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Chinese, Japanese and Korean are three unique languages
The Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages share a number of Chinese characters, which help define the meanings of some words in various situations. There also are similarities in the pronunciation of certain words. By writing down Chinese characters, one can make oneself understood in all three countries but only to a very limited extent, as the actual usage of characters differs from country to country.
In Korea, because of the Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945, many Japanese words, such as bento (lunch box), ippai (a lot) and karaoke (singing box), are still used daily.
The best way to get around the country and meet people is to learn Korean, a unique language spoken by 75 million people around the world.