왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

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왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby choc_pud » Sat 03 May 2014 5:42 pm

Recently I've been looking into and learning more about Korean Hangul, and I've come to the same conclusion as many others: It simply is the best script in use anywhere in the world.

I know that the phonotactics of Korean are vastly different from those of English, but I've been wondering whether it would be possible to create a system of using Hangul which could be applied efficiently to writing English?

I've come with a rather good system in the past, and I'm interested whether anyone else has had similar ideas?
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby Mikhail » Mon 19 May 2014 7:24 pm

Oh, come on, what is so good then? That it has grouped characters? It is one of the most eye-killing alphabets in the world. You are joking, yeah?
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby choc_pud » Tue 20 May 2014 11:19 am

Thank you for your input. No doubt you have been adversely affected in your view of other ways of writing by your dull, simplistic native script. Lots of rectangles of various lengths? Rampant tengwaritis?

In what way is Hangul 'eye-killing'? Personally, I find Cyrillic very hard to look at. It is dull in sans serif fonts and ugly in those with serifs.
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby Mikhail » Tue 20 May 2014 10:53 pm

Heh, I didn't really want to discourage you from learning new script... but I find your words "the best script" kind of strange.
choc_pud wrote:your dull, simplistic native script.

Why do you say "your"? I personally have nothing to do with developing Cyrillic, nor defend its usage actually.
choc_pud wrote:In what way is Hangul 'eye-killing'?

In very direct way. If you will read a lot with such script, you will damage your eyes, same as you will do with chinese. But probably you will not, unlike Korean and Chinese pupils, so for you it is not harmful probably :)
Beside it, drawing some brackets, circles and sticks and putting inside in equal squares hardly can be called a "system". I can spend a week or two and easily make something like this, probably even more effective and good looking. So may I ask what such interesting did you find in it? Why not learn Mayan or Arabic for example?
choc_pud wrote:It is dull in sans serif fonts and ugly in those with serifs.

Yeah that's true, but still I like some letters of it, namely Ж, Ф and Д.
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby choc_pud » Wed 21 May 2014 8:37 pm

Well, by 'your' I meant your native script, as your native language is Russian.

You say you will damage your eyes, but how so? Why should that be the case? What makes something like '왇' any worse than 'Ж'?

I think you misunderstand the way Korean writing works. All of the phonetic elements are combined into a single syllable block, which saves time in reading, space when writing, and effort when learning. This last point has been proved time and time again by various tests carried our, comparing Hangul with other alphabetical systems.

Something else which is in its favour is that it is 'featural', meaning that the shapes are not assigned arbitrarily but rather are based upon the positioning of the tongue and mouth. This also makes it easier to learn.

Another point for it is that it was designed entirely by King Sejong of the 1400s; he devised it as a means of facilitating easier reading amongst the poorer inhabitants of Korea at that time. It was called, derogatively, by the more learnèd speakers (who wrote and read in Chinese) the 'morning script', i.e. it could be learnt in a single morning. How many other scripts can you name which can claim that? I have personally proved this to be true in that I learnt it off by heart within the space of an hour.

I have tried to learn Arabic, but I find it hard, as it is so different from the other scripts I can read (Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Hangul, etc.). As for the Mayan glyphs, they do not interest me in the slightest. In any case, they are actually not real writing, instead being termed 'proto-writing'.

Aside from all of this, which scripts can you read?
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby Mikhail » Thu 22 May 2014 6:49 pm

So you gave points to the simplicity of letters, okay. But that means only that you find the 'writing' aspect of this script somehow attractive. It is obvious also that reproduction of simple brackets and sticks with a pen is easier, thus easier to make people learn it and start to use it. But you shouldnt mix up 'writing' and 'reading' qualities in any way. Besides, I dont think really that learning Latin for example or Arabic letters can cause serios problems for a man even with very 'average' abilities.
Anyway after that, one should learn all the written words and word chains (aka 'patterns' in scientific terminology) and their correspondence to spoken language. So here we are with the 'reading' qualities of a script - the patterns must be very effective as optical objects, so the eyes can easily follow the text and flawlessly associate it with spoken language.
A text, written in Hangul doesn't have any of those qualities, unfortunately.
choc_pud wrote:I think you misunderstand the way Korean writing works.

This sound like you provocating me, and first time you said I am affected by something or so? What is the reason for that? Bad mood or just reaction to pointing on the fact that Hangul has very poor reading qualities? I understand the way its written pretty clearly and not affected by anything , be sure ;) .
choc_pud wrote:which saves time in reading,

oh no, man! this is just false, nothing written in a hardly readable script can save you anything at reading.
choc_pud wrote:space when writing, and effort when learning.

Okay, but who cares.
For me the central point for developing and inventing scripts still its 'reading' aspects. Sometimes decorative aspects.
choc_pud wrote:Another point for it is that it was designed entirely by King Sejong of the 1400s

Okay, I am not sure he did it personally, but anyway I wouldn't give him any points for that. As said, with full responsibility I say, that I can easily (and many other people probably) design a scrript wich is equally easy to learn, but way better regarding its reading quilities, since it just have almost none.
choc_pud wrote:How many other scripts can you name which can claim that?

Ease of learning to depict its character you mean? Latin, Greek Uncial, Cyrillic are not that hard also.
choc_pud wrote:You say you will damage your eyes, but how so? Why should that be the case? What makes something like '왇' any worse than 'Ж'?

See above and meditate a bit. '왇' is just a bunch of strokes, the other blocks are as well, and many of those too much similar with another. Moreover they have plenty of repeated strait lines, and the blocks are all the same size (at least in printed sources). This give extra negative impact on reading. So it has not gone too far from chinese in this sense (dont say that I dont know that chinese is not fonetic please) and about chinese I know personally, most of actively reading people have serious sight loss already in early years. For you its just fun or hobby, but for some young chinese girl who must wear thick goggles for that reason is not a lot of fun I suppose.
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby Mikhail » Thu 22 May 2014 7:35 pm

Yes, and a comment to you last question - one does not read a script , one reads the objects which are represented with a script. What happens then, depend on what language it is associated with. I dont know a lot of languages, but Latin, Cyrillic and Greek (almost all) characters and their standard phonetic BINDINGS I can USE to apply to languages I know. As for just reproducing the charecters on paper from my memory - I can do it with plenty of characters of many systems.
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby graphein312 » Fri 20 Jun 2014 7:28 pm

I used to think like you, especially about Chinese.

No, Hangul is stupid because it groups the glyphs together and I don't think they really have any if much spaces between words.

I champion Roman lower-case, I think it's the best of all possible worlds. But only after 15 years actually working with and learning all writing systems ever.

Hangul is not based on human mouth shapes, typical 1400's Eurasian nonsense, but Phagas-Pha, which is Uighur-lineage Proto-Semitic. I kind of think it was invented by the king, but I'm not skeptical where it's not necessary.

Let me tell you, Korean is a lot better than Japanese or Chinese. They group their glyphs in imitation of Sino-Japanese characters. It might also reflect historic areal writing system tendencies to top to bottom, right to left. I have learned and forgotten Korean alphabet many, many times. It is a joy. Of course, though I think they're very stupid and backward, my joy in life is hieroglyphic writing systems, so I hardly do anything with Korean.

The problem with them writing like that is that it makes their cursive much worse than it would be if it was a linear script. I think the Brahmi scripts are stupider though, worse than Arabic. They're extremely non-linear and redundant. What they did is adopt Aramaic together with something like a Semitic voweling systems - but for regular use ! Whose idea was that? Totally stupid. But I can see how it could happen. Modern Khmer orthography makes Modern English orthography look easy. I even think it's harder and more ridiculous than French. The French, by the way, are just silly to not totally revise their orthography. It's so antiquated though Old and Middle French are so utterly lacking. Those clowns think that French is Latin! Wow. French is pronuncable but annoying and it's a testament to who they are as a culture that they insist on all the unncessary diacritics (with which they went overboard and totally ruined Modern Vietnamese Roman Script) as well as spellings which are shameful. Modern English is a bit of a joke in that Middle English invariably matches modern pronunciation better. It's funny what writing systems and orthographies reflect. German is just excellent. But remember that in the 1800s they were using Fraktur, something worth considering. Fraktur is very beautiful, it is, but nonetheless ...

I also know you make good money teaching in Korea, though most of them seem to be total jerks. Koreans overseas in the Philippines are especially awful, just forcing the Filipinos to work slave labor for them, not paying them a decent wage at all, so they can live high on the hog with their clannish monopology on English language schools. If ever Asian greed, xenophobia, and snobbishness could get on your nerves ... They're a lot like Iranians, but not as bad. (Though Persian Arabic is a very nice, nice script, and the language is wonderful and influential in early 1900s science fiction ...) Of course, some are nice, very nice.

They have a warm and traditional culture about staying warm and heating the floors. Should you ever live in Siberia, you would appreciate what they've got going on. Just hopefully not in Seoul. As with China, the food, ah, the food is just awesome. I eat Kimchee very regularly.

The language is what interests me. Altaic and Tungestan-branch languages in that area have a really colorful and interesting history for writing systems, including the Shangri-La of writing systems, Khitan, Tangut, Jurchen, (sinitic), Manchu and oh so much more. In Linguistics, Japanese is related to Korean, but most Linguists are too inexperienced to be able to accept this. Nonetheless, the relationship is very interesting. North Korea is also a very interesting (and scary as hell) place, something of a land that time forgot as far as Asian cultures go (or is it?). Those guys are almost as scary as Scientologists, let me tell you.

But then aside from wanting to do more with the comparison of these languages, and of course working my way through reference grammars and trying my hand at common vocabulary, I haven't managed to do much with Korean yet. I hardly know what it sounds like, I haven't worked much with recordings of it. Sounds like Japanese to me, though, in the big scheme of things. In many ways it's a minority language among major world languages. Their scholarship is worse than the Chinese or Japanese, their older literature much poorer and harder to access than that of Classical Japanese, and they don't have the big money or the adventurous streak that makes Japanese attractive, despite its limitations. Arabic has a much harder script to remember, but it ends up being worth it, with the Koran in Classical Arabic and all the writings on science and their local ruins. "1,001 Arabian Nights". Korean? Meh. K-Pop is too plastic. The Koreans lack what the Japanese have for soul and concept.

Of the Chinese script sphere of influence, Vietnam interests me more. I like Southeast Asian languages. I wish I could get more into Classical Chinese or whatever written in Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, whereever. I'm actually in the building right now, but won't have the time until months from now.

Hey, does anybody know where I can buy input software for Korean or how that works ? I just found good free online (30 day trial, but I'll re-download) software for Japanese and Chinese. Is it just like Arabic, you switch computer language and keyboard and then type away ?

One of the funniest things in the world is how the Muslims think Arabic is divine to the core, writing system and everything, while the Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese, act that way to a lesser extent about their ridiculous and cumbersome writing systems, and that Westerners, some, believe them. KJC spend lots of time explaining how necessary and pleasant their writing systems are, while 15 years of study has shown me how Chinese characters are the most complicated writing system ever, getting unnecessary complicated in an exponential manner since 1500 BC and Oracle Bone Script. Reading through OBS inscriptions is the key to understanding how the Chinese have just let their orthography slide off into oblivion. Of course, before 1900 or so, all writing was in Classical Chinese, which is mostly monosyllabic and a lot better fit for orthography than Modern Mandarin, even so-called "Simplified", ha. This is just the corner of the world where scripts like Ancient Egyptian survive, staggering along. It's all part of a big program they have going on there, which is at times really great. Script mechanics and history are tied up with culture, aesthetics, usage, and not really so much the language typology per se.
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Sat 21 Jun 2014 1:18 am

There's nothing inherently stupid about grouping syllables in blocks, particularly if you have a simple (C)V(C) structure. It wouldn't work for English because of the prevalence of clusters.

IMHO, different scripts work for different languages. Linear B was a particularly clunky system for Mycenean Greek, but with flexible spelling rules, it got the job done. Romanization doesn't do well for Mandarin because of the prevalence of homophones. When I was learning Hebrew, I had a tendency to insert /ə/ every time I saw the : diacritic, even when it was intended to end a closed syllable.
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Re: 왇 와받 한굴? (What about Hangul?)

Postby Mikhail » Sat 05 Jul 2014 1:09 pm

graphein312 wrote: No, Hangul is stupid because it groups the glyphs together and I don't think they really have any if much spaces between words.

I saw some examples that have spaces, but those don't help much.
Visually Hangul texts are for me rather an interesting exemplar of a cipher. It could however be a good exercise on cryptography, to implement similar glyph-packing technics. I dont think a lot about the origin explanation, but very likely there must be historical chronicles saved about the facts.

graphein312 wrote: Let me tell you, Korean is a lot better than Japanese or Chinese.

This is interesting. I can't read them, but I remember I was trying to make a conclusion, what could be better - Japanese or Korean, but it was not obvious, just at look - Japanese text looks a bit smoother, so not so exasperating to look at.

graphein312 wrote: German is just excellent. But remember that in the 1800s they were using Fraktur, something worth considering. Fraktur is very beautiful, it is, but nonetheless ...

Still I find capitals in nouns stupid. Yes, Fraktur is annoying to read with, but looks monumental.

graphein312 wrote: Hey, does anybody know where I can buy input software for Korean or how that works ? I just found good free online (30 day trial, but I'll re-download) software for Japanese and Chinese. Is it just like Arabic, you switch computer language and keyboard and then type away ?

Isn't it a part of operating system, if the latter supports those languages? Probably you need some extra tools, for chinese, but could be very OS-specific question. So it is again, just like with writing systems, depends on politics and "specialists" of computer-world, and it is also full of anecdotes!

graphein312 wrote: One of the funniest things in the world is how the Muslims think Arabic is divine to the core, writing system and everything, while the Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese, act that way to a lesser extent

This also intersts me, as a social phenomena. Some official classifications, by the way, are also very curious, for example, distribution in natural and constructed systems. Just as if natural were not constructed, but instead fall from the sky, or probably out of alien spaceships, which are passing by :)
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