Japanese and Korean
Are you planning to go to Japan or Korea for this summer vacation? Why not visit the Language Learning Centre of the Hong Kong Central Library first to learn some Japanese or Korean before you travel!
Japanese belongs to the Japonic language family. The modern Japanese writing system is a combination of two character types: logographic kanji, which is the Chinese characters with a meaning and syllabic kana. Hiragana is used for native Japanese words and grammatical elements; and katakana is usually used for foreign words, names and also loanwords.
Korean is the official language of both South Korea and North Korea. Chinese characters or Hanja were used in ancient Korean but Modern Korean is written in Korean alphabet called Hangul. Both languages have a lot of loanwords such as ノート(note) and チーズ(cheese) in Japanese or 카메라(camera), 배터리(battery) and 오렌지(orange) in Korean.