A language of Korea, South

Alternate Names
Hanguk Mal, Hanguk Uh

48,400,000 in South Korea (2010). Total users in all countries: 77,265,930.



Language Maps
Language Status

1 (National). De facto national language.


Seoul (Kangwondo, Kyonggido), Chungcheongdo (North Ch’ungch’ong, South Ch’ungch’ong), Kyongsangdo (North Kyongsangdo, South Kyongsangdo), Jeollado (North Chollado, South Chollado), Jeju Island. Scholars differ as to whether or not Korean is related to Japanese [jpn]. 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. Comprehension of standard Korean may be lower on Jeju Island.


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no articles; case-marking (6 cases); passives; tense and aspect; causatives; 21 consonants, 8 vowels, 12 diphthongs; non-tonal; traces of vowel harmony; 3 social registers.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 98% (1995). Higher adult illiteracy is reported on Jeju Island. Fully developed. Bible: 1911–1993.

Braille script [Brai]. Hangul and Han scripts [Kore], primary usage. Latin script [Latn], used for maps and signs.

Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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