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The Korean Language

The Korean language, spoken by an estimated 73 million people on the Korean Peninsula, is a complex mixture of Chinese lexical influences and a unique native word and sentence structure. While Korean grammar shares many similarities with Japanese, Turkish and other agglutinative languages, no definitive genetic link has been established between Korean and other languages in the world, and the language's origin remains a heated topic of academic debate. Korean boasts the most scientific script in the world, Hangeul, which was designed by a team of royal linguists by order of the Korean king in the 1440s.

Following a period of unprecedented economic growth, South Korea today has emerged as one of Asia's powerhouse economies. Korea's advanced modern business landscape boasts some of the most widely recognized brands in the world, and the country remains at the forefront of international developments in science and technology. Korea also boasts a rich popular culture that has become an export commodity of its own right in the form of food, popular music, and film.

Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Paula Zhang
Korean 2017
Gwangju, South Korea
Marlena McDaniel
Korean 2016
Gwangju, South Korea
Ethan Jewell
Korean 2018
Gwangju, South Korea

Korean Stories

Edwin Juarez Reflects on Identity and the CLS Program

Edwin Juarez is an alumnus of the 2020 CLS Virtual Korean program and a current student at Claremont McKenna College, where he is majoring in Foreign Languages. Growing up in a predominantly Mexican-American community in Houston, he noticed how relieved his parents were when someone offered...

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Posted September 30, 2020