can, be beneficial for the development of the Korean language. It should not be dismissed as an obstacle.
However the most important aspect is to adapt to a fast-changing society. Korean can be typed seven times faster than Chinese or Japanese. It can be a beloved child in the information era with its advantages and design.
Better teaching methods and textbooks for foreign learners of Korean must also be developed. The scope for hangul to expand is limitless, from foreigners living in Korea, to students of Korean and even other countries that might want to adopt a new language.
Recently, the World Intellectual Property Organization added Korean to the International Patent Cooperation Treaty as an official language. Korean is gaining ground in international society. The government has plans to open more than 200 Sejong Schools (Korean schools) around the world. It is time to make sure that hangul can display its excellence in this global information era.