I was asked this question: What do China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hungary have in common?

The answer is so complicated, I decided that instead of rewriting it here, I would just copy and past what I wrote in reply. You should find this every interesting:

Photo by NastyaSensei Sens on Pexels.com

China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Hungary have oriental languages in common among other things. As far as Taiwan and China, they both speak Chinese, if you are referring to Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese. Actually, there are at least 12 different languages spoken in China. Korean is one of the languages spoken in China. Another is Tibetan, and there is a another language spoken in northern China that is a form of Arabic. Hungary speaks a form of Mongolian, and Mongolian and Korean are very similar. I know a high school in South Korea where all the students who study there go on to the university in Hungary afterward because the languages are similar enough to make it easy for them to learn. I knew a Mongolian girl in S. Korea who came to S. Korea to study because Korean was easy for her to learn. I also knew a Chinese girl from China who was studying in S. Korea because her first language was Korean. In the part of China where she lived, everyone spoke Korean at home, but a form of Chinese out of the house. I speak both Korean and Japanese, and the grammar from Korean mirrors the grammar from Japanese. Chinese, Korean, and Japanese have post position particles, but I don’t know enough specifics about the others to know if they do or not, but the probably do also.

This is Japanese, not Korean. You can tell by the colors and the lack of steps. Thee is also a historical reason why the Koreans use to many steps..//Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The difference between Korean and Japanese as opposed to Chinese is that Chinese has a different word order than Japanese and Korean. A Chinese teacher told me that Chinese didn’t have a grammar until English speakers went there. The word order was random, and they used it just however they wished, but when English speakers came and taught them English, they realized they needed a grammar and adopted the English word order. I had some students from Taiwan, and they told me that when the Communists came to mainland China, there were people who didn’t want Communism, so they escaped to Taiwan, and that is why the Taiwanese speak Chinese—because they were originally Chinese, not that long ago.

Hungary//Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Hungarians speak a form of Mongolian because Atilla the Hun was Mongolian, and when he went out to conquer, his headquarters were in Hungary, He almost conquered all of Europe, but turned back. He wasn’t defeated by people, but they think it was by weather. Hungary is named after Atilla the Hun, and when I was there, there were people living there who had been there for generations and generations who were Orientals. Many people don’t realize there are Europeans who look Oriental. Many people don’t realize that the Germans are one of the reasons the Mongolians did so well in Europe. The Germans and the Mongolians were on horseback side by side conquering Europe together under the rule of Atilla the Hun. That is where the hamburger came from, from those German and Mongolian horseman. They invented it so they could eat on the go while they were going out to conquer. It was invented in Hamburg, Germany. If you eat Mongolian food today, it is full of meat and bread similar to the hamburger.

The first hamburger was developed by Mongolian and German soldiers in Hamburg Germany as they were going out to conquer the world as an easy way of carrying food with them.//Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In ancient times, the Koreans used to rule from Mongolia, all the way down into the Korean Peninsula. The country was called Gogoryeo then. After that, Gogoryeo was broken into three kingdoms: Bekjae, Shilla, and Goryeo. If you have heard of Manchuria, it was part of Goryeo, but it is now China. Korea was much bigger than anyone realizes because in ancient times, for 5,000 years after the Tower of Babel, they used to be the super power of the east. The Bekjae people actually invented what we call “the Chinese Characters.” The royal family of the Bekjae people lived at Busan on the Korean Peninsula, but even Bekjae reached over and was partially in China. Shilla was around Seoul and North Korea. Anyway, the Bekjae people are the ones who shared the “Chinese Characters” with Japan and with China. However, China really grabbed a hold of them hard as did Japan. China used to send people to Shilla and Goryeo to teach them the “Chinese Characters.”

Bangladeshi people like to study in Korean because Korean is similar to the Bangla language and easy for them to learn.//Photo by Joy Deb on Pexels.com

Most people don’t realize that Bangla, the language of Bangladesh should also be put in this group. Their grammar mirrors Japanese and Korean grammar. If you go to S. Korea, every student group in S. Korea seems to have a random Bangladeshi guy who came to study. They can because Korean is easy for them to learn to speak.

Through history, Japan, China, and Korea shared a lot, and Japan and China were pains in Korea’s neck. Many people don’t realize there were Chinese soldier in Korea during the Korean war too, but I talked to a man whose house was occupied by the Chinese because they wanted Korea too, not just the Japanese. I talked to an old woman who saw a Chinese soldier hit a Korean soldier on the head with a sword and cut him from the head all the way down exactly in two.///Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Japanese is easy for the Koreans to learn to speak, and many of them speak Japanese. The Japanese have tried many times in recent history to take Korea over, but Korea has always resisted. Just before the Korean war, the United Nations threw Japan out of Korea, but it wasn’t the first time they had tried to rule Korea. China has also had eyes on Korea through the years. In ancient times, not as ancient as Gogoryeo, but pretty ancient, after Korea’s influence had begun to wane because of the many wars, Korea found themselves sandwiched between Japan and China, and it was a mess. Korea was paying tribute in the form of rice to China to have China keep Japan off their backs, and Korea’s strategy was also to keep China off their backs with the rice.

Language is what all these countries have in common, but only the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans, and the Taiwanese use the Chinese Characters.//Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The root of many words in Korea and Japan both have the same roots as the Chinese words because of those Chinese characters. Many words in Japan and Korea both have the Japanese or the Korean pronunciation and the Chinese pronunciation also. China, after all, became extremely powerful, after Korea waned, and then Japan became extremely powerful too. Many things were passed back and forth between these three countries, not just the Chinese characters and the words, but also food, paper, fireworks, customs, etc. They shared and borrowed a lot between the three countries.—-Can you think of anything else they have in common?

7 thoughts on “I was asked this question: What do China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hungary have in common?”

    1. I have never been to Taiwan. I have only had students from Taiwan, and I rely on what they tell me. I knew they were speaking Chinese, but I wasn’t sure which form.

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