prasen9 wrote:My Korean colleague had told me of the connection. Of course, he used Indian instead of Dravidian. Then, my daughter's Korean piano teacher told me the same with references. So, it may be that in Korea more people know of this connection. (Or at least two random Koreean-Americans do.)
It is somewhat known in Korea because Homer Hulbert (whom I mentioned above) published his thoughts on it in Korea and the Chinese-centric researchers in Korea pooh-poohed it (naturally), as the idea that Korean had influences from anything but Chinese is tough for them to stomach. And to be fair, there is much less written evidence on this for academicians to use, as we are talking about old times from much more than a couple of millennia away, and there is much more written material on how Chinese influenced Korean in the last 2 millennia. But the Chinese influence on Korean is no more than Sanskirt's influence on Malayalam, Telugu or Kannada - which is that words (a lot of them, nearly 2/3rd of the vocabulary) were borrowed by completely Tamil-based languages. Absolutely nothing more. Sanskrit couldn't change a thing about the structure or base words of S.Indian languages. Same with what Chinese did to Korean which is an entirely different language with zero similarity to Chinese in structure or base words. The structure of Dravidian languages and Korean are strikingly similar (and in more ways than among other subject-object-verb languages). So are the connection in many base (pre-civilization?) words. But nothing is known in India about the language connection, though the Koreans have heard that something might be there, without details.
But all the Koreans confuse this language connection with a well-known legend (with some 2000 year old written records) of a King Suro and a lady who arrived from India who became his queen. This story is why Koreans think there is Indian influence in their language (you see it mentioned wrongly in the article Varma posted above), but I am of the opinion that it is a later story of no relevance in the language connection. Languages' root words do not get connection just from such singular isolated occurrences, and there is no record of large-scale migration or anything from that period or later that could have caused a language connection, especially when the Chinese language was breathing down their neck from north of Korea. This Dravidian-Korean connection is older and from a time when migrating folks diverged from somewhere in Asia to India and to Korea some millennia before (pre-Aryan times). Interestingly, there is hardly any research on this from historians, fascinating a topic as it is. Mainly because Indians have no interest in Asia (we are slaves to the west, after all, and look down on Asia all the time), and Koreans have no choice because of the massive Chinese influence on them. But at least Koreans respect India a lot and know of us, even if Indians don't care a damn about places like Korea.
Another interesting factoid. Koreans (actually somewhat wrongly) think that Rabindranath Tagore was a big advocate of their freedom fight, because he wrote a poem that was apparently about Korea's glory. "Land of the morning calm" is a usage about Korea that became famous through that poem, which mentioned it (IIRC). Apparently, Tagore wrote it only because he was asked by a writer friend of his, who was a Korean in Japan who was against the Japanese occupation. Tagore didn't have such passionate views about Korea or their freedom fight (well, we had our own going on at that time), but the friend got the poem published in a newspaper at a crucial time in their freedom fight history and the Koreans rallied behind it! Many people later felt highly grateful towards Tagore, and he is revered there. The pen is mightier than the sword, indeed.