Korean language

Korean
조선말/朝鮮말 (North Korea)
한국어/韓國語 (South Korea)
Pronunciation[tso.sʌn.mal] (North Korea)
[ha(ː)n.ɡu.ɡʌ] (South Korea)
Native toKorea
EthnicityKoreans
Native speakers
77.2 million (2010)[1]
Early forms
Standard forms
Munhwa'ŏ (North Korea)
Pyojun'eo (South Korea)
DialectsKorean dialects
Hangul/Chosŏn'gŭl
Korean Braille
Official status
Official language in

 North Korea
 South Korea
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by

The Language Research Institute, Academy of Social Science 사회과학원 어학연구소 / 社會科學院 語學研究所 (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
National Institute of the Korean Language 국립국어원 / 國立國語院 (Republic of Korea)

China Korean Language Regulatory Commission 중국조선어규범위원회 中国朝鲜语规范委员会 (People's Republic of China)
Language codes
ISO 639-1ko
ISO 639-2kor
ISO 639-3Variously:
kor – Modern Korean
jje – Jeju
okm – Middle Korean
oko – Old Korean
oko – Proto Korean
okm Middle Korean
 oko Old Korean
Glottologkore1280[2]
Linguasphere45-AAA-a
Map of Korean language.png
Countries with native Korean-speaking populations (established immigrant communities in green).
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

The Korean language (South Korean: 한국어/韓國語 Hangugeo; North Korean: 조선말/朝鮮말 Chosŏnmal) is an East Asian language spoken by about 80 million people.[3] It is a member of the Koreanic language family and is the official and national language of both Koreas: North Korea and South Korea, with different standardized official forms used in each territory. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County of Jilin province, China. Historical and modern linguists classify Korean as a language isolate;[4][5][6][7][8][9] however, it does have a few extinct relatives, which together with Korean itself and the Jeju language (spoken in the Jeju Province and considered somewhat distinct) form the Koreanic language family. This implies that Korean is not an isolate, but a member of a micro-family. The idea that Korean belongs to the controversial Altaic language family is discredited in academic research.[10] Korean is now often included in Paleosiberian, a group of ancient languages in Northeast Asia. Paleosiberian is not a language family per se, but a term of convenience for genetically unrelated languages that predate other regional language families such as Tungusic and Turkic.[11] Korean is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax.

History

Modern Korean descends from Middle Korean, which in turn descends from Old Korean, which descends from the language spoken in Prehistoric Korea (labeled Proto-Korean), whose nature is debated, in part because Korean genetic origins are controversial (See Koreans for archaeological and genetic studies of the Koreans). A relation of Korean (together with its extinct relatives which form the Koreanic family) with Japanese (along with its extinct relatives which form the Japonic family), has been proposed by linguists such as William George Aston and Samuel Martin. Roy Andrew Miller and others suggested or supported the inclusion of Koreanic and Japonic languages (because of a certain resemblance) in the purported Altaic family (a macro-family that would comprise Tungusic, Mongolian and Turkic families); the Altaic hypothesis has since been largely rejected by most linguistic specialists.

Chinese characters arrived in Korea (See Sino-Xenic pronunciations for further information) together with Buddhism during the Proto-Three Kingdoms era. It was adapted for Korean and became known as Hanja, and remained as the main script for writing Korean through over a millennium alongside various phonetic scripts that were later invented such as Idu, Gugyeol and Hyangchal. Mainly privileged elites were educated to read and write in Hanja; however, most of the population was illiterate. In the 15th century, King Sejong the Great personally developed an alphabetic featural writing system known today as Hangul.[12][13] He felt that Hanja was inadequate to write Korean and that this was the cause of its very restricted use; Hangul was designed to either aid in reading Hanja or replace Hanja entirely. Introduced in the document "Hunminjeongeum", it was called "eonmun" (colloquial script) and quickly spread nationwide to increase literacy in Korea. Hangul was widely used by all the Korean classes but often treated as "amkeul" (script for female) and disregarded by privileged elites, whereas Hanja was regarded as "jinseo" (true text). Consequently, official documents were always written in Hanja during the Joseon era. Since most people couldn't understand Hanja, Korean kings sometimes released public notices entirely written in Hangul as early as the 16th century for all Korean classes including uneducated peasants and slaves.[14] By the 17th century, Korean elites Yangban and their slaves exchanged Hangul letters; that indicates high literacy rate of Hangul in Joseon era.[15] Today, Hanja is largely unused in everyday life due to its inconvenience, but it is still important for historical and linguistic studies. Neither South Korea nor North Korea opposes the learning of Hanja even though neither uses it officially anymore.

Since the Korean War, through 70 years of separation, the North–South differences have developed in standard Korean, including variations in pronunciation and vocabulary chosen, but these minor differences can be found in any of the Korean dialects and still largely mutually intelligible.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Koreaans
አማርኛ: ኮሪይኛ
العربية: لغة كورية
aragonés: Idioma corián
asturianu: Idioma coreanu
Avañe'ẽ: Koreañe'ẽ
azərbaycanca: Koreya dili
تۆرکجه: کوره دیلی
Bân-lâm-gú: Hân-kok-gí
башҡортса: Корей теле
беларуская: Карэйская мова
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Карэйская мова
Bikol Central: Tataramon na Koreano
български: Корейски език
bosanski: Korejski jezik
brezhoneg: Koreaneg
català: Coreà
čeština: Korejština
Cymraeg: Coreeg
davvisámegiella: Koreagiella
ދިވެހިބަސް: ކޮރެޔާ ބަސް
eesti: Korea keel
español: Idioma coreano
Esperanto: Korea lingvo
euskara: Koreera
Fiji Hindi: Korean bhasa
føroyskt: Koreanskt mál
français: Coréen
Frysk: Koreaansk
Gaeilge: An Chóiréis
贛語: 朝鮮話
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Hòn-koet-ngî
한국어: 한국어
հայերեն: Կորեերեն
hornjoserbsce: Korejšćina
hrvatski: Korejski jezik
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Korea
interlingua: Lingua corean
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᑯᕆᐊᑎᑐᑦ
íslenska: Kóreska
italiano: Lingua coreana
עברית: קוריאנית
Basa Jawa: Basa Koréa
kalaallisut: Koreamiusut
Kapampangan: Amanung Koreanu
ქართული: კორეული ენა
қазақша: Корей тілі
kernowek: Koreek
Kiswahili: Kikorea
Kreyòl ayisyen: Lang kore
Кыргызча: Корей тили
Limburgs: Koreaans
magyar: Koreai nyelv
македонски: Корејски јазик
മലയാളം: കൊറിയൻ ഭാഷ
Māori: Reo Kōrea
მარგალური: კორეული ნინა
مصرى: لغه كورى
مازِرونی: کره‌یی
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Korea
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Hàng-guók-ngṳ̄
Nāhuatl: Coreatlahtolli
Dorerin Naoero: Dorerin Korea
Nederlands: Koreaans
नेपाल भाषा: कोरियन भाषा
日本語: 朝鮮語
Napulitano: Lengua coreana
Nordfriisk: Koreaans
norsk: Koreansk
norsk nynorsk: Koreansk
occitan: Corean
олык марий: Корей йылме
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Koreys tili
پنجابی: کوریائی
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ភាសាកូរ៉េ
Piemontèis: Lenga corean
Tok Pisin: Tok Koria
Plattdüütsch: Koreaansche Spraak
português: Língua coreana
Qaraqalpaqsha: Koreys tili
română: Limba coreeană
Runa Simi: Kuryu simi
саха тыла: Кэриэй тыла
Gagana Samoa: Fa'aKolea
संस्कृतम्: कोरियालि भाषा
Simple English: Korean language
slovenčina: Kórejčina
slovenščina: Korejščina
کوردی: کۆری
српски / srpski: Корејски језик
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Korejski jezik
Basa Sunda: Basa Koréa
svenska: Koreanska
татарча/tatarça: Корей теле
ᏣᎳᎩ: ᎪᎵᎥ
Türkçe: Korece
Türkmençe: Koreý dili
тыва дыл: Көрей дыл
українська: Корейська мова
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: كورىيەچە
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Hàn Quốc
Volapük: Koreyänapük
Võro: Korea kiil
文言: 朝鮮語
吴语: 韩语
ייִדיש: קארעיש
粵語: 韓文
中文: 朝鮮語
Lingua Franca Nova: Corean (lingua)