Korean Hangul

In the middle of the 15th century, Korea was still using Chinese characters for their written language, despite having a very different spoken language. King Sejong argued that the Chinese script, with its thousands of characters, was too complicated for commoners to learn and was awkward due to the differences between spoken Chinese and Korean. So in 1446 he published a document demonstrating a new writing system, Hangul, which used only 51 characters, making it much easier to learn. 24 of the characters map closely to letters of the Latin alphabet. The most interesting part is that the characters are drawn to show the way the lips and tongue are positioned to form the sound, enabling non-native speakers to sound out words without extensive training.