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'Korean pronunciation, as beautiful as song'

All News 16:56 July 14, 2016

SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- A Czech teacher of Korean in Prague said she began learning the language after watching Korean films in her home country as a teenager.

"For me, Korean pronunciation sounds as beautiful as a song. This charm led me to learn the language," Linda Stockelova said during an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

She was in Seoul to attend an annual gathering of Korean-language educators at South Korea's state-run King Sejong Institutes. Hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the 8th World Korean Educators Conference began on Tuesday for a four-day run.

"I have been teaching Korean language for about two years. This year, in particular, I felt my work is finally paying off because two of my students entered the Korean-language department of Charles University, the most prestigious university in the Czech Republic," the 32-year-old said. "I feel great because the Korean language and culture course at the King Sejong Institute was of great help in the college admission process."

She said that Korean pop music, films and dramas are experiencing such a boom in the Eastern European country that more and more people learn Korean to better understand the culture.

Like her, most Czech people who learned or are eager to learn Korean are interested in Korean pop culture and learn the language just for fun or out of curiosity, she said. But recently, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of people learning the language to work or study in South Korea, she added.

"The Korean language has a more abundant vocabulary than Czech," said the teacher, known as "the preacher of Korean language" in her country. "I think that's because Koreans are more soulful than the Czech people."

Stockelova, who received a doctorate degree in Korean studies from Charles University, boasted an abundant knowledge of Korean films, literature and history.

She cited the Korean people's peaceful nationwide uprising against the Japanese colonial rule on March 1, 1919, as the most impressive chapter in the turbulent modern Korean history.

"I think the 1919 uprising was the starting point for Koreans to tone up their voices for Korean independence at home and abroad."

She said she could easily empathize with the modern Korean history as the Czech Republic experienced the bloody Prague Spring of 1968.

Stockelova expressed hope that she could continue to teach Korean language at the King Sejong Institute in Prague.

"I also hope the institute to be equipped with a Korean cultural experience room to provide the Czech people with more opportunities to experience Korea."


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