A language of Korea, South

ISO 639-3: kor

Population 42,000,000 in South Korea (1986). Population total all countries: 67,019,690.
Region Also spoken in American Samoa, Australia, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Japan, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Mongolia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia (Asia), Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Suriname, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, USA, Uzbekistan.
Alternate names   Hanguohua, Hanguk Mal
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. Some scholars suggest that both languages are 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'. Comprehension of Standard Korean may be lower on Cheju Island.
Classification Language Isolate
Language use National language.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: 98% (1995 est.). Higher adult illiteracy is reported on Cheju Island. Korean script (Hangul). Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 19111993.
Comments The McCune-Reischauer system is the official Roman orthography in South Korea used for maps and signs. SOV. Buddhist, Christian.

Also spoken in: China
Language name   Korean
Population 1,920,597 in China (1990 census). 1,200,000 are monolingual.
Region Inner Mongolia. 46% of Koreans in China live in Hyanbian Korean Autonomous District along Tumen River, Jilin (Kirin), and Heilongjiang, and Liaoning.
Alternate names   Chaoxian
Language use Used mainly among adults. All domains. All ages. Positive language attitude. 700,000 also use Chinese. A few can speak Russian. Those who finished secondary school by 1945 can speak Japanese. Chinese speakers living among them also speak Korean as second language.
Comments An official nationality called Chaoxian. High level of education. Mountain slope, foothills, plains. 500 to 1,000 meters. Agriculturalists: wet rice; industrial workers; businessmen. Buddhist, Christian.

Language name   Korean
Population 670,000 in Japan (1988).
Language use Speakers also use Japanese.
Comments Buddhist, Christian.

Korea, North
Language name   Korean
Population 20,000,000 in North Korea (1986).
Dialects Hamgyongdo (North Hamgyongdo, South Hamgyongdo), P'yong'ando (North P'yong'ando, South P'yong'ando), Hwanghaedo.
Language use National language.
Comments Buddhist-Confucianist, Christian.


Language name   Korean
Region Bangkok.

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Buddhist, Christian.