Tangents and Dead Korean writing systems

Korean Graduate Studies Prep blog is a great resource. Reading the article “A brief introduction to hanja (한자)” taught me that there were several other Korean writing systems preceded Hangul including 이두 (Idu), 향찰 (Hyangchal), and 구결 (Gugyeol). Even if these writing systems have been cast aside, my curiosity had to see what they looked like.

Seriously, this is how I wander off web surfing and never get real studying done.  I KNOW that delving into dead writing systems won’t help me learn to speak Korean.

I am guilty of reading about learning a language, writing about learning a language, but not actually learning the language!

Argh.  But I promise, just one more tangent, and then I will get back to my studies …  (ever said that to yourself?  I have.  haha.  I laugh at myself every day.)

Page from the yu seo pil ji (유서필지, 儒胥必知), a book first published in 1872 which provides a detailed guide to the en:idu writing system

idu writing system

hyangchal script

hyangchal script

gugyeol script

gugyeol script

Sometimes I worry that my blog might be contributing to the delinquency of other language learners who are reading about my tangents of curiosity.  Sorry!

It might come off as lots of random posts, but essentially what I am doing is a cycle of learning, talking about, sharing, understanding, and applying what I learn.


I really didn’t think about polyglots, linguists, or writing systems before I started learning Korean.  Finding such a rich topic about which I know very little just makes me itch to explore.

I have to get over to the new Williams College library and read “The writing systems of the world”.  (Have you ever tried WorldCat to find a book in a library?  Cool tool.)


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