Howdy, folks. We're headed to S. Korea tomorrow morning. It'll be around 15 hours from NY>S Korea. As a brief introduction, here are some interesting facts I gleaned from Learning to Think Korean by L. Robert Kohls.
--The Korean language is part of the Ural-Altaic language family, meaning it originated between the Central Asian mountain ranges of the same names. Korean, then, is unrelated to Chinese, although it is related to Japanese, Manchu and, interestingly, Turkish and Finnish.
--Generally, spoken language is intentionally indirect and more ambiguous than is the norm in the states. I'll update this idea with examples once I've had some personal experience.
--Koreans invented movable metal type a couple hundred years before old Gutenberg got around to it.
--Korean territory has been encroached upon repeatedly: by the Mongols (1234,1274,1281), the Japanese warlord Hideyoshi (1592-1598) and the Manchu invasions (1627,1636).
--Korea is about to have powerful foreign visitors once again... Ant and Cassie Doo.
I have to finish packing... It's tough to decide which books and song sheets to bring along.
More to come.....