[Letters] The economic value of Hangul

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[Letters] The economic value of Hangul

A language is a method of communication between people and has the traditional value that can present a nation’s history and culture.

However, a language has become more than just a tool for conversation - it has become also a precious asset bearing an economic value.

With the substantial investment in learning English by many Asian countries, Korea can be a good example of a language’s economic feasibility.

It is the reality that children study abroad to learn English, university graduates attend English institutes in order to get a job and parents educate their children in English at a cost that is at times higher than college tuition fees.

Although a huge amount of Korean money is flowing into English language tutoring, there is also incoming money to learn Korean language.

There are about 60,000 foreign students who came to Korea to study the Korean language, and the number of Korean Language Proficiency Test takers is growing rapidly.

Many linguists around the globe have already admitted the excellence of Hangul.

In 1997, Unesco designated King Sejong’s official declaration of Hangul on the Memory of the World Register and established the “King Sejong Literacy Prize” to be given to people who contributed in getting rid of illiteracy.

The main reason of the very low illiteracy rate of Korean people should be attributed to Hangul, which is easy to learn and convenient. Not only that, Korea’s potential of becoming a world leader in information technology, Internet and the mobile phone industry is being found in the scientific Hangul.

Bau-Bau City located in Buton Island, Sulawesi State, Indonesia, has chosen Hangul to be the official characters for writing their native Cia-Cia language.

Hangul’s true value has been embraced in a distant country.

The reason why the Cia-Cia speakers chose Hangul is not only because it is easy to learn and write but because it also is economically beneficial since they can get easier access to IT, the Internet and mobile phones through using it.

There are many tribes which don’t have their own characters. If more tribes select Hangul as their official letters like the Cia-Cia speakers did, Hangul can proceed as a global IT language.

Also, numerous Korean companies are building factories and investing money in Asian and Eastern European countries.

So, the foreign managers of the companies are learning the Korean language and Hangul to increase their profits.

Hangul is not just a beautiful cultural heritage for us anymore. It is the goose that lays golden eggs by being sold to the world and making money.

I think that the government’s and public’s continuous support is needed to build up the “Hangul industry.”

Cho Won-shik,

Yangchung High School
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