The Korean professor with endless love for Vietnamese language
(VNF) – Vietnamese language has been part of a Korean man's life throughout the last five decades. He has taught the language to nearly 3,000 Korean students in over 30 years. He is also the author of the first Vietnamese-Korean dictionary which contains 60,000 words. Who is he?
Professor Cho Jae Hyun (source: Bao Dan sinh)
The special Korean man who dedicates such a huge love for Vietnam is Prof. Dr. Cho Jae Huyn. He is currently the President of the Asian Cultural Exchange Foundation (ACEF), Vice President of the Vietnam-Korea Friendship Association and Vietnamese language lecturer at the Vietnamese Studies Department of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
According to Cho, his love for Vietnamese language keeps growing greater in over the last 50 years. He is especially fond of exploring the in-depth meaning behind Vietnamese words and sentences he comes across.
The Hankuk University of Foreign Studies kick started the Vietnamese language faculty in 1967. And Cho was one of the first 20 students who applied for the course that year.
At the beginning, everything was not easy but difficulty was not able to de-motivate Cho in his learning journey.
Instead, the challenge really made Vietnamese a captivating language to him, particularly in the multi meanings which one single word may convey. It was a new world which was full of excitement.
As time goes by, Vietnamese language has stolen Cho’s heart. Despite numerous difficulties, he still kept his iron will to ‘conquer’ the language.
According to Cho, he is particularly keen to search for the meaning behind each Vietnamese proverb and idiom. He explained about this hobby by stating that despite being created in the old days, Vietnamese proverbs and idioms never become obsolete, thanks to the educational values they carry, which remain applicable in today society.
After completing his study in the Vietnamese language faculty, Cho stayed back to work for the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies as a Vietnamese language lecturer.
In over the last 30 years, he has trained around 3,000 students, helping them become proficient Vietnamese language users. Besides speaking and writing Vietnamese well, Cho’s students makes him proud by possessing in-depth knowledges of Vietnamese culture, history, people.
The more they understand about Vietnam, the more their love for the country is nurtured.
One of Cho’s milestones throughout his 50-year journey with Vietnamese was the publication of the first Vietnamese-Korean dictionary which contains 60,000 words in the year 2000.
The dictionary has received numerous positive feedback from Korean investors and entrepreneurs as it helps facilitate their communication while working in Vietnam.
The dictionary is only one among Prof.Dr. Cho Jae Hyun’s immense contribution to bringing the two countries closer.
In the last several decades, Cho has been working hard to translate various Vietnamese language study materials into Korean. The collection includes “Teaching Vietnamese to Foreigners”, “History of Vietnam”, poems written by renowed poets like Luu Trong Lu, Xuan Dieu, The Lu and a series of researches published in Vietnamese and Korean scientific magazine.
He was also the translator of the two famous memoirs book written about two Korea’s former presidents Park Chung Hee and Lee Myung Bak.
According to Cho, he decided to translate the books into Vietnamese because he would love to bring to young people in the country the inspiration from the two men, who possess unsinkable iron wills. Cho added he wished that through reading the books, the Vietnamese people would gain more insights of Korea’s culture, people and economy.
ACEF has conducted various activities to support Vietnamese people in Korea (source: Bao Dan sinh)
In recent years, Cho and the Asia Cultural Exchange Foundation (ACEF) has fostered their social works for Vietnam, including reinforcing training for 5,000 Vietnamese brides on Korean language and culture as well as essential life skills.
Cho and his team also coordinated with the Multi-cultural Family Support Center in Korea to conduct practical activities in assisting Vietnamese women to integrate with the new environment, ensuring happy marriage.
Sharing about the reasons behind his distinguished love for Vietnam, Cho Jae Hyun said, he was touched by the sincere affection of the people in the S-shape country, who are very friendly, hospitable and open-minded.
Since the first day he started learning Vietnamese five decades ago, Cho has witnessed the rise of the country after many losses in wars. He strongly admires the achievements of the South East Asian nation and at the same time, highly aware of his responsibility in joining hand to cultivate the two countries’ relations.
Cho therefore has dedicated vast efforts in enhancing Vietnam-Korea relations. He was a policy counselor for the President of Korea, and was also the first Korean intepreter for leaders of two countries since 1992, when the two nations officially set up diplomatic ties.
At the moment, Cho Jae Hyun and his center ACEF are busy with a variety of community works, which will practically benefit Vietnam.
In the time to come, they plan to bring Vietnamese language to more Korean learners, in order to tighten the bond between two countries, two peoples./.
( Translated by Phi Yen )