Korean language

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Korean is the native language of Koreans as an East-Asian ethnic group. Today, it is the sole official language in both of Republic of Korea (a.k.a. South Korea) and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (a.k.a. North Korea), and also one of the official languages of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China. There are presently around 80 million Korean speakers in the world.


  • a agglutinative language
  • a language isolate or an Altaic language
  • Subject-Object-Verb sentence structure
  • 19 consonants and 24 vowels in phonology.
  • a syllable consists of onset - nucleus - coda
  • about 3000 syllables pronounced

Standardized dialect

  • In Republic of Korea: 표준어, based on Seoul dialect. (ko-KR)
    • dictionary: 표준국어대사전. 국립국어원. 1999. (about 500,000 vocabularies)
  • In Democratic People's Republic of Korea: 문화어, based on P'yŏngyang dialect. (ko-KP)
    • dictionary: 조선말대사전. 사회과학원 언어학연구소. 2007. (about 400,000 vocabularies)

Writing system


한글(Hangeul or Hangul) is the unique writing system of Korean, which was created and promulgated by by King Sejong of Joseon Dynasty, a historic kingdom of Korea. It was completed in late 1443 and published with a book titled HunMinJeongEum in 1446.

It is a featural script and has hybrid feature of alphabet and Syllabary. Each letter of Hangul is alphabetic but it is always used in a syllabic block, not alone. Therefore, 2 or more letters should be grouped as one character to represent elements of the Korean language.

ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅎ, ㅏ, ㅑ, ㅓ, ㅕ, ㅗ, ㅛ, ㅜ, ㅠ, ㅡ, ㅣ 


Auxiliary writing system of Korean is Hanja(漢字), which is a logogram derived/borrowed from Chinese character or the Korean name of Chinese character itself. Hanja can not wholly represent Korean language itself but it may be used for some Korean words coined using Chinese characters. Generally, Korean language is exclusively written by Hangul nowadays.

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