When we learn a new language, many of us enjoy vocabulary lists. Like this one of animals in Korean. And then, having a wide vocabulary is essential to be able to consolidate the knowledge of grammar
Learning grammar requires understanding and reasoning about its logic. Lists, on the other hand can be easier and less complicated to learn than grammar. In fact, it's just about memorizing them and then use them in conversations.
So let's begin today with the animals in Korean (동물; dongmul).
The Siberian tiger is the national animal of Korea and an important symbol of the culture. Unfortunately, they are considered extinct on the Korean Peninsula. But the tiger "survives" in all kinds of works of art, in which it dazzles with its sinuous and elegant figure and mighty presence.
As it often happens in the world, political conflicts have contributed to the disappearance of the majestic tiger in the peninsula.
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a security strip of land (quite hostile, by the way) created to protect the territorial limit of truce between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and South Korea.
But it failed to protect the habitat of the big felines because, with its 2.5 miles wide and 160 miles long, what it did was block the transit of tigers through the peninsula.
However, the tiger is still a living part of Korean culture. In fact, at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the official mascot was Hodori, a cute and friendly little tiger. Ho comes from the word horang-i (호랑이) for "tiger" and dori is a diminutive used to designate children.
Also at the 2018 Winter Olympics, held in Pyeong Chang (South Korea), the mascot was a white tiger named Soohorang. This time, the last syllable of the name took another part of the word for "tiger."
Both times, the tiger was chosen as a way to invoke the protective power traditionally attributed to the tiger to protect athletes.
Korean culture has such a variety of interesting elements that you never stop discovering new things. Studying the Korean language is an ideal way to get better acquainted. Did you imagine that reading about animal vocabulary you would know these cultural details?
At the Hanyu Chinese School of Asian languages we offer to you the possibility of studying Korean with native teachers from the comfort of your home, at your own pace, alone or in a group with your friends and at the time that suits you best. Get in touch with us and request your free class. Korea awaits you!