Differing Strategies Towards Loanwords In The Korean Language

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Word Count

2500 words




5 Days

Assignment Criteria

“Differing strategies towards loanwords in the Korean language of the two Koreas (South Korea and North Korea).”

It is the undergraduate student level.
The word limit is 2,500 words and the STRUCTURE and REFERENCE are extremely important. 
I want to ask this essay structure looks like, (intro, body1, body2, body3, conclusion)
The footnotes and citation must provide the page number for example, (Kimura, 2004: 34)

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Assignment Solution


The essay discusses variations in the strategies adopted by North and South Koreas towards word borrowings from other languages.  Although Korea was a single country before World War II, after the split in two sovereign states, their concepts of culture, art and language underwent some changes.  The Korean language contains numerous borrowings from Chinese, Japanese, English and other languages which have increased and enriched its vocabulary.  Dialects spoken in different parts of the country contribute to the size and complexity of the language. One reason for the presence of foreign words in the language is the fact that Korea had been invaded and ruled by the neighbouring countries of China and Japan in the past for a long time. Notwithstanding the split and the ideological differences among themselves, the two countries have come forward to eradicate the foreign words, revive the indigenous language, and maintain a standard language that would be comprehensible to all Koreans. The essay discusses the sources and extent of loanwords, the difference in ideologies and its influence on the methods adopted for 'purifying' the language, and the way in which modern elements are being adapted in the language.     

The Korean language is shared by both North and South Korea, but after the Revolution, policies adopted by each country to develop the language threaten to divide them linguistically as well.  Officially, Pyongyang (North), and Seoul (South) use different standardised dialects of the Korean language. The last part of the essay highlights the difference in strategies.

The sources and components of loanwords:  

Loanwords in Korean belong mainly to the Chinese, native Korean, and more recently, English and some European languages. They differ not only in their origins but also in their forms and uses. Sino-Korean words have been in existence since the third century and some are indistinguishable as loanwords. According to studies, Sino-Korean (SK) words are 15 percent more than native Korean words. 

Chinese loanwords, referred to as Sino-Korean (SK) had increased to such an extent that native Korean vocabulary has been outnumbered. During the Japanese occupation, loanwords from Sino-Japanese, and in modern times, loanwords from English and other foreign languages have also increased the Korean lexicon. The variety of dialect spoken in Seoul, South Korea, by the educated class of people, is more or less the same as the Korean spoken in Pyongyang, in North Korea, where it is called 'cultured speech'. But the North Korean variety consists of some distinctive terms and words unique to the country. SK words have been around for so long that they are not considered loanwords because they have been around since the third century. Yet, the Koreans are trying to reduce their number to the extent possible.

Another source of SK words was the Korean envoys to the West in the 17th century, who brought back objects from there like a map of the world, books and even Western culture. The objects were given Sino-Korean names as they were brought through China.  A more recent source of SK words is the Japanese, who brought with them a number of Sino-Japanese words representing modern concepts and objects during the Imperialist regime. 

Nowadays, due to the spread of information, words and concepts from the West in English loanwords, are directly incorporated into Korean and even transcribed phonetically. The Koreans are also replacing Chinese loanwords with Hanguel  and over the past decades, the use of Hancha has decreased.  

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