Language - Korean language

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Korean language

The Korean language (South Korean: undefined/韓國語 Hangugeo; North Korean: undefined/朝鮮말 Chosŏnmal) is an East Asian language spoken by about 80 million people. 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; 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. Korean is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax.

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 in the 1st century BC. 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. 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. By the 17th century, Korean elites Yangban and their slaves exchanged Hangul letters; that indicates a high literacy rate of Hangul during the Joseon era. 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 or North Korea opposes the learning of Hanja, though they are not officially used in North Korea anymore, and their usage in South Korea is mainly reserved for specific circumstances, such as newspapers, scholarly papers, and disambiguation.

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.

Country

North Korea

North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or DPR Korea) (Korean: 조선민주주의인민공화국, Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk), is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang the capital and the largest city in the country.

The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great.

South Korea

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. It comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2. Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million.

Archaeology indicates that the Korean Peninsula was inhabited by early humans starting from the Lower Paleolithic period (2.6 Ma–300 Ka). The history of Korea begins with the foundation of Gojoseon in 2333 BCE by the mythic king Dangun, but no archaeological evidence and writing was found from this period. The Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in 11th century BCE, and its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era. The written historical record on Gojoseon (Old Joseon) was first mentioned in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Unified Silla in CE 668, Korea was subsequently ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). It was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S. zones of occupations. A separate election was held in the U.S. zone in 1948 which led to the creation of the Republic of Korea (ROK), while the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was established in the Soviet zone. The United Nations at the time passed a resolution declaring the ROK to be the only lawful government in Korea.

Language

Korean language (English)  Lingua coreana (Italiano)  Koreaans (Nederlands)  Coréen (Français)  Koreanische Sprache (Deutsch)  Língua coreana (Português)  Корейский язык (Русский)  Idioma coreano (Español)  Język koreański (Polski)  朝鮮語 (中文)  Koreanska (Svenska)  Limba coreeană (Română)  朝鮮語 (日本語)  Корейська мова (Українська)  Корейски език (Български)  한국어 (한국어)  Korean kieli (Suomi)  Bahasa Korea (Bahasa Indonesia)  Korėjiečių kalba (Lietuvių)  Koreansk (Dansk)  Korejština (Česky)  Korece (Türkçe)  Корејски језик (Српски / Srpski)  Korea keel (Eesti)  Kórejčina (Slovenčina)  Koreai nyelv (Magyar)  Korejski jezik (Hrvatski)  ภาษาเกาหลี (ไทย)  Korejščina (Slovenščina)  Korejiešu valoda (Latviešu)  Κορεατική γλώσσα (Ελληνικά)  Tiếng Hàn Quốc (Tiếng Việt) 
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