History         The Activities since the Liberation

The Activities since the Liberation

  When the nation was finally liberated from Japanese colonial rule, the Society immediately resumed its activities. It compiled textbooks such as First Steps in Hangeul (Hangeul Cheot Georeum), Primary School Korean Language Manual (Chodeung Gugeo Gyobon), and Secondary School Korean Reader (Jungdeung Gugeo Dokbon), which served as the foundation of Korean language education after prolonged obliteration, and trained Korean language teachers through the Hangeul Training Institute (Hangeul Gangseuphoe) and the Sejong Secondary School Korean Language Teacher Training Institute (Sejong Jungdeung Gugeo Gyosa Yangseongseo). In 1945, the Society established October 9 as Hangeul Day based on the record in the original Correct Sounds for the Instruction of the People (Hunmin Jeong-eum).

  On the other hand, the dictionary compilation project, which had been halted and distracted by the Korean Language Society Persecution, was normalized and volumes 1 and 2 of the Grand Dictionary of Korean (Joseonmal Keun Sejeon) were published in 1947 and 1949, respectively. The project once again faced a crisis, however, with the outbreak of the Korean War (1950-53) as the printing of volume 3 and the typesetting of volume 4 were nearly over. Nevertheless, those who were involved in the project broke through the situation with conviction and determination, finally publishing all six volumes of the Grand Dictionary of Korean (Keun Sejeon) on Hangeul Day in 1957. The project was thus completed 28 years after its initiation, yielding the first large Korean dictionary created by the Koreans. Even amidst such cataclysms, the Society proceeded with a movement opposing the Simplification of Korean Orthography (Hangeul Matchumbeop Gansohwa-an) attempted by the Korean government starting in 1953 and succeeded in bringing about its retraction in 1955, thus preserving the tradition of Korean orthography.

  The Society compiled and published the Medium Dictionary of Korean (Jungsajeon) in 1958, the Small Dictionary of Korean (Sosajeon) in 1960, and the New Dictionary of Korean (Sae Hangeul Sajeon), which supplemented the Medium Dictionary of Korean, in 1965. Subsequently, it continued its dictionary compilation project, compiling and publishing in 1992 the Grand Dictionary of Korean (Urimal Keun Sajeon; 4 vols.), a new large dictionary, and its abridged version, the Dictionary of Korean (Urimal Sajeon), in 2005, respectively. In addition, the Dictionary of Native Korean Words (Uri Tobagimal Sajeon) was compiled and published in 2001.

The Society began to investigate toponyms in Korea from 1964, compiling and publishing the results as the Compendium of Korean Toponyms (Han-guk Jimyeong Chongnam). By publishing a total of 20 volumes over two decades, from the volume on Seoul in 1966 to the second volume on Gyeonggi Province in 1986, it completed investigations of place names in the country. These data, compiled according to administrative areas, were reedited in an alphabetical order and published as the Grand Dictionary of Korean Toponyms (Han-guk Ddang Ireum Keun Sajeon; 3 vols.) in 1991. On the other hand, the Society published in 1995 the Dictionary of Korean Linguistics (Gugeohak Sajeon), a dictionary of terms in Korean linguistics.

  The Society has held hundreds of research presentations since its creation and also hosted six large international conferences up to 2008. In the 1990s, it devoted efforts also to research on language and linguistics in North Korea and Korean language education as a foreign language, and the invitation and training of teachers of and experts on Korean as a foreign language were implemented on a total of 22 occasions from 1997 to 2010.

  The Society’s periodicals include Hangeul, Literary Korean (Munhak Hangeul), Educational Korean (Gyoyuk Hangeul), Hanhinsaem Studies (Hanhinsaem Yeon’gu), and Hangeul Newsletter (Hangeul Sae Sosik). A publication representative of the organization, Hangeul can be seen as the oldest academic journal in Korea because, since the publication of the first volume in May 1932, no. 313 (as of September 2016) has come out. The contents, structure, and publication interval of the magazine differed slightly according to the situation of each era. Hangeul has established itself as a collection of professional papers on Korean linguistics since the early 1970s and as a quarterly since 1979. A newsletter-cum-activist publication founded as a monthly in September 1972, Hangeul Newsletter has been published without any interruption to this day. Annual collections of academic papers, Literary Korean, Educational Korean, and Hanhinsaem Studies were published until the 17th volumes but terminated after 2009.