The College of Foreign Languages and Cultures will start teaching in the autumn semester of the 2020/21 academic year on September 7. Classes lasts for 15 weeks (see the academic calendar).
NB! The university transfers to a new study information system. This may cause errors in the course links that provide more detailed information. Should this occur, we kindly ask you to contact the coordinators of the college.
Click on the course to see the time-tables, course descriptions, requirements etc in the study information system.
Language courses on the basis of English:
- HVLC.08.016 Korean for Beginners I, Level 0 > A1.1 (6 ECTS)
- HVLC.08.017 Korean for Beginners II, Level A1.1 > A1.2 (6 ECTS)
Culture courses on the basis of English:
The Korean language and culture courses are supported by the Korea Foundation
The courses are generally free of charge for the students of the University of Tartu and for students from other Estonian higher education institutions (See which institutions and universities have a partnership with the University of Tartu).
Visiting students from foreign higher education institutions need to pay for their language courses only if they are fee-paying students at the University of Tartu. In case of the latter, consult with the foreign student office regarding the credit point costs and conditions.
The Korean language is spoken by about 50 million people in South Korea, about 24 million people in North Korea, and about 6 million people overseas (mostly from China, the United States, and the former Soviet Union). However, these days, those numbers are growing. As Korea’s political standing has gained importance on a global scale, so has its economical standing, due to its technology giants, Samsung and LG. Combined with the spread of the Hallyu Wave, more and more people around the world are becoming interested in learning Korean.
Hangeul (the Korean alphabet) was invented in 1443, by King Sejong, who was the 4th King in the Joseon Dynasty. At that time, the Korean language existed but only orally. There was no written means to transcribe the Korean language. Therefore, Korean scholars had to learn and use Chinese characters whenever they wanted to write. However, the Chinese language is different from the Korean language and has different sounds, therefore King Sejong invented Hangeul so the Korean people could both speak and write in Korean. Thus in 1446, King Sejong distributed his newly created Hangeul alphabet, then called ‘Hunminjeongeum’ so people could use it easily.
Hangeul is a perfect phonetic alphabet, which is made up of 24 letters (10 basic vowels and 14 basic consonants). The consonants represent the shape of the mouth when the letter is pronounced, and the vowels are made up of the three orders of heaven, earth and man, according to the principle of Yin and Yang.
10 Basic Vowels:
ㅏ ㅓ ㅗ ㅜ ㅡ ㅣ ㅐ ㅔ ㅚ ㅟ
14 Basic Consonants:
ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅅ
ㅇ ㅈ ㅊ ㅋ ㅌ ㅍ ㅎ
The Korean language genetically belongs to the Altaic language family, and the basic syntactic structure is SOV (subject-object-predicate), which is a verb-final language. The Korean language is an agglutinative language, so many particles attach to the nouns like prepositions in English, and the verbs are formed through agglutination. That is, the endings of the verb stem have grammatical functions. The Korean language is a discourse-oriented language because some grammatical elements, such as subjects, objects, and particles, are often omitted in discourse but the sentence is understood in context. Moreover, the Korean language has a very developed honorific system that is related to socio-cultural criteria and the Korean collective way of thinking.