Gakkumi is a Korean word meaning to make something better. Public Language Gakkumi aims to examine and improve administrative language that are used in the public documents and widely read by the public.
University students will be playing the key role in leading and protecting proper usage of Korean.
“Using plain and simple public words is the starting point of vitalizing communication with the public and delivering the government’s policy to the citizen,” said Kim Soen-soon, an official of SMG. “The establishment of university students Public Language Gakkumi is meaningful in that SMG has arranged a system which will regularly listen to the citizen and amend the words according to their opinions.”
Public Language Gakkumi will be serving as another department of Hangul Culture Alliance.
Hangul Culture Alliance is a civil group founded in 2000 to protect Hangul, which means Korean language in Korean, by finding its unique culture and identity in the midst of the globalization.
Fifteen university students who are interested in fixing difficult public language were recommended by the Alliance and selected by SMG to serve as Gakkumi until January of 2015.
“Because officials are used to reading and writing jargons, it is not easy to sort out vocabulary that will be difficult for the public,” said Lim Bo-young, an official of the SMG. “Thus from now, we wanted people outside the government, especially university students to look through and point out from their perspectives.”
The Gakkumi will look into SMG’s electronic documents and press releases every month and sort out Sino-Korean and loan words. They will list the words on a report and submit it to SMG. In addition, students can freely suggest the ways to promote right usage of Hangul and ways to help the citizen easily understand the public documents by using photos, graphs and explanations.
SMG will then gather the opinions of the citizen and the officials on the suggested words. It will ask for advice to related departments and the professionals, select refined words to substitute the difficult ones.
“I am very proud that university students can actually go through the documents and seek the words that need to be improved,” Choi Ji-hyun (Business, 4) said. “This will help students raising a sense of responsibility in protecting our own language and realizing the importance of the right culture of Hangul.”
The students involved will be awarded a Certificate of Gakkumi after the service. SMG is expecting energetic communication with the citizen. It takes the initiative in invigorating the interaction between the government and citizens.
“University students who attended the announcement ceremony were very passionate about the project,” Lim said. “I believe they will act enthusiastically according to their passions.”