Ethnologue: Areas: Asia

Korea, South

44,851,000 (1995). Republic of Korea, Taehan Min'guk. Literacy rate 92%. Also includes Chinese 24,000, English. Data accuracy estimate: A2. Buddhist, Christian, secular, Confucianist, synchretism. Blind population 48,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf institutions: 28. The number of languages listed for Korea, South is 2.

KOREAN (CHAOXIAN) [KKN] 42,000,000 in South Korea (1986); 20,000,000 in North Korea (1986); 1,920,597 in China (1990); 670,000 in Japan; 6,000 in Paraguay; 183,000 in Uzbekistan; 107,000 in Russia (1993); 103,000 in Kazakhstan; 18,000 in Kyrghyzstan; 66,000 in Saudi Arabia; 29,000 in Canada; 14,000 in Germany; 13,000 in Tajikistan; 3,493 in Turkmenistan; 800,000 in USA including 50,000 in Hawaii (1995), 5,200 in Singapore (1985); 75,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Also in Bahrain, Brunei, Guam, Mauritania, Mongolia, Panama, Philippines, Thailand. Language Isolate. Dialects: SEOUL (KANGWONDO, KYONGGIDO), CH'UNGCH'ONGDO (NORTH CH'UNGCH'ONG, SOUTH CH'UNGCH'ONG), KYONGSANGDO (NORTH KYONGSANGDO, SOUTH KYONGSANGDO), CHOLLADO (NORTH CHOLLADO, SOUTH CHOLLADO), CHEJU ISLAND. There is a difference of opinion among scholars as to whether or not Korean is related to Japanese. It is possibly distantly related to Altaic. Dialect boundaries generally correspond to provincial boundaries. Some dialects are not easily intelligible with others (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). The suffix -do on dialect names means 'province'. Korean script (Hangul). The McCune-Reischauer system is the official Roman orthography in South Korea used for maps and signs. High adult illiteracy is reported on Cheju Island; comprehension of the standard variety may be lower there. National language. Typology: SOV. Buddhist, Christian. Braille Bible. Bible 1911-1993. NT 1887-1983. Bible portions 1882-1961.

KOREAN SIGN LANGUAGE [KVK] Deaf sign language. Related to Japanese and Taiwanese sign languages, but distinct. Used since 1889. Elementary schools for deaf children using sign language since 1908. Signed interpretation required in court, used at important public events, in social services programs. There is sign language instruction for parents of deaf children. Many sign language classes for hearing people. Some use on TV. There is a manual system for spelling. Dictionary.

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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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