Korean to be used at ASEM meeting

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Korean to be used at ASEM meeting

The Korean language has been selected as one of five languages to be used in simultaneous interpretations at upcoming foreign ministerial talks of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Hungary, Korean officials said yesterday, a decision that they said indicates the elevated global status for South Korea. The talks, set for today and tomorrow in Budapest, will be interpreted into Korean, English, Chinese, French and Japanese. The 10th foreign ministers’ meeting is expected to draw 48 member states.

The Korean Foreign Ministry said organizers in Hungary proposed Korean be included among the languages. According to the ministry, the Japanese government had first asked for interpretation service and organizers wanted to maintain a balance in Asia and decided to do the same with Korean and Chinese.

At the eighth ASEM meeting in Germany in 2007, Korean was among six languages served via simultaneous interpretation.

“Korean has been selected twice at ASEM meetings, over Spanish and Russian,” a foreign ministry official said. “It shows our status in the international community has improved.”

The official said Seoul’s friendly ties with Budapest may also have come into play.

“Since we hosted the Group of 20 Summit last year, more countries have tried to strengthen diplomatic ties with us,” the official said. “I expect to see the Korean language served at more international meetings from now on.”

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