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Old 08-04-2017, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,806 posts, read 808,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSrights View Post
South Korea has the third highest usage of English+Mandarin together after Singapore and Hong Kong.
Mandarin is only widely spoken in areas where ethnic Chinese dominate.

South Korea isn't one of them.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:32 AM
 
Location: NYC
90 posts, read 177,743 times
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If purely in terms of communicating then obviously Mandarin. Hanja (Chinese characters) is still a part of the education curriculum and if I remember correctly most Koreans can read about 1000 characters by end of high school which is more than enough for day to day communication.

Korea and China (also Japan) share a very similar writing system. Korea and Japan have phonetic characters (hangul and hiragana/katankana) as well but the traditional systems (hanja and kanji) are still taught.

If it must be verbal communication then English > Mandarin.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:52 AM
 
116 posts, read 63,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceofangel View Post
If purely in terms of communicating then obviously Mandarin. Hanja (Chinese characters) is still a part of the education curriculum and if I remember correctly most Koreans can read about 1000 characters by end of high school which is more than enough for day to day communication.

Korea and China (also Japan) share a very similar writing system. Korea and Japan have phonetic characters (hangul and hiragana/katankana) as well but the traditional systems (hanja and kanji) are still taught.

If it must be verbal communication then English > Mandarin.
Yes many Korean students learn Hanja but they don't actually learn how to pronounce it the Chinese way (ie Mandarin), but rather the sino-Korean way of reading those characters. For example, you will learn how to read the Chinese character for sky, but you'll only be taught that that's pronounced as "Cheon" instead of the Mandarin pronunciation "Tian". You also don't learn greetings or phrases in Mandarin Chinese in these Hanja classes, unless you're actually taking Chinese as an elective third language (that's right, since English = default second language) in high school.

I don't know any Korean person who can even semi-communicate in Chinese (doesn't matter Mandarin or Cantonese) solely on the basis of their knowledge of these Chinese characters from their primary/secondary school years. And I've met and interacted with dozens of highly educated Koreans.

I wonder if the OP would ask the same question regarding Japan. Why Korea?

The Korean's knowledge of Chinese is analogous to the American's knowledge of Latin. Does that make sense?

Also, Koreans don't use phonetic characters in modern times. Instead they have an alphabet called Hangul.

With one visit to the country, it becomes very clear it's English >>>> (Mandarin) Chinese.

Last edited by attisbons; 08-09-2017 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:16 PM
 
5 posts, read 2,688 times
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For native Koreans Chinese is just another foreign language like German or French or Malay(?). It has no special status like English. You can see Chinese speaking people only in Myungdong(tour area) or Guro(area becoming Chinatown more and more).
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:55 AM
 
2,416 posts, read 1,611,998 times
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Solely judging by Kpop it must be English or even Japanese :P...
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
2,214 posts, read 2,633,789 times
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English by far.

There are some characters in Korea written in Chinese, but they are only roughly understood and rather used as kind of traditional symbols for what they stand.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,175,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oistrakh12 View Post
Would you say Mandarin or English is more widely spoken/understood in Seoul? I'm asking because of the huge influx of Maindland tourists.

Also, do you think Mandarin will replace English as the mandatory second language in Korean middle/high schools?
Definitely English.

You'll see and hear English everywhere in Seoul and Korea.

Koreans don't think very highly of Chinese in general.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:43 AM
 
189 posts, read 255,615 times
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I know some Koreans who are learning Chinese due to China's economic rise. Do you think more Koreans will learn Chinese now compared to say 20 years ago?
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:27 AM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,609,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oistrakh12 View Post
I know some Koreans who are learning Chinese due to China's economic rise. Do you think more Koreans will learn Chinese now compared to say 20 years ago?
People in all countries probably learn Chinese more than 20 years ago.
Koreans are the top participants of the HSK (standard Chinese language test like TOEFL for English). The news says half of the participants are Koreans.
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