90% of high schools in Seoul offer Japanese as a second foreign language / 서울 고교 제2외국어 90%는 일본어

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This is of course about second foreign languages, thus those that are chosen after English which is mandatory.

7일 서울시교육청이 밝힌 `2009 고교 교육과정 편성 현황` 자료에 따르면 서울 시내 고교 308곳 중 90%인 278곳이 일본어를 제2외국어 선택과목으로 개설했다.
According to resources from the "2009 high school status of education" (just made this name up on the fly, probably has a different official title) published on the 7th, out of 308 high schools located in Seoul, 278 of them (90%) have established Japanese as an optional second foreign language.
어순이 한국어와 비슷해 고등학교 수준에서 배우기 어렵지 않고 교원을 확보하기 쉽기 때문으로 분석된다. 일본어에 이어 중국어는 189개교가 채택하고 있었다. 과거 한때 제2외국어로 가장 인기 있었던 프랑스어와 독일어를 가르치는 학교는 각각 52곳과 47곳에 그쳐 이들 언어 인기가 시들해진 것으로 분석됐다.
It's estimated that this is due to Japanese having a similar word order to Japanese, being a language easy for high school students to learn, and because obtaining teachers for the subject is easy. After Japanese, Chinese was adopted by 189 schools. French and German, once the most popular as a 2nd foreign language, were limited to 52 and 47 schools, showing a drop in popularity for them.

It also mentions that there's a surprisingly large number of people that choose Arabic (29,278 students), but the reason for this is that apparently it's a very easy subject on the university admittance test compared to other languages, so this is more about tactics than actually having an interest in the language. Not a single school actually teaches Arabic in Korea, according to the article.

Wikipedia also has some more info:

일본어도 한국어 및 터키어 등과 비슷한 주어-목적어-동사 형식으로 이루어져 있고 문법적으로도 서로 비슷한 점이 많아서 한국인들과 터키인들이 일본어를 배우기가 다른 언어에 비해서 쉬운 편이다. 대한민국에서는 2001년에 중학교 교과목에 일본어가 편입되었고, 중국어와 함께 2009년 현재 중학교에 들어갈 신입생들이 선택할 수 있는 제2외국어 중의 하나이다.
Japanese, like Korean and Turkish, has a SOV word order and a number of similarities, making Japanese an easier language for Koreans and Turks to learn than others. In 2001 Japanese entered the junior high curriculum as a subject, and as of 2009 along with Chinese it is one of the 2nd foreign languages freshmen in junior high can choose.


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