History of Korea

Please post your comments and suggestions for this article.

Comment by Guy Middleton on April 11th, 2009 at 6:03 am

‘In 2000 B.C.E., the Koreans spoke and wrote using Chinese characters.’ This needs a reference – how is it known what language ‘Koreans’ spoke in 2000BCE – what is the evidence – and in what sense were these people either ‘Chinese’ or ‘Korean’?

‘They continually used Chinese until the creation of Hangul in the early 1400s.’ – This needs nuancing – it suggests everyone spoke only Chinese.

‘Both North Korea and South Korea respect and even revere their Chinese elder brother.’ This statement is very odd – in what sense does a country respect another? I lived in South Korea, and spoke with many Koreans, and listened to their comments about China and Chinese people/ The comments I heard were often unfavourable regarding the state of development of China and the habits of its people. Their statements do not accord with this one, and as such it is misleading, to say the least.

Comment by John Chon on June 18th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I ain’t an expert in Asian history or culture, but a bit concerned about the first part of the page that uses the analogy of Great Britain and the U.S. to describe the relationship b/w Chinese people and the Koreans. Korean people are a bit different race, in culture, history and language from the neighboring Chinese people. Chinese language, for example, belongs to the “Sino-Tibetan” language group. But Korean language, according to scholarly reckoning, belongs to the “Altaic & Uralic” language group which includes “Turkish, Mongolian, Japanese, Finish & Hungarian” – some scholars simply round it up as separate “Japanese & Korean” language group. Both Korean & Japanese languages’ grammar, concepts and intonations are quite different from Chinese language despite many borrowed words from ancient Chinese language: Subject-Object-Verb is the very basic grammatical order for Korean & Japanese languages and meanings of words in spoken languages of Korean (or Japanese) NEVER change according to intonations whereas one needs to carefully pronounce in right intonation for correctly conveying a meaning in Chinese word. So the very concept of the both Chinese & Korean languages differ from each other. The ancient Chinese civilization was very well developed and had their own written language whereas Korean & Japanese did not have their own writing system. But even when system of writing was borrowed from the civilized Chinese people, there was a problem for transcribing the conceptually very different Korean language. So what the ancient Korean people did was to make some variation to the Chinese writing system used in Korea in order to suit it more efficiently for the way of the Korean language. This development of writing system is called ‘E-du’ in the ancient Korean history. Please remember that Great Britain and the U.S. share same heritage in terms of being the same race (if we exclude French, Spanish etc. for the moment), similar culture, and the language etc. But Chinese and Korean people are different historically, culturally, and especially in terms of the totally different language roots of the both people.

Comment by Edward on June 16th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

This seems very Chinese influenced and incorrect…(The first paragraph especially). Who exactly wrote most of this??

Comment by John Yoon on January 5th, 2013 at 10:11 pm

There are obvious factual inaccuracies starting with the very first sentence.

“The history of Korea began either as a new province of China around 2300 B.C.E. or an independent kingdom.” China did not exist as a centralized state in 2300 B.C.E. and therefore there were no “provinces”, new or old.

“Most likely, the myth of Dangun explains the migration of the Korean people out of China.” Again, there was no such thing as “China” in 2300 B.C.E.

“In 2000 B.C.E., the Koreans spoke and wrote using Chinese characters. They continually used Chinese until the creation of Hangul in the early 1400s.” Your article about Chinese characters says they first appeared 3200 years ago during the Shang Dynasty. 2000 B.C.E. would be 4013 years ago and before the stated date of appearance of Chinese characters.

“Both North Korea and South Korea respect and even revere their Chinese elder brother.” This is totally laughable. This is something one might have expected from an ignorant and nationalistic Chinese person posting anonymously on the internet, but certainly not from an “encyclopedia”.

Comment by Jennifer Tanabe on February 19th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thank you for your feedback. The introductory paragraph of the article will be revised to remove the inaccuracies, especially in relation to China and the Chinese language.

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