Hangeul, Korea’s official language,
was first invented by King Sejong during the mid-15th
century. Originally called Hunminjeongeum, the language
was fully conceived in 1443, and further promulgated
by King Sejong of the Joseon Dynasty in 1446. At
the time of its inception, the language consisted
of 17 consonants and 11 vowels. Currently, 3 of
the originally established consonants and 1 vowel
are no longer in use, bringing the total
number of characters to 24. Korea’s Hangeul vocabulary
is formed by the selective combination of vowels
and consonants to create words.
name for the Korean language was changed to 'Hangeul'
in 1910. Hunminjeongeum Proclamation Day was called
‘Gagya Proclamation Day’ up until 1926, and it
wasn’t until 1928 that it was changed to its current
celebration, ‘Hangeul Proclamation Day’.
chart below represents the 24 Hangeul characters
together with their romanized equivalents. 'The
Hunminjeongeum,' a historical document which provides
instructions to educate people on the use of Hangeul,
is registered with UNESCO. UNESCO awards a 'King
Sejong Literacy Prize,' every year in memory of
the inventor of Hangeul.