The Korean Language
- The alphabet, Hangul, was designed to be easy to learn, which is encouraging. Spend a little time learing it and impress your friends by being able to sound out Korean words.
- The vocabulary is mostly unrelated to English, so there aren't many cognates. However, many words have been imported (like computer) and are just adjusted in pronouciation a little.
- Check out CatCode for a great tutorial. This is how I first leared Hangul.
- If you're in the San Francisco bay area, Foothill/De Anza college offers the only classes I'm aware of, and the instructor (Prof. Choi) is outstanding.
- Here's a sample to see if your browser can handle it: ¾È³çÇÏ¼¼¿ä! If not, check out this FAQ on the subject.
- The Korean keyboard layout has all the advantages of the Dvorak language. Consonants are on the left side of the keyboard, vowels on the right, and the most common letters are all on the home row. Because the writing system guarantees a lot of consonant/vowel alternation, this works really well!
- Mac OS X is better than Windows XP is better than Windows 2000 is better than Linux at supporting Korean/Hangul.
Korean in Emacs
This is for the geeks out there...
To use Hangul in emacs, you'll need the Mule package. This usually comes with emacs. To see if you have everything you need, go to the "hello" page in emacs via "C-h h" and look for Korean.
To switch between the latin-1 characters I normally use, and Hangul I started by using C-\. It prompts you for the character set to use, and I use korean-hangul. After a while, I got annoyed that, since I use a Dvorak layout keyboard, I have to also go to a shell and remap to the us keyboard layout so that the Hangul characters will be in the correct places on the keyboard. So, for Linux, I added this to my .emacs:
(defun my-korean-setup () "Set up my Korean environment." (if (equal current-language-environment "Korean") (progn (setq default-input-method "korean-hangul") (set-input-method default-input-method) (shell-command "setxkbmap us")))) (defun my-english-setup () "Set up my English environment." (if (equal current-language-environment "English") (progn (set-input-method nil) (shell-command "setxkbmap dvorak") (shell-command "xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap")))) (add-hook 'set-language-environment-hook 'my-korean-setup) (add-hook 'set-language-environment-hook 'my-english-setup) (defun my-toggle-lang-env () (interactive) (set-language-environment (if (equal current-language-environment "English") "Korean" "English"))) (define-key global-map [f5] 'my-toggle-lang-env)Now I use F5 to switch back and forth and it works well for me.
Korean Vocabulary Quiz
I've written an ELisp program to quiz you on your Korean vocabulary. It is pretty simple, but effective.
Download a copy of my Korean quiz here. It includes a few words as example vocabulary. It is licenced under the GPL, which is included in the tarball. Simply evaluate the korean-quiz.el file and run the interactive function "quiz". Please feel free to send me feedback on this if you've tried to use it - what works for me may not work for you.
;; ;; Korean Quiz ;; (push "/path/to/korean-quiz/files/" load-path) (load "korean-quiz") (define-key global-map [f6] 'quiz) ; Pressing F6 will now run the quiz
If you want to use a different vocab list, change it in your .emacs after the korean-quiz module is loaded like this:
(setq quiz-file "/home/haroldh/Class1.kr")