Korean language

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 77 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 country. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County of Jilin province, China. It is also spoken in parts of Sakhalin, Ukraine and Central Asia.[4][5]

Historical and modern linguists classify Korean as a language isolate;[6][7][8][9][10][11] 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. The linguistic homeland of Korean is suggested to be somewhere in Manchuria.[12]

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)
Pyojuneo (South Korea)
DialectsKorean dialects
Hangul/Chosŏng'gŭl
Korean Braille
Hanja/Hancha
Official status
Official language in
 South Korea
 North Korea
Recognised minority
language in
 Russia (Primorsky Krai)
 China (excluding Yanbian Prefecture and Changbai County)
Regulated byThe 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
Countries with native Korean-speaking populations (established immigrant communities in green).

History

Modern Korean descends from Middle Korean, which in turn descends from Old Korean (Sillan language), which descends from the Proto-Koreanic language, whose nature is debated, in part because Korean genetic origins are controversial (See Koreans for archaeological and genetic studies of the Koreans).

The oldest Korean dictionary
The oldest Korean dictionary.(1920)

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.[13][14] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.

Names

The Korean names for the language are based on the names for Korea used in both North Korea and South Korea.

The English word "Korean" is derived from Goryeo, which is thought to be the first Korean dynasty known to Western nations. Korean people in the former USSR refer to themselves as Koryo-saram and/or Koryo-in (literally, "Koryo/Goryeo person(s)"), and call the language Koryo-mal.

In North Korea and China, the language is most often called Joseon-mal, or more formally, Joseon-o. This is taken from the North Korean name for Korea (Joseon), a name retained from the Joseon dynasty until the proclamation of the Korean Empire, which in turn was annexed by the Empire of Japan.

In South Korea, the Korean language is referred to by many names including hanguk-eo ("Korean language"), hanguk-mal ("Korean speech") and uri-mal ("our language"). In "hanguk-eo" and "hanguk-mal", the first part of the word, "hanguk" was taken from the name of the Korean Empire (대한제국; 大韓帝國; Daehan Jeguk). The "Han" (韓) in Hanguk and Daehan Jeguk is derived from Samhan, in reference to the Three Kingdoms of Korea (not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula),[17][18] while "-eo" and "-mal" mean "language" and "speech", respectively. Korean is also simply referred to as guk-eo, literally "national language". This name is based on the same Han characters, meaning "nation" + "language" ("國語"), that are also used in Taiwan and Japan to refer to their respective national languages.

In mainland China, following the establishment of diplomatic relations with South Korea in 1992, the term Cháoxiǎnyǔ or the short form Cháoyǔ has normally been used to refer to the standard language of North Korea and Yanbian, whereas Hánguóyǔ or the short form Hányǔ is used to refer to the standard language of South Korea.

Some older English sources also use the spelling "Corea" to refer to the nation, and its inflected form for the language, culture and people, "Korea" becoming more popular in the late 1800s according to Google's NGram English corpus of 2015.[19]

Classification

Korean is considered by most linguists to be a language isolate, though it is commonly included by proponents of the now generally rejected Altaic family.[20] Alexander Vovin (2015)[21] notes that Koreanic shares some typological features with the four Paleosiberian language families (e.g. lack of phonemic voiced stops, verb compounding, earlier ergativity), and suggests that it actually has more in common with "Paleosiberian" (which is a geographical and areal grouping rather a genetic one) than with the putative Altaic group.

The hypothesis that Korean could be related to Japanese has had some supporters due to some overlap in vocabulary and similar grammatical features that have been elaborated upon by such researchers as Samuel E. Martin[22] and Roy Andrew Miller.[23] Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin (1991) found about 25% of potential cognates in the Japanese–Korean 100-word Swadesh list.[24] Some linguists concerned with the issue, for example Alexander Vovin, have argued that the indicated similarities between Japanese and Korean are not due to any genetic relationship, but rather to a sprachbund effect and heavy borrowing, especially from ancient Korean into Western Old Japanese.[25] A good example might be Middle Korean sàm and Japanese asá, meaning "hemp".[26] This word seems to be a cognate, but although it is well attested in Western Old Japanese and Northern Ryukyuan languages, in Eastern Old Japanese it only occurs in compounds, and it is only present in three dialects of the Southern Ryukyuan language group. Also, the doublet wo meaning "hemp" is attested in Western Old Japanese and Southern Ryukyuan languages. It is thus plausible to assume a borrowed term.[27] (See Classification of the Japonic languages or Comparison of Japanese and Korean for further details on a possible relationship.)

Another lesser-known theory is the Dravido-Korean languages theory which suggests a southern relation. Korean and Dravidian languages share similar vocabulary, both languages are agglutinative, follow the SOV order, nominal and adjectives follow the same syntax, particles are post positional, modifiers always precede modified words are some of the common features.[28] However, typological similarities such as these could have arisen by chance.[29][30]

The Khitan language has many similar Korean vocabulary that are not found in Mongolian or Tungusic languages. This suggests a strong Korean presence or influence on Khitan.[31]

As no theory has gained wide acceptance Korean is either classificated as language isolate or as member of the Koreanic languages which in turn form a language family consisting of the Koguryoic-branch and the Han-branch. Modern Korean belongs, like Sillan, to the Han-branch.[32][33]

Geographic distribution and international spread

Korean is spoken by the Korean people in North Korea and South Korea and by the Korean diaspora in many countries including the People's Republic of China, the United States, Japan, and Russia. Currently, Korean is the fourth most popular foreign language in China, following English, Japanese, and Russian.[34] Korean-speaking minorities exist in these states, but because of cultural assimilation into host countries, not all ethnic Koreans may speak it with native fluency.

Official status

AH1sign-Daegu,Korea
Street signs in Korean and English; Daegu, South Korea.

Korean is the official language of North Korea and South Korea. It is also one of the two official languages of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China.

In North Korea, the regulatory body is the Language Institute of the Academy of Social Sciences (사회과학원 어학연구소; 社會科學院語學研究所, Sahui Gwahagweon Eohag Yeonguso). In South Korea, the regulatory body for Korean is the Seoul-based National Institute of the Korean Language, which was created by presidential decree on January 23, 1991.

King Sejong Institute

Established pursuant to Article 9, Section 2, of the Framework Act on the National Language, the King Sejong Institute is a public institution set up to coordinate the government's project of propagating Korean language and culture; it also supports the King Sejong Institute, which is the institution's overseas branch. The King Sejong Institute was established in response to:

  • An increase in the demand for Korean language education;
  • a rapid increase in Korean language education thanks to the spread of hallyu, an increase in international marriage, the expansion of Korean enterprises into overseas markets, and enforcement of employment licensing system;
  • the need for a government-sanctioned Korean language educational institution;
  • the need for general support for overseas Korean language education based on a successful domestic language education program.

Topik Korea Institute

The Topik Korea Institute is a lifelong educational center affiliated with a variety of Korean universities in Seoul, South Korea, whose aim is to promote Korean language and culture, support local Korean teaching internationally, and facilitate cultural exchanges.

The institute is sometimes compared to language and culture promotion organizations such as the King Sejong Institute. Unlike that organization, however, Topik Korea Institutes operate within established universities and colleges around the world, providing educational materials.

Dialects

Koreandialects
Dialects of Korean

Korean has numerous small local dialects (called mal () [literally "speech"], saturi (사투리), or bang'eon (방언 in Korean). The standard language (pyojun-eo or pyojun-mal) of both South Korea and North Korea is based on the dialect of the area around Seoul (which, as Hanyang, was the capital of Joseon-era Korea for 500 years), though the northern standard after the Korean War has been influenced by the dialect of P'yŏngyang. All dialects of Korean are similar to each other and largely mutually intelligible (with the exception of dialect-specific phrases or non-Standard vocabulary unique to dialects), though the dialect of Jeju Island is divergent enough to be sometimes classified as a separate language.[35][36][37] One of the more salient differences between dialects is the use of tone: speakers of the Seoul dialect make use of vowel length, whereas speakers of the Gyeongsang dialect maintain the pitch accent of Middle Korean. Some dialects are conservative, maintaining Middle Korean sounds (such as z, β, ə) which have been lost from the standard language, whereas others are highly innovative.

There is substantial evidence for a history of extensive dialect levelling, or even convergent evolution or intermixture of two or more originally distinct linguistic stocks, within the Korean language and its dialects. Many Korean dialects have basic vocabulary that is etymologically distinct from vocabulary of identical meaning in Standard Korean or other dialects, for example "garlic chives" translated into Gyeongsang dialect /t͡ɕʌŋ.ɡu.d͡ʑi/ (정구지) but in Standard Korean, it is /puːt͡ɕʰu/ (부추). This suggests that the Korean Peninsula may have at one time been much more linguistically diverse than it is at present. See also the Japanese–Koguryoic languages hypothesis.

Nonetheless, the separation of the two Korean states has resulted in increasing differences among the dialects that have emerged over time. Since the allies of the newly founded nations split the Korean peninsula in half after 1945, the newly formed Korean nations have since borrowed vocabulary extensively from their respective allies. As the Soviet Union helped industrialize North Korea and establish it as a communist state, the North Koreans therefore borrowed a number of Russian terms. Likewise, since the United States helped South Korea extensively to develop militarily, economically, and politically, South Koreans therefore borrowed extensively from English. The differences among northern and southern dialects have become so significant that many North Korean defectors reportedly have had great difficulty communicating with South Koreans after having initially settled into South Korea. In response to the diverging vocabularies, an app called Univoca was designed to help North Korean defectors learn South Korean terms by translating them into North Korean ones.[38] More info can be found on the page North-South differences in the Korean language.

Aside from the standard language, there are few clear boundaries between Korean dialects, and they are typically partially grouped according to the regions of Korea.

Standard language Locations of use
Seoul (표준말) Standard language of ROK. Seoul; very similar to Incheon and most of Gyeonggi, west of Gangwon-do (Yeongseo region); also commonly used among younger Koreans nationwide and in online context.
Munhwaŏ (문화어) Standard language of DPRK. Based on P'yŏngan dialect.[39]
Regional dialects Locations of use
Hamgyŏng (Northeastern) (함경) Rasŏn, most of Hamgyŏng region, northeast P'yŏngan, Ryanggang (North Korea), Jilin (China)
P'yŏngan (Northwestern) (평안) P'yŏngan region, P'yŏngyang, Chagang, Hwanghae, northern North Hamgyŏng (North Korea), Liaoning (China)
Central (중부) Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi, Daejeon, Chungcheong (South Korea), Yeongseo (Gangwon-do (South Korea)/Kangwŏn (North Korea) west of the Taebaek Mountains)
Yeongdong (East coast) (영동) Yeongdong region (Gangwon-do (South Korea)/Kangwŏn (North Korea) east of the Taebaek Mountains)
Gyeongsang (Southeastern) (경상) Busan, Daegu, Ulsan, Gyeongsang region (South Korea)
Jeolla (Southwestern) (전라) Gwangju, Jeolla region (South Korea)
Jeju (제주) Jeju Island/Province (South Korea)

Phonology

Spoken Korean

Consonants

Korean consonants
The Korean consonants
Bilabial Alveolar Alveolar-
palatal
Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/ /n/ /ŋ/[40]
Plosive
and
Affricate
plain /p/ or /b/ /t/ or /d/ /t͡ɕ/ or /d͡ʑ/ /k/ or /g/
tense /p͈/ /t͈/ /t͡ɕ͈/ /k͈/
aspirated /pʰ/ /tʰ/ /t͡ɕʰ/ /kʰ/
Fricative plain /sʰ/ or /s/ or /ɕʰ/ or /ɕ/ /h/ or /hʱ/ or /ɦ/ or /∅/
tense /s͈/ or /ɕ͈/
Approximant /w/1 /l/ or /r/ /j/1

1 The semivowels /w/ and /j/ are represented in Korean writing by modifications to vowel symbols (see below).

The IPA symbol ⟨◌͈⟩ (a subscript double straight quotation mark, shown here with a placeholder circle) is used to denote the tensed consonants /p͈/, /t͈/, /k͈/, /t͡ɕ͈/, /s͈/. Its official use in the Extensions to the IPA is for 'strong' articulation, but is used in the literature for faucalized voice. The Korean consonants also have elements of stiff voice, but it is not yet known how typical this is of faucalized consonants. They are produced with a partially constricted glottis and additional subglottal pressure in addition to tense vocal tract walls, laryngeal lowering, or other expansion of the larynx.

Vowels

Korean vowels
The basic Korean vowels
Monophthongs /i/ ,  /e/ ,  /ɛ/ ,  /a/ *,  /o/ ,  /u/ ,  /ʌ/ ,  /ɯ/ ,  /ø/ ,  

/y/

Vowels preceded by intermediaries,
or diphthongs
/je/ ,  /jɛ/ ,  /ja/ ,  /wi/ ,  /we/ ,  /wɛ/ ,  /wa/ ,  /ɰi/ ,  /jo/ ,  /ju/ ,  /jə/ ,  /wə/

^* is closer to a near-open central vowel ([ɐ]), though ⟨a⟩ is still used for tradition.

Allophones

/s/ is aspirated [sʰ] and becomes an alveolo-palatal [ɕʰ] before [j] or [i] for most speakers (but see North–South differences in the Korean language). This occurs with the tense fricative and all the affricates as well. At the end of a syllable, /s/ changes to /t/ (example: beoseot (버섯) 'mushroom').

/h/ may become a bilabial [ɸ] before [o] or [u], a palatal [ç] before [j] or [i], a velar [x] before [ɯ], a voiced [ɦ] between voiced sounds, and a [h] elsewhere.

/p, t, t͡ɕ, k/ become voiced [b, d, d͡ʑ, ɡ] between voiced sounds.

/m, n/ frequently denasalize to [b, d] at the beginnings of words.

/l/ becomes alveolar flap [ɾ] between vowels, and [l] or [ɭ] at the end of a syllable or next to another /l/. Note that a written syllable-final '', when followed by a vowel or a glide (i.e., when the next character starts with ''), migrates to the next syllable and thus becomes [ɾ].

Traditionally, /l/ was disallowed at the beginning of a word. It disappeared before [j], and otherwise became /n/. However, the inflow of western loanwords changed the trend, and now word-initial /l/ (mostly from English loanwords) are pronounced as a free variation of either [ɾ] or [l]. The traditional prohibition of word-initial /l/ became a morphological rule called "initial law" (두음법칙) in South Korea, which pertains to Sino-Korean vocabulary. Such words retain their word-initial /l/ in North Korea.

All obstruents (plosives, affricates, fricatives) at the end of a word are pronounced with no audible release, [p̚, t̚, k̚].

Plosive stops /p, t, k/ become nasal stops [m, n, ŋ] before nasal stops.

Hangul spelling does not reflect these assimilatory pronunciation rules, but rather maintains the underlying, partly historical morphology. Given this, it is sometimes hard to tell which actual phonemes are present in a certain word.

One difference between the pronunciation standards of North and South Korea is the treatment of initial [ɾ], and initial [n]. For example,

  • "labor" – north: rodong (로동), south: nodong (노동)
  • "history" – north: ryeoksa (력사), south: yeoksa (역사)
  • "female" – north: nyeoja (녀자), south: yeoja (여자)

Morphophonemics

Grammatical morphemes may change shape depending on the preceding sounds. Examples include -eun/-neun (-은/-는) and -i/-ga (-이/-가). Sometimes sounds may be inserted instead. Examples include -eul/-reul (-을/-를), -euro/-ro (-으로/-로), -eseo/-seo (-에서/-서), -ideunji/-deunji (-이든지/-든지) and -iya/-ya (-이야/-야). However, -euro/-ro is somewhat irregular, since it will behave differently after a rieul consonant.

Korean particles
After a consonant After a ㄹ (rieul) After a vowel
-ui (-의)
-eun (-은) -neun (-는)
-i (-이) -ga (-가)
-eul (-을) -reul (-를)
-gwa (-과) -wa (-와)
-euro (-으로) -ro (-로)

Some verbs may also change shape morphophonemically.

Grammar

Korean is an agglutinative language. The Korean language is traditionally considered to have nine parts of speech. For details, see Korean parts of speech. Modifiers generally precede the modified words, and in the case of verb modifiers, can be serially appended. The basic form of a Korean sentence is subject–object–verb, but the verb is the only required and immovable element and word order is highly flexible, as in many other agglutinative languages.

A:   가게에   가셨어요?
gage-e ga-syeo-sseo-yo
store + [location marker ()] [go (verb root) ()] + [honorific ()] + [conjugated (contraction rule)()] + [past ()] + [conjunctive ()] + [polite marker ()]
"Did [you] go to the store?" ("you" implied in conversation)
B:   예. (or 네.)
ye (or ne)
yes
"Yes."

Speech levels and honorifics

The relationship between a speaker or writer and his or her subject and audience is paramount in Korean grammar. The relationship between speaker/writer and subject referent is reflected in honorifics, whereas that between speaker/writer and audience is reflected in speech level.

Honorifics

When talking about someone superior in status, a speaker or writer usually uses special nouns or verb endings to indicate the subject's superiority. Generally, someone is superior in status if he/she is an older relative, a stranger of roughly equal or greater age, or an employer, teacher, customer, or the like. Someone is equal or inferior in status if he/she is a younger stranger, student, employee, or the like. Nowadays, there are special endings which can be used on declarative, interrogative, and imperative sentences; and both honorific or normal sentences.

Honorifics in traditional Korea were strictly hierarchical. The caste and estate systems possessed patterns and usages much more complex and stratified than those used today. The intricate structure of the Korean honorific system flourished in traditional culture and society. Honorifics in contemporary Korea are now used for people who are psychologically distant. Honorifics are also used for people who are superior in status. For example, older people, teachers, and employers.[41]

Speech levels

There are seven verb paradigms or speech levels in Korean, and each level has its own unique set of verb endings which are used to indicate the level of formality of a situation.[42] Unlike honorifics—which are used to show respect towards the referent (the person spoken of) —speech levels are used to show respect towards a speaker's or writer's audience (the person spoken to). The names of the seven levels are derived from the non-honorific imperative form of the verb 하다 (hada, "do") in each level, plus the suffix ("che", Hanja: ), which means "style".

The three levels with high politeness (very formally polite, formally polite, casually polite) are generally grouped together as jondaenmal (존댓말), whereas the two levels with low politeness (formally impolite, casually impolite) are banmal (반말) in Korean. The remaining two levels (neutral formality with neutral politeness, high formality with neutral politeness) are neither polite nor impolite.

Nowadays, younger-generation speakers no longer feel obligated to lower their usual regard toward the referent. It is common to see younger people talk to their older relatives with banmal (반말). This is not out of disrespect, but instead it shows the intimacy and the closeness of the relationship between the two speakers. Transformations in social structures and attitudes in today's rapidly changing society have brought about change in the way people speak.[41]

Gender

In general, Korean lacks grammatical gender. As one of the few exceptions, the third-person singular pronoun has two different forms: 그 geu (male) and 그녀 geunyeo (female). Before 그녀 were invented in need of translating 'she' into Korean, 그 was the only one third-person singular pronoun, and had no grammatical gender.

However, one can still find stronger contrasts between the sexes within Korean speech. Some examples of this can be seen in: (1) softer tone used by women in speech; (2) a married woman introducing herself as someone’s mother or wife, not with her own name; (3) the presence of gender differences in titles and occupational terms (for example, a sajang is a company president and yŏsajang is a female company president.); (4) females sometimes using more tag questions and rising tones in statements, also seen in speech from children.[43]

Between two people of asymmetrical status in a Korean society, people tend to emphasize differences in status for the sake of solidarity. Koreans prefer to use kinship terms, rather than any other terms of reference.[44] In traditional Korean society, women have long been in disadvantaged positions. Korean social structure traditionally was a patriarchically dominated family system that emphasized the maintenance of family lines. This structure has tended to separate the roles of women from those of men.[45]

Vocabulary

The core of the Korean vocabulary is made up of native Korean words. A significant proportion of the vocabulary, especially words that denote abstract ideas, are Sino-Korean words,[46] either

The exact proportion of Sino-Korean vocabulary is a matter of debate. Sohn (2001) stated 50–60%.[46] Later, the same author (2006, p. 5) gives an even higher estimate of 65%.[41] Jeong Jae-do, one of the compilers of the dictionary Urimal Keun Sajeon, asserts that the proportion is not so high. He points out that Korean dictionaries compiled during the colonial period include many unused Sino-Korean words. In his estimation, the proportion of Sino-Korean vocabulary in the Korean language might be as low as 30%.[47]

Most of the vocabulary consists of two sets of words; native Korean and Sino Korean respectively. It is similar to that of English — native English words and Latinate equivalents such as water-aqua, fire-flame, sea-marine, two-dual, sun-solar, star-stellar. Therefore just like other Korean words, Korean has two sets of numeral systems. However, unlike English and Latin which belong to the same Indo-European languages family and bear a certain resemblance, Korean and Chinese are genetically unrelated and the two sets of words differ completely. All Sino Korean morphemes are monosyllabic as in Chinese, whereas native Korean morphemes can be polysyllabic. The Sino Korean words were deliberately imported along with corresponding Chinese characters for a written language and everything was supposed to be written in Hanja, so the coexistence of Sino Korean would be more thorough and systematic than that of Latinate words in English. To a much lesser extent, some words have also been borrowed from Mongolian and other languages.[48]

The vast majority of loanwords other than Sino-Korean come from modern times, approximately 90% of which are from English.[46] Many words have also been borrowed from Western languages such as German via Japanese (아르바이트 (areubaiteu) "part-time job", 알레르기 (allereugi) "allergy", 기브스 (gibseu or gibuseu) "plaster cast used for broken bones"). Some Western words were borrowed indirectly via Japanese during the Japanese occupation of Korea, taking a Japanese sound pattern, for example "dozen" > ダース dāsu > 다스 daseu. Most indirect Western borrowings are now written according to current "Hangulization" rules for the respective Western language, as if borrowed directly. There are a few more complicated borrowings such as "German(y)" (see names of Germany), the first part of whose endonym Deutschland [ˈdɔʏ̯t͡ʃ.lant] the Japanese approximated using the kanji 獨逸 doitsu that were then accepted into the Korean language by their Sino-Korean pronunciation:  dok +  il = Dogil. In South Korean official use, a number of other Sino-Korean country names have been replaced with phonetically oriented "Hangeulizations" of the countries' endonyms or English names.

Because of such a prevalence of English in modern South Korean culture and society, lexical borrowing is inevitable. English-derived Korean, or 'Konglish' (콩글리쉬), is increasingly used. The vocabulary of the South Korean dialect of the Korean language is roughly 5% loanwords (excluding Sino-Korean vocabulary).[41] However, due to North Korea's isolation, such influence is lacking in North Korean speech.

Korean uses words adapted from English in ways that may seem strange to native English speakers. For example, fighting (화이팅 / 파이팅) is a term of encouragement like 'come on'/'go (on)' in English. Something that is 'service' (서비스) is free or 'on the house'. A building referred to as an 'aparteu' (아파트) is an 'apartment' (but in fact refers to a residence more akin to a condominium) and a type of pencil that is called a 'sharp' (샤프) is a mechanical pencil. Like other borrowings, many of these idiosyncrasies, including all the examples listed above, appear to be imported into Korean via Japanese, or influenced by Japanese. Many English words introduced via Japanese pronunciation have been reformed as in 멜론 (melon) which was once called 메론 (meron) as in Japanese.

North Korean vocabulary shows a tendency to prefer native Korean over Sino-Korean or foreign borrowings, especially with recent political objectives aimed at eliminating foreign influences on the Korean language in the North. In the early years, the North Korean government tried to eliminate Sino-Korean words. Consequently, South Korean may have several Sino-Korean or foreign borrowings which are not in North Korean.

Writing system

Yeongdong Expressway Entrance Sign in Wonju Interchange
The Latin alphabet used for foreigners in South Korea

Before the creation of the modern Korean alphabet, known as Chosŏn'gŭl in North Korea and as Hangul in South Korea, people in Korea (known as Joseon at the time) primarily wrote using Classical Chinese alongside native phonetic writing systems that predate Hangul by hundreds of years, including idu, hyangchal, gugyeol, and gakpil.[49][50][51][52] However, due to the fundamental differences between the Korean and Chinese languages and the large number of characters to be learned, the lower classes, who often didn't have the privilege of education, had much difficulty in learning how to write using Chinese characters. To assuage this problem, King Sejong (r. 1418–1450) created the unique alphabet known as Hangul to promote literacy among the common people.[53]

The Korean alphabet was denounced and looked down upon by the yangban aristocracy, who deemed it too easy to learn,[54][55] but it gained widespread use among the common class,[56] and was widely used to print popular novels which were enjoyed by the common class.[57] With growing Korean nationalism in the 19th century, the Gabo Reformists' push, and the promotion of Hangul in schools,[58] in 1894, Hangul displaced Hanja as Korea's national script.[59] Hanja are still used to a certain extent in South Korea, where they are sometimes combined with Hangul, but this method is slowly declining in use, even though students learn Hanja in school.[60]

Below is a chart of the Korean alphabet's symbols and their canonical IPA values:

Consonants
Hangul 한글
RR b d j g pp tt jj kk p t ch k s h ss m n ng r, l
IPA p t t͡ɕ k t͡ɕ͈ t͡ɕʰ s h m n ŋ ɾ, l
Vowels
Hangul 한글
RR i e oe ae a o u eo eu ui ye yae ya yo yu yeo wi we wae wa wo
IPA i e ø, we ɛ a o u ʌ ɯ ɰi je ja jo ju ɥi, wi we wa

The letters of the Korean alphabet are not written linearly like most alphabets, but instead arranged into blocks that represent syllables. So, while the word bibimbap is written as eight characters in a row in English, in Korean it is written 비빔밥, as three syllable blocks in a row. The syllable blocks are then written left to right, top to bottom.

Modern Korean is written with spaces between words, a feature not found in Chinese or Japanese (except when Japanese is written exclusively in hiragana, as in children's books). Korean punctuation marks are almost identical to Western ones. Traditionally, Korean was written in columns, from top to bottom, right to left, but it is now usually written in rows, from left to right, top to bottom.

Differences between North Korean and South Korean

The Korean language used in the North and the South exhibits differences in pronunciation, spelling, grammar and vocabulary.[61]

Pronunciation

In North Korea, palatalization of /si/ is optional, and /t͡ɕ/ can be pronounced [z] between vowels.

Words that are written the same way may be pronounced differently, such as the examples below. The pronunciations below are given in Revised Romanization, McCune–Reischauer and Hangul, the last of which represents what the Hangul would be if one were to write the word as pronounced.

Word Meaning Pronunciation
North (RR/MR) North (Hangul) South (RR/MR) South (Hangul)
읽고 to read
(continuative form)
ilko (ilko) 일코 ilkko (ilkko) 일꼬
압록강 Amnok River amrokgang (amrokkang) 암록깡 amnokkang (amnokkang) 암녹깡
독립 independence dongrip (tongrip) 동립 dongnip (tongnip) 동닙
관념 idea / sense / conception gwallyeom (kwallyŏm) 괄렴 gwannyeom (kwannyŏm) 관념
혁신적* innovative hyeoksinjjeok (hyŏksintchŏk) 혁씬쩍 hyeoksinjeok (hyŏksinjŏk) 혁씬적

* Similar pronunciation is used in the North whenever the hanja "" is attached to a Sino-Korean word ending in , or . (In the South, this rule only applies when it is attached to any single-character Sino-Korean word.)

Spelling

Some words are spelled differently by the North and the South, but the pronunciations are the same.

Word Meaning Pronunciation (RR/MR) Remarks
North spelling South spelling
해빛 햇빛 sunshine haeppit (haepit) The "sai siot" ('' used for indicating sound change) is almost never written out in the North.
벗꽃 벚꽃 cherry blossom beotkkot (pŏtkkot)
못읽다 못 읽다 cannot read modikda (modikta) Spacing.
한나산 한라산 Hallasan hallasan (hallasan) When a ㄴㄴ combination is pronounced as ll, the original Hangul spelling is kept in the North, whereas the Hangul is changed in the South.
규률 규율 rules gyuyul (kyuyul) In words where the original hanja is spelt "" or "" and follows a vowel, the initial is not pronounced in the North, making the pronunciation identical with that in the South where the is dropped in the spelling.

Spelling and pronunciation

Some words have different spellings and pronunciations in the North and the South. Most of the official languages of North Korea are from the northwest (Pyeongan dialect), and the standard language of South Korea is the standard language (Seoul language close to Gyeonggi- dialect). some of which were given in the "Phonology" section above:

Word Meaning Remarks
North spelling North pronun. South spelling South pronun.
력량 ryeongryang (ryŏngryang) 역량 yeongnyang (yŏngnyang) strength Initial r's are dropped if followed by i or y in the South Korean version of Korean.
로동 rodong (rodong) 노동 nodong (nodong) work Initial r's are demoted to an n if not followed by i or y in the South Korean version of Korean.
원쑤 wonssu (wŏnssu) 원수 wonsu (wŏnsu) mortal enemy "Mortal enemy" and "field marshal" are homophones in the South. Possibly to avoid referring to Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-un as the enemy, the second syllable of "enemy" is written and pronounced in the North.[62]
라지오 rajio (rajio) 라디오 radio (radio) radio
u (u) wi (wi) on; above
안해 anhae (anhae) 아내 anae (anae) wife
꾸바 kkuba (kkuba) 쿠바 kuba (k'uba) Cuba When transcribing foreign words from languages that do not have contrasts between aspirated and unaspirated stops, North Koreans generally use tensed stops for the unaspirated ones while South Koreans use aspirated stops in both cases.
pe (p'e) pye (p'ye), pe (p'e) lungs In the case where ye comes after a consonant, such as in hye and pye, it is pronounced without the palatal approximate. North Korean orthography reflect this pronunciation nuance.

In general, when transcribing place names, North Korea tends to use the pronunciation in the original language more than South Korea, which often uses the pronunciation in English. For example:

Original name North Korea transliteration English name South Korea transliteration
Spelling Pronunciation Spelling Pronunciation
Ulaanbaatar 울란바따르 ullanbattareu (ullanbattarŭ) Ulan Bator 울란바토르 ullanbatoreu (ullanbat'orŭ)
København 쾨뻰하븐 koeppenhabeun (k'oeppenhabŭn) Copenhagen 코펜하겐 kopenhagen (k'op'enhagen)
al-Qāhirah 까히라 kkahira (kkahira) Cairo 카이로 kairo (k'airo)

Grammar

Some grammatical constructions are also different:

Word Meaning Remarks
North spelling North pronun. South spelling South pronun.
되였다 doeyeotda (toeyŏtta) 되었다 doeeotda (toeŏtta) past tense of 되다 (doeda/toeda), "to become" All similar grammar forms of verbs or adjectives that end in in the stem (i.e. , , , , and ) in the North use instead of the South's .
고마와요 gomawayo (komawayo) 고마워요 gomawoyo (komawŏyo) thanks -irregular verbs in the North use (wa) for all those with a positive ending vowel; this only happens in the South if the verb stem has only one syllable.
할가요 halgayo (halkayo) 할까요 halkkayo (halkkayo) Shall we do? Although the Hangul differ, the pronunciations are the same (i.e. with the tensed sound).

Vocabulary

Some vocabulary is different between the North and the South:

Word Meaning Remarks
North word North pronun. South word South pronun.
문화주택 munhwajutaek (munhwajut'aek) 아파트 apateu (ap'at'ŭ) Apartment 아빠트 (appateu/appat'ŭ) is also used in the North.
조선말 joseonmal (chosŏnmal) 한국말 han-guk'mal (han-guk'mal) Korean language The Korean language was used throughout the Korea and Manchuria as a reference, but as the South decided to name the nation the Republic of Korea, the Korean language gradually settled down in the south and its ideology before and after liberation was quickly settled.
곽밥 gwakbap (kwakpap) 도시락 dosirak (tosirak) lunch box
동무 dongmu (tongmu) 친구 chin-gu (ch'in-gu) Friend 동무 was originally a non-ideological word for "friend" used all over the Korean peninsula, but North Koreans later adopted it as the equivalent of the Communist term of address "comrade". As a result, to South Koreans today the word has a heavy political tinge, and so they have shifted to using other words for friend like chingu (친구) or beot ()

Such changes were made after the Korean War and the ideological battle between the anti-Communist government in the South and North Korea's communism.[63][64]

Punctuation

In the North, guillemets and are the symbols used for quotes; in the South, quotation marks equivalent to the English ones, " and ", are standard, although 『 』 and 「 」 are also used.

Study by non-native learners

For native English speakers, Korean is generally considered to be one of the most difficult languages to master despite the relative ease of learning Hangul. For instance, the United States' Defense Language Institute places Korean in Category IV, which also includes Japanese, Chinese (e.g. Mandarin, Cantonese & Shanghainese) and Arabic. This means that 63 weeks of instruction (as compared to just 25 weeks for Italian, French, Portuguese and Spanish) are required to bring an English-speaking student to a limited working level of proficiency in which he or she has "sufficient capability to meet routine social demands and limited job requirements" and "can deal with concrete topics in past, present, and future tense."[65] Similarly, the Foreign Service Institute's School of Language Studies places Korean in Category IV, the highest level of difficulty.[66]

The study of the Korean language in the United States is dominated by Korean American heritage language students; in 2007 they were estimated to form over 80% of all students of the language at non-military universities.[67] However, Sejong Institutes in the United States have noted a sharp rise in the number of people of other ethnic backgrounds studying Korean between 2009 and 2011; they attribute this to rising popularity of South Korean music and television shows.[68] In 2018 it was reported that the rise in K-Pop was responsible for the increase in people learning the language in US universities.[69]

There are two widely used tests of Korean as a foreign language: the Korean Language Proficiency Test (KLPT) and the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). The Korean Language Proficiency Test, an examination aimed at assessing non-native speakers' competence in Korean, was instituted in 1997; 17,000 people applied for the 2005 sitting of the examination.[70] The TOPIK was first administered in 1997 and was taken by 2,274 people. Since then the total number of people who have taken the TOPIK has surpassed 1 million, with more than 150,000 candidates taking the test in 2012.[71] TOPIK is administered in 45 regions within South Korea and 72 nations outside of South Korea, with a significant portion being administered in Japan and North America, which would suggest the targeted audience for TOPIK is still primarily foreigners of Korean heritage.[72] This is also evident in TOPIK's website, where the examination is introduced as intended for Korean heritage students.

See also

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Further reading

  • Argüelles, Alexander, and Jong-Rok Kim (2000). A Historical, Literary and Cultural Approach to the Korean Language. Seoul: Hollym.
  • Argüelles, Alexander, and Jongrok Kim (2004). A Handbook of Korean Verbal Conjugation. Hyattsville, Maryland: Dunwoody Press.
  • Arguelles, Alexander (2007). Korean Newspaper Reader. Hyattsville, Maryland: Dunwoody Press.
  • Arguelles, Alexander (2010). North Korean Reader. Hyattsville, Maryland: Dunwoody Press
  • Chang, Suk-jin (1996). Korean. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-55619-728-4. (Volume 4 of the London Oriental and African Language Library).
  • Hulbert, Homer B. (1905). A Comparative Grammar of the Korean Language and the Dravidian Dialects in India. Seoul.
  • Lee, Ki-Moon; Ramsey, S. Robert (2011). A History of the Korean Language. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-66189-8.
  • Martin, Samuel E. (1966). Lexical Evidence Relating Japanese to Korean. Language 42/2: 185–251.
  • Martin, Samuel E. (1990). Morphological clues to the relationship of Japanese and Korean. In: Philip Baldi (ed.): Linguistic Change and Reconstruction Methodology. Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs 45: 483–509.
  • Martin, Samuel E. (2006). A Reference Grammar of Korean: A Complete Guide to the Grammar and History of the Korean Language – 韓國語文法總監. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8048-3771-2.
  • Miller, Roy Andrew (1971). Japanese and the Other Altaic Languages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-52719-0.
  • Miller, Roy Andrew (1996). Languages and History: Japanese, Korean and Altaic. Oslo: Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture. ISBN 974-8299-69-4.
  • Ramstedt, G. J. (1928). Remarks on the Korean language. Mémoires de la Société Finno-Oigrienne 58.
  • Rybatzki, Volker (2003). Middle Mongol. In: Juha Janhunen (ed.) (2003): The Mongolic languages. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1133-3, pp. 47–82.
  • Starostin, Sergei A., Anna V. Dybo, and Oleg A. Mudrak (2003). Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages, 3 volumes. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-13153-1.
  • Sohn, H.-M. (1999). The Korean Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sohn, Ho-Min (2006). Korean Language in Culture and Society. Boston: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 978-0-8248-2694-9.
  • Song, J.-J. (2005). The Korean Language: Structure, Use and Context. London: Routledge.
  • Trask, R. L. (1996). Historical linguistics. Hodder Arnold.
  • Vovin, Alexander (2010). Koreo-Japonica: A Re-evaluation of a Common Genetic Origin. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
  • Whitman, John B. (1985). The Phonological Basis for the Comparison of Japanese and Korean. Unpublished Harvard University Ph.D. dissertation.

External links

Blackpink

Blackpink (Hangul: 블랙핑크; stylized as BLACKPINK or BLΛƆKPIИK) is a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment, consisting of members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa.

The group debuted on August 8, 2016, with their single album Square One, which spawned "Whistle", their first number-one song in South Korea, as well as "Boombayah", their first number-one hit on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, which set the record as the most-viewed debut music video by a Korean act. With the group's early commercial success, they were hailed as the New Artist of the Year at the 31st Golden Disc Awards and the 26th Seoul Music Awards.

As of 2018, Blackpink is the highest-charting female K-pop act on both Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200, peaking at number 55 with "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du", and peaking at number 40 with Square Up, respectively. They are also the first and only K-pop girl group to enter and top Billboard's Emerging Artists chart. They are also the first female K-pop group to have four number-one singles on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales chart. At the time of its release, "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" was the most-viewed Korean music video in 24 hours on YouTube, and in January 2019, it became the most viewed music video by a K-pop group on the website.

East Asia

East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia, defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms. China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam belong to the East Asian cultural sphere. Geographically and geopolitically, the region includes China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, and South Korea.The region was the cradle of various ancient civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Japan, ancient Korea, and the Mongol Empire. East Asia was one of the cradles of world civilization, with China, an ancient East Asian civilization being one of the earliest cradles of civilization in human history. For thousands of years, China largely influenced East Asia as it was principally the leading civilization in the region exerting its enormous prestige and influence on its neighbors. Historically, societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, and East Asian vocabulary and scripts are often derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script. The Chinese calendar preserves traditional East Asian culture and serves as the root to which many other East Asian calendars are derived from. Major religions in East Asia include Buddhism (mostly Mahayana), Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, Ancestral worship, and Chinese folk religion in Greater China, Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan, and Christianity, Buddhism, and Sindoism in Korea. Shamanism is also prevalent among Mongols and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia such as the Manchus.East Asians comprise around 1.6 billion people, making up about 38% of the population in Continental Asia and 22% of the global population. The region is home to major world metropolises such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo. Although the coastal and riparian areas of the region form one of the world's most populated places, the population in Mongolia and Western China, both landlocked areas, is very sparsely distributed, with Mongolia having the lowest population density of any sovereign state. The overall population density of the region is 133 inhabitants per square kilometre (340/sq mi), about three times the world average of 45/km2 (120/sq mi).

Got7

Got7 (Hangul: 갓세븐) is a South Korean boy band formed by JYP Entertainment. The group is composed of seven members: JB, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. Got7 debuted in January 2014 with the release of their first EP Got It?, which peaked at number two on the Gaon Album Chart and number one on Billboard's World Albums Chart. The group gained attention for their stage performances, which include elements of martial arts tricking.

In late 2014 Got7 signed with Sony Music Entertainment Japan and ventured into the Japanese market to release their debut Japanese-language single "Around the World". They returned to South Korea a month later to release their first full-length studio album Identify, topping the nation's charts. In 2015, Got7 released the EPs Just Right and Mad, which yielded their most commercially successful single, "Just Right". In 2016, they released their first full-length Japanese studio album, Moriagatteyo, debuting at number three on the Oricon Albums Chart. They then went on to release their fifth Korean EP Flight Log: Departure and their second full-length studio album Flight Log: Turbulence, both chart-toppers. In 2017, Got7 released their sixth EP Flight Log: Arrival, featuring the single "Never Ever". The album is the third and final part of the group's Flight Log series and at the time it was their highest selling album with more than 300,000 copies sold. In the same year they also released their seventh EP, 7 for 7, featuring the chart-topping single "You Are". The album also sold over 300,000 copies. Their eighth EP, Eyes On You was released on 12 March 2018, and has sold over 300,000 copies.

Hanja

Hanja (Hangul: 한자; Hanja: 漢字; Korean pronunciation: [ha(ː)nt͈ɕa]) is the Korean name for Chinese characters (Chinese: 漢字; pinyin: hànzì). More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation. Hanja-mal or Hanja-eo (the latter is more used) refers to words that can be written with Hanja, and hanmun (한문, 漢文) refers to Classical Chinese writing, although "Hanja" is sometimes used loosely to encompass these other concepts. Because Hanja never underwent major reform, they are almost entirely identical to traditional Chinese and kyūjitai characters, though the stroke orders for some characters are slightly different. For example, the characters 教 and 研 are written as 敎 and 硏. Only a small number of Hanja characters are modified or unique to Korean. By contrast, many of the Chinese characters currently in use in Japan and Mainland China have been simplified, and contain fewer strokes than the corresponding Hanja characters.

Although a phonetic Korean alphabet, now known as Chosŏn'gŭl or Hangul, had been created by Sejong the Great, it did not come into widespread official use until the late 19th and early 20th century. Thus, until that time it was necessary to be fluent in reading and writing Hanja in order to be literate in Korean, as the vast majority of Korean literature and most other Korean documents were written in Literary Chinese, using Hanja as its primary script. Today, a good working knowledge of Chinese characters is still important for anyone who wishes to study older texts (up to about the 1990s), or anyone who wishes to read scholarly texts in the humanities. Learning a certain number of Hanja is very helpful for understanding the etymology of Sino-Korean words, and for enlarging one's Korean vocabulary. Today, Hanja are not used to write native Korean words, which are always rendered in Hangul, and even words of Chinese origin—Hanja-eo (한자어, 漢字語)—are written with the Hangul alphabet most of the time, with the corresponding Chinese character often written next to it in order to prevent confusion with other characters or words with the same phonetics.

J-Hope

Jung Ho-seok (Hangul: 정호석; born February 18, 1994), better known by his stage name J-Hope (stylized as j-hope), is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, dancer, record producer and a singer . In 2013, J-Hope made his debut as a member of the South Korean boy band BTS, managed under Big Hit Entertainment.

J-Hope released his first solo mixtape, Hope World, worldwide on March 1, 2018. The album was met with a positive reception. His debut at number 63 (and subsequent peak at number 38) made him the highest charting solo Korean artist on the Billboard 200 at the time of the mixtape's release.

Jennie Kim

Jennie Kim (Hangul: 김제니; born January 16, 1996), also known by the mononym Jennie, is a South Korean rapper, singer, and model. She debuted as the main rapper and vocalist of girl group Blackpink in August 2016, under YG Entertainment.

Kim Seok-jin

Kim Seok-jin (Hangul: 김석진; born on December 4, 1992), also known by his stage name Jin, is a South Korean singer and songwriter. He is the oldest member and vocalist of the South Korean boy group BTS.

Kimchi

Kimchi (; Korean: 김치, translit. gimchi, IPA: [kim.tɕʰi]), a staple in Korean cuisine, is a famous traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings, including gochugaru (chili powder), scallions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood). There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with different vegetables as the main ingredients. In the past, kimchi was traditionally stored underground in jars to keep cool during warm months, and remain unfrozen throughout the winter months, during which time it was a vital source of vegetables. With the rise of technology, kimchi refrigerators are more commonly used to store kimchi.

Korean Broadcasting System

Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) (Hangul: 한국방송공사; Hanja: 韓國放送公社; RR: Han-guk Bangsong Gongsa; MR: Han'guk Pangsong Kongsa) is the national public broadcaster of South Korea. It was founded in 1927, and operates radio, television, and online services, being one of the biggest South Korean television networks.

Korean Movie Database

The Korean Movie Database (KMDb) is a South Korean online database of information related to Korean movies, animation, actors, television shows, production crew personnel and other film-related information. KMDb launched on February 2006 by Korean Film Archive. While it was modeled after the American online commercial film archive, Internet Movie Database, the site is a public site.

Korean name

A Korean name consists of a family name followed by a given name, as used by the Korean people in both South Korea and North Korea. In the Korean language, ireum or seongmyeong usually refers to the family name (seong) and given name (ireum in a narrow sense) together.

Traditional Korean family names typically consist of only one syllable. There is no middle name in the English language sense. Many Koreans have their given names made of a generational name syllable and an individually distinct syllable, though this practice is declining in the younger generations. The generational name syllable is shared by siblings in North Korea, and by all members of the same generation of an extended family in South Korea. Married men and women keep their full personal names, and children inherit the father's family name unless otherwise settled when registering the marriage.

The family names are subdivided into bon-gwan (clans), i.e. extended families which originate in the lineage system used in previous historical periods. Each clan is identified by a specific place, and traces its origin to a common patrilineal ancestor.

Early names based on the Korean language were recorded in the Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE – 668 CE), but with the growing adoption of the Chinese writing system, these were gradually replaced by names based on Chinese characters (hanja). During periods of Mongol influence, the ruling class supplemented their Korean names with Mongolian names.

Because of the many changes in Korean romanization practices over the years, modern Koreans, when using languages written in Latin script, romanize their names in various ways, most often approximating the pronunciation in English orthography. Some keep the original order of names, while others reverse the names to match the usual Western pattern.

According to the population and housing census of 2000 conducted by the South Korean government, there are a total of 286 surnames and 4,179 clans.

List of Running Man episodes

Running Man (Korean: 런닝맨) is a South Korean variety show, part of SBS's Good Sunday lineup. This show is classified as a game-variety show, where the cast members and guests complete missions in a landmark to win a race. Running Man first aired on July 11, 2010.

As of April 21, 2019, 448 episodes of Running Man have aired.

Revised Romanization of Korean

The Revised Romanization of Korean (국어의 로마자 표기법; 國語의 로마字 表記法; gugeoui romaja pyogibeop. op; lit. "Roman-letter notation of the national language") is the official Korean language romanization system in South Korea proclaimed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to replace the older McCune–Reischauer system. The new system eliminates diacritics and apostrophes in favor of digraphs.

The Revised Romanization limits itself to the ISO basic Latin alphabet, apart from limited, often optional use of the hyphen. It was developed by the National Academy of the Korean Language from 1995 and was released to the public on 7 July 2000 by South Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Proclamation No. 2000-8, which cites these reasons for the new system:

It reduces the confusion caused by the frequent omission of apostrophes and diacritics that plagued the McCune–Reischauer system.

It is compatible with the plain ASCII text of internet domain names.Like McCune–Reischauer, it transcribes some sounds as English-speakers are apt to hear them, rather than following Korean phonology. Unlike McCune–Reischauer, vowels are not written consistently.

Single (music)

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks. The biggest digital music distributor, iTunes Store, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as does popular music player Spotify. Any more than three tracks on a musical release or thirty minutes in total running time is either an extended play (EP) or, if over six tracks long, an album.

Historically, when mainstream music was purchased via vinyl records, singles would be released double-sided. That is to say, they were released with an A-side and B-side, on which two singles would be released, one on each side. Moreover, traditionally, only the most popular songs from a previously released album would be released as a single. In more contemporary forms of music consumption, artists release most, if not all, of the tracks on an album as singles.

Soju

Soju (; from Korean: 소주; 燒酒 [so.dʑu]) is a clear, colorless distilled beverage of Korean origin. It is usually consumed neat, and its alcohol content varies from about 16.8% to 53% alcohol by volume (ABV). Most brands of soju are made in South Korea. While soju is traditionally made from rice, wheat, or barley, modern producers often replace rice with other starches such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.

Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min (Hangul: 손흥민; Hanja: 孫興慜; [son.xɯŋ.min]; born 8 July 1992) is a South Korean professional footballer who plays as a winger or a forward for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and captains the South Korea national team.

Son finished his development at Hamburger SV, where he made his debut in the German Bundesliga in 2010. In 2013, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen for a club record €10 million, and played for the club in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League. Two years later, he signed for Tottenham for £22 million, becoming the most expensive Asian player in history. While at Tottenham, he became the top Asian goalscorer in Premier League history.A full international since 2010, Son has represented South Korea at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups and is South Korea's joint highest scorer at the World Cup alongside Park Ji-sung and Ahn Jung-hwan with three goals. He has also represented South Korea at the 2018 Asian Games where the team won gold as well as the 2011, 2015, and 2019 editions of the AFC Asian Cup, finishing runners-up in 2015.

Suga (rapper)

Min Yoon-gi (Hangul: 민윤기; born March 9, 1993), better known by his stage names Suga and Agust D, is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Managed by Big Hit Entertainment, he debuted as a member of the South Korean pop idol group BTS in 2013. In 2016 he released his first solo mixtape, Agust D. The Korea Music Copyright Association attributes over 70 songs to Suga as a songwriter and producer, including Suran's "Wine", which peaked at number two on the Gaon Music Chart and won best Soul/R&B track of the year at the 2017 Melon Music Awards.

TVN (South Korean TV channel)

TVN (Total Variety Network; stylized as tvN) is a South Korean nationwide general entertainment network owned by CJ E&M, available on cable, SkyLife and IPTV platforms. Since 2014, the network is headed by Rhee Myung-han.

We Got Married

We Got Married (Hangul: 우리 결혼했어요) is a South Korean reality variety show that aired on MBC from 2008 to 2017. The show paired up celebrities who pretended to be married couples and completed various challenges together. The show ran for four seasons and inspired several spin-offs, including a "global edition" of the show that featured non-Korean celebrities.

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