Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Villanueva: Joneun Pillipin saramieyo


I AM from the Philippines... this is the literal translation of the title.

Recently, I enrolled in an online class at Yonsei University, one of the top universities in South Korea. I found this class in Coursera, a website I have been subscribing to for more than a decade now, where I have completed many short courses on various topics.

I have been learning (or at least, trying) to speak Korean and read/write Hangul for over a week now. I have this workmate, Yhuli, who can also speak Korean, so I have someone to practice with on what I have been learning online.

At present, we live in an already smaller world due to the advancement of technology. Globalization has become a by-word for many individuals and business organizations around the globe.

Everyone has become very concerned with the global economy. Of course, the economy in the Philippines is still a concern, but it is inevitable that the economies of other nations can have an impact on the local economy.

We are fortunate that we, Filipinos, are mostly multilingual, at the least, bilingual. Many can speak, read and understand English, while able to speak other languages including but not limited to Filipino, Iloko, Pangasinense, Ibaloi, Kankana-ey, Pampango, Bisaya, Waray, Chavacano, etc. If one is more fortunate, he/she can speak other foreign languages like Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.

The bottom line is, we Filipinos can easily learn new languages because we are programmed that way, maybe because we easily adapt to new cultures and places.

I read somewhere that those who can speak and understand more than one language have higher intelligence quotients (IQ). Well, I have no way of corroborating this study, but all I can say is if this is true, the westerners who think they are better than us Asians are totally wrong with that perspective.

Anyway, that is not my motivation for learning Korean because I already have a higher IQ than them. I just want to challenge myself to learn another language.

Why Korean?

For the past several weeks, I have been writing about the adventures of Ingliserong Ekonomista turned Panadero. As an online ESL teacher for Koreans, I found their language very challenging to understand and that is when the interest in learning their language emerged.

Aside from that, the Korean language is not only among the 25 most spoken languages outside the country of origin, but Korea is also one of the developed countries, which one may have a high probability of needing to communicate with a Korean anywhere in the world.

After the pandemic’s quarantine restrictions of traveling abroad, travel will now be a breeze. There is a need to communicate with people from other countries and that will be to my advantage. Speaking, reading and understanding Korean will be a great help for me that may be used for business or for leisurely purposes.

Until then, Annyeong Higaseyo! Kamsahamnida Yeorubun!


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