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"Germany in Korea" Helpful to Koreans
Korean-language website of Germany launched in April
By Grace Kee
Staff Reporter
German Ambassador to Seoul Norbert Baas (right) watches the screen during the opening ceremony of Germany's Korean-lnaguage web portal "Germany in Korea" at Westin Chosun in Seoul on April 6, 2009.

Recently opened German web portal site "Germany in Korea" is gaining popularity among the local Korean people since it offers a variety of information in Korean language about "the economic powerhouse of Europe."

The Korean-language internet portal was officially launched by the German ambassador to Seoul, Dr. Norbert Baas on April 6, 2009. The opening ceremony of the site was held on the day at the Westin Chosun in Seoul.

The new initiative provides visitors with information on various aspects of Germany including culture, tradition, industries, economy, education, and technology.

"The German Embassy had conducted a survey with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation on Germany's image among Koreans on 2007. There we found out, that the older generation has a thorough knowledge of Germany," said Dr. Micong Klimes, a first secretary at the German Embassy in Seoul. "However, this knowledge is less pronounced among the younger generation."

Dr. Micong Klimes, a first secretary at the German Embassy in Seoul

Dr. Klimes, who is a fluent speaker of the Korean language, takes charge of managing the site in a press office.

"The fact that younger generation Koreans are pretty well versed in internet gave us the inspiration to start this site for young Koreans who lack knowledge about Germany,"Dr. Klimes added.

She went on to say "Furthermore, we wanted to present the modern Germany which is still not too well known in Korea. Right from the beginning it was important to us to produce the site fully in Korean in order to leave out any sort of language barrier."

Most contents of the website were created by Prof. Anton Scholz of Chosun University's Dept. of German Language and Education, Dr. Klimes explained on the telephone conversation with The Seoul Times.

Headings such as "Germany in Korea" are divided into four categories: Germany Overview, Culture & Life Style, Education & Career, and Interactive Germany.

Germany Overview introduces basic information about Germany such as the 16 federal states, cities, history, political system, EU and international cooperation.

Culture & Life Style presents tips on traveling in Germany and information on festivals and nightlife as well as daily life of Germans.

The Education & Career section gives information related to education in Germany. This section is very helpful to thousands of Korean students studying in Germany or to Koreans who plan to study in the European country.

Lastly, in Interactive Germany, you can see 360° pictures of Germany.

"For the next months we are planning to introduce an 'online event calendar' where Germany's related events will be announced," Dr. Klimes said. "We hope that we will also be able to allow for some interaction with Korean internet users by allowing the posting of personal German related pictures on the site."

The German portal site in Korean language can be reached at http://www.germany-in-korea.or.kr



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Grace Kee, who serves as staff reporter for The Seoul Times, studied English language and literature at Sookmyung Women's Univesity. She served as campus journalist for the Sookmyung Times for three years. She covers cultural affairs as well as diplomatic coummunity in Seoul.

 

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