North Koreans Actively Studying Foreign Languages

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Dec 24 14:57:49 UTC 2006
 Thursday December 21, 01:35 PM

North Koreans Actively Studying Foreign Languages: Report

SEOUL, Dec 21 Asia Pulse - North Koreans are eagerly engaged in learning
foreign languages, including English and Chinese, a pro-North Korean
newspaper said on Dec. 15. "Registration is actively underway for foreign
language classes," the Choson Sinbo, a newspaper run by the pro-Pyongyang
General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, said on its Web site.
The paper reported that the registrants, mostly workers and students in
their 20s or 30s, have doubled compared to last year.

One language institute, located in downtown Pyongyang, has taught English,
Russian, Chinese and Japanese since the 1980s, but Chinese remains the
most popular, the paper said. "Each course participant quickly learns how
to speak (in a foreign language) while learning the ability to translate
foreign-language books in his or her special area," the paper said.
The centre plans to have about 1,000 students registered next year, the
paper reported. Other language facilities in Pyongyang are also busy with
registration, and some North Koreans have formed groups to study foreign
languages on their own, according to the paper.

North Korea remains one of the world's most controlled societies. Its
regime maintains a tight grip on the flow of information and knowledge
from the outside world.


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