1. cuongnhugirl

    cuongnhugirl Banned Banned

    I've noticed spoken that while written Japanese derived from Chinese, spoken Japanese sound more similair to Korean. I know Japan ruled Korea, perhaps they influenced the language and that is why?
     
  2. Grass hopper

    Grass hopper Valued Member

    Korean probably split from Chinese as well.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Korean is an Altaic language (same family as Mongolian) and is very different than Chinese. If I recall, Japanese is considered an Altaic language as well. They are quite different in sound though, although from my experience share a bit of similarities in grammar and structure.
     
  4. querist

    querist MAP Resident Linguist?

    You are correct, Thomas. Having studied Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Japanese (minored in it in college) and Korean, I agree that Japanese and Korean are quite similar grammatically, while the various Chinese languages are not at all related.

    The Chinese brought paper and writing to both Japan and Korea and each country adapted what they learned to fit their languages. In Japan, they kept the borrowed Chinese characters (called "kanji" in Japanese) and created syllabaries to allow for their grammatical endings and other grammatical words. The Koreans initially used borrowed Chinese characters (called "Hanja" in Korean) to represent the sounds and meanings of their language, but eventually developed their hangeul alphabet (it is a true alphabet) and phased out the use of hanja. The DPRK phased out hanja first, and then the ROK phased them out in an attempt to facilitate communication with the DPRK and to foster reunification.
     
  5. cuongnhugirl

    cuongnhugirl Banned Banned

    Theres no chance for reunification as long as those communist psychos are in charge in the north.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I knew that NK had phased out Hanja but I hadn't heard that SK did. WHen I taught in the SK public schools from 1997-2001, students were still studying Hanja and the newspapers still used some Hanja in their articles (and names of course were kept in both Hanja and Hangeul).
     
  7. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    Reunification would not necessarily be a good idea. After half a century, the north and the south developed their own identity. Hopefully, they'll get to be good neighbors and cooperating states, but the longer it takes, the less likely reunification becomes.

    Germany managed it, but that was a lot less time being apart. Additionally, there it was clear to the population that they were being oppressed by an outside agent. The population itself still considered themselves 'German'.

    In a couple of years, the vast majority will have grown up, never knowing a united Korea.
     
  8. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    On the other hand, Germany hadn't existed as one unified country for very long before it was divided after WWII. In historical terms, seventy five years is the blink of an eye.
     
  9. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Do the south want reunification? The South has a booming economy, the North has famine.
     
  10. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    A half decent history book on Japan would sort you out. Much of what the Japanese have has come from China. But it's gone through that filter that changes it forevermore into something uniquely Japanese. Chinese influences are everywhere in Japanese culture. Right at it's core foundations... though most might not be immediately recognizable as being from China. But if you read up you'll see there was plenty of time and trade for influence... and like all things that filter into Japan they then take on a life and a style all their own that is very different than where the originate from.
     
  11. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    The written Japanese language is a perfect example of how they took something that is already quite complex, and then adopted it partially, so that they ended up with something truly twisted. A 'worst of both worlds' kind of thing.
     
  12. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    Reminds me about Ireland.
    An Irish friend of mine told me that Ireland (the majority) doesn't -want- Northern Ireland back from the UK. Not even if they got paid to take it back.
     
  13. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    In historical term, you are right.
    But 75 years means that almost noone alive will have lived in a unified korea, and would not have any particular cultural or ideological motivation to desire unification.

    Especially considering that they'd end up take a big financial hit trying to fix things. And then there is the gigantic northern Korean army which they'd either need to finance (which cost a lot) or have tens of thousands of unemployed and armed soldiers (which is bad as well).
     
  14. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Maybe Korean people still regard themselves as being fundamentally one people rather than two. To be honest, I don't really know enough about the place to know how ordinary Korean people feel. We can draw possible parallels with other countries which have had an 'irredentist' tradition, but without knowing more about Korea, I for one can only talk theoretically.

    Interesting subject, though.

    It isn't hard to see practical obstacles to reunification. But you could have made fairly similar points about Germany before it got reunified. I think if the will is there to make siomething happen then it can be done. There are an awful lot of countries which have been merged (and which have split up too) just within my lifetime.
     
  15. querist

    querist MAP Resident Linguist?

    I never said that reunification was a realistic goal, but it was a stated goal. :hat:
     
  16. querist

    querist MAP Resident Linguist?

    That is some very useful information, Thomas. Thank you for sharing that. My understanding of the situation from what I have been told by various folks from Korea (including some who just came here about three years ago) was that the idea was to phase them out, sort of like how Mainland China has phased out traditional characters. You will still see them, especially on older signs and various stone monuments, but their general use is discouraged. My understanding was that they were trying to do the same thing with the Hanja, but I may have misunderstood.
     
  17. querist

    querist MAP Resident Linguist?

    I think that a large percentage of the South do want reunification because the people in the South and the people in the North are all Korean. The split between the two countries is viewed almost like a split in a family. It is difficult for those of us who live in very heterogeneous societies to understand sometimes, but these small countries that are racially homogeneous often view "race" and "nation" as essentially the same thing and any deviation from that (either way - foreigners becoming citizens or the political entity splitting) is seen as an aberration that must be corrected.
     
  18. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    But in Germany, the occupation was clearly an outside agent, which the native population didn't like much either. Both sides also had industry and while life in the eastern block was not a piccnic, at least they had a stable economy and a certain standard of living.

    NK has an own identity which is their own, so they won't be ready to abandon everything that makes them 'them'. The land is also virtually bankrupt, has widespread famine and no economy to speak of. And as I said, a big army which was not a big issue with Germany either.

    Besides, even in Germany, it was not a walk in the park after the honeymoon was over. There were still major problems, years later, to the point that many regretted the reunification. With NK and SK, this will be much worse.

    Anyway, none of us can predict the future, but I think it would be much more difficult and troublesome than with Germany.
     

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