Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Myongji: Korean and not English

I received an email from Jens Henker (Tudorus on KGS) who is enrolled in the Baduk Degree Program at Myongji University. He explained to me that the classes are taught in Korean and not in English. That could prove to be a hurdle for aspirants who find new languages a challenge.

Still, as far as East Asian languages go, Korean may be one of the easier ones for Westerners to acquire. It is not tonal like Chinese, and the Koreans seem to have a stronger preference for Hangul (the Korean alphabet) over Hanja (Chinese-based ideographs) in their literature. The latter means that you may be spared the burden of having to memorize ideographs.

If I recall correctly, Hangul has only 16 basic characters (10 root consonants and 6 root vowels). There are 9 additional stressed or aspirated consonants, and 12 vowel dipthongs; but their symbols are derived from the 16 roots so they're easy to memorize.

Drago 2.10 released

Gilles Arcas has released his latest version of Drago; adding the much-awaited PDF export functionality and a few other improvements which include:
  • The ability to output figures at each markup or comment when printing
  • The ability to export a position on the board as a flat SGF (no moves, only setup commands)
  • The ability to select the diameter of stones when exporting a position
  • Sound for stone placement

I've strongly felt that, among current SGF editors, Drago was probably the best and most flexible in printing SGFs into formats that are ideal for offline study. Adding the PDF export function will make it easy for teachers and aspiring writers to generate PDFs like this one from shygost's lessons and distribute them via the internet.

Back on the subject of learning a language

This advert for Berlitz emphasizes the importance of learning a language well.


At 1:27 AM, April 13, 2006, Blogger russ said...

I had an introductory lesson in Korean last summer. The alphabet is really cool and rational and elegant. But there were a lot of subtle unfamiliar sounds which were very hard for me to distinguish and pronounce! I put Korean on my list of interesting things that would be cool to learn if I had more time and energy, or if I was a natural genius...

At 3:43 AM, April 13, 2006, Blogger Let's Go said...

I think the mistake that myongji teaches Baduk in english happened because I misunderstood a message of tudorus. Sorry for that.

At 9:44 AM, April 13, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Hello russ! I took a shot at learning Korean but dropped it because I had no overwhelming business reason. I discovered it to be a little easier than Japanese and notably easier than Chinese. The key to mastering any language is small but regular doses.

Hello VincentV! No worries. It's great to learn about the program! Of course, it may mean that you've got some language books to crack.

At 4:34 PM, April 16, 2006, Blogger LeisureGuy said...

Wonderful little movie.


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