Korean blog: ease of learning a good reason to learn Spanish

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From Wikipedia (now approaching 90,000 articles in Korean by the way): 2000년 약 3억 6400만 명이 사용하는 것으로 알려져 있고, 현재는 약 4억 5000만 명이 사용하는 것으로 추정되고 있으며 로망스어 중에서 가장 널리 사용되고 있다.

There's a blog post here with ten reasons to learn Spanish, one of which is the language's ease of learning.

일곱째, 배우기 쉬운 언어.
스페인어가 제2외국어로 많이 선택되는 이유. 배워보니 알겠다. 한국에서 일본어 많이 배우는 이유와 같다. 처음 배울 때 그 어느 언어보다도 쉽다. 독어보다도 발음이 규칙적이다. 게다가 독어보다 문법도 간단하다. 더 좋은 것은 불규칙이 적다는 점이다... 제일 좋은 건 읽기 편하다는 점이다. 왜냐면, 가끔 불규칙 강세가 나올 때 단어 자체에 강세를 달아준다. 또 똑같은 단어를 서로 다른 두 가지 방식으로 사용할 때도 표시를 해준다. (예컨데, 영어에서 when이나 how같은 의문사는 관계(대명,부)사로도 쓰인다. 처음 배울 때, 이게 뭘로 쓰이는지가 늘 햇갈린다. 스페인어에서도 의문사는 관계사로 쓰이는데, 의문사로 쓰일 경우에는 단어에 강세표시를 해주기 때문에 구분하기 쉽다. 예 : como(=how)-관계사, cómo-의문사)
#7: It's an easy language to learn.
One of the reasons many choose Spanish as a second language - you'll understand when you learn it. It's the same reason why a lot of people learn Japanese in Korea. When first learning it it's easier than any other language. The pronunciation is more regular than German, and the grammar is easier too. What's even better is that there aren't many irregularities...the best part is that it's easy to read, because when there's an irregular accent the word itself has the accent there. It also shows you this when you use the same word in a different way. (For example, in English when and how are used as interrogatives as well as relative pronouns. When you first learn the language you're always confused on how it's being used. In Spanish interrogatives are also used as relatives, but when used as interrogatives it shows you with the accent so it's easy to tell. For example, como (how) becomes cómo (interrogative).

As for some of the other reasons, it gives useful for travel, tango (and music), the presence of countries where English alone doesn't really help, increasing influence, official language of the UN, etc. The reasons are mostly personal and informal though; it's a blog post, not a newspaper article.

I would also add that both Korean and Spanish are syllable-timed languages as opposed to a stress-timed language like English. This fact is what makes Ban Ki-moon's speeches in English still sound somewhat awkward in spite of the perfectly correct grammar.


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