Hangul

Korean alphabet
한글 Hangeul (Hangul)
조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl
Type
LanguagesKorean, Jeju, Cia-Cia, Taiwanese
Official script of:
CreatorSejong of Joseon
Time period
1443 – present
DirectionLeft-to-right
ISO 15924Hang, 286
Unicode alias
Hangul
Hangul is usually written horizontally, from left to right. When written vertically as in the past the writing system is top to bottom and often right to left, but sometimes top to bottom and left to right.

The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul[note 1] in South Korea or Chosŏn'gŭl in North Korea, has been used to write the Korean language since its creation in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great.[2][3]

It is the official writing system of Korea, both South and North. It is a co-official writing system in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County in Jilin Province, China. It is also sometimes used to write the Cia-Cia language spoken near the town of Baubau, Indonesia. The Taiwanese linguists Xu Caode (1987) developed and used a modified Hangul alphabet to represent spoken Taiwanese Hokkien, and was later supported by Ang Ui-jin (see Taiwanese Hangul).[4][5]

The Hangul alphabet originally consisted of 28 letters with 17 consonant letters and 11 vowel letters when it was created. As four became obsolete, modern Hangul consists of a total of 24 letters with 14 consonant letters and 10 vowel letters. In North Korea the total is counted 40. It consists of 19 consonant letters and 21 vowel letters as it additionally includes 5 tense consonants (ㄲ ㄸ ㅃ ㅉ ㅆ) and 20 compound and complex vowel letters as well as ㅐ.

The Korean letters are written in syllabic blocks with the alphabetic letters arranged in two dimensions. For example, the Korean word for "honeybee" (kkulbeol) is written 꿀벌, not ㄲㅜㄹㅂㅓㄹ.[6] As it combines the features of alphabetic and syllabic writing systems, it has been described as an "alphabetic syllabary" by some linguists.[7][8] As in traditional Chinese writing, Korean texts were traditionally written top to bottom, right to left, and are occasionally still written this way for stylistic purposes. Today, it is typically written from left to right with spaces between words and western-style punctuation.[9]

Some linguists consider it among the most phonologically faithful writing systems in use today. One feature of Hangul is that the shapes of its consonants seemingly mimic the shapes of the speaker's mouth when pronouncing each consonant.[7][9][10]

Names

Official names

Korean name
Hangul
Revised RomanizationHan(-)geul
McCune–ReischauerHan'gŭl[11]
IPAKorean pronunciation: [ha(ː)n.ɡɯl]
The word "Hangul", written in the Korean alphabet

The Korean alphabet was originally called Hunminjeong'eum (훈민정음), after the document that introduced the script to the Korean people in 1446.[12]

The Korean alphabet is called hangeul (한글), a name coined by Korean linguist Ju Si-gyeong in 1912. The name combines the ancient Korean word han (), meaning "great", and geul (), meaning "script". The word han is used to refer to Korea in general, so the name also means "Korean script".[13] It has been romanized in multiple ways:

In North Korea it is called Chosŏn'gŭl (조선글) after Chosŏn, the North Korean name for Korea after the old name of Korea.[14] The McCune–Reischauer system is used there.

Other names

Until the mid-20th century, the Korean elite preferred to write using Chinese characters called Hanja. They referred to Hanja as jinseo (진서/真書) or "true letters". Some accounts say the elite referred to the Korean alphabet derisively as 'amkeul (암클) meaning "women's script", and 'ahaetgeul (아햇글) meaning "children's script", though there is no written evidence of this.[15]

Supporters of the Korean alphabet referred to it as jeong'eum (정음/正音) meaning "correct pronunciation", gukmun (국문/國文) meaning "national script", and eonmun (언문) meaning "vernacular script".[15]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Hangul
አማርኛ: ሃንጉል
العربية: هانغل
aragonés: Hangul
asturianu: Hangul
azərbaycanca: Hanqıl
Banjar: Hangul
Bân-lâm-gú: Ko-lê-jī
башҡортса: Хангыль
беларуская: Хангыль
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Хангыль
Bikol Central: Hangul
български: Хангъл
bosanski: Hangul
brezhoneg: Hangeul
буряад: Хангыль
català: Hangul
čeština: Hangul
corsu: Hangul
Cymraeg: Hangeul
dansk: Hangul
dolnoserbski: Korejańske pismo
eesti: Korea kiri
Ελληνικά: Χάνγκουλ
español: Hangul
Esperanto: Korea alfabeto
euskara: Hangul
فارسی: هانگول
føroyskt: Hangul
français: Hangeul
Gaeilge: Hangul
galego: Hangul
贛語: 朝鮮字母
한국어: 한글
հայերեն: Հանգըլ
हिन्दी: हानगुल
hrvatski: Hangul
Ido: Hangul
Ilokano: Hangul
Bahasa Indonesia: Hangeul
íslenska: Hangul
italiano: Hangŭl
עברית: הנגול
Jawa: Hangeul
Kapampangan: Alpabetung Koreanu
къарачай-малкъар: Хангыль
kaszëbsczi: Hangeul
қазақша: Корей жазуы
Kiswahili: Hangul
latviešu: Hangils
lietuvių: Hangul
Lingua Franca Nova: Hangul
magyar: Hangul
македонски: Хангул
Malagasy: Hangul
മലയാളം: ഹൻ‌ഗുൾ
मराठी: हांगुल
مصرى: هانجول
Bahasa Melayu: Hangul
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Dièu-siēng-cê
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဟန်းဂု
Nederlands: Hangul
日本語: ハングル
нохчийн: Хангыль
norsk: Hangul
norsk nynorsk: Hangul
occitan: Hangeul
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Hangul
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਹਾਂਗਗੁਲ
پنجابی: ہنگول
Piemontèis: Hangul
Tok Pisin: Hangul
polski: Hangul
português: Hangul
Qaraqalpaqsha: Koreys jazıwı
română: Hangul
русиньскый: Ганґыл
русский: Хангыль
саха тыла: Хангыль
Scots: Hangul
sicilianu: Hangul
සිංහල: හංගුල්
Simple English: Hangul
slovenčina: Kórejské písmo
slovenščina: Hangul
Soomaaliga: Hangul
کوردی: ھانگۆل
српски / srpski: Хангул
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Hangul
Sunda: Hangeul
suomi: Hangul
svenska: Hangul
Tagalog: Hangul
татарча/tatarça: Һангыл
тоҷикӣ: Ҳангул
Türkçe: Hangıl
тыва дыл: Хангыль
українська: Хангиль
اردو: ہنگل
Tiếng Việt: Hangul
Winaray: Hangul
吴语: 谚文字母
ייִדיש: האנגול
粵語: 諺文
žemaitėška: Hangul
中文: 諺文