Korean is the official and national language of both North Korea and South Korea and is spoken in some part of the Northeast region in China. Korean is also the major language spoken by people living in the Korean communities throughout Australia.
What are the varieties of Korean?
Korean, the official language of North Korea and South Korea, has two standard varieties, namely Pyongyang dialect in North Korea and Seoul dialect in South Korea. Even though the two varieties are mutually intelligible in general, distinct differences are becoming more and more noticeable in terms of their vocabularies, pronunciations, and grammar rules.
Interestingly, both North Korea and South Korea observe a national holiday called Hangul (Korean alphabets) Day, though celebrated on different dates, to honour the Korean language.
Did you know?
Korean is among the 50 most spoken languages in the world! In close proximity to the Korean Peninsula, a fair number of Korean speakers are also found in China, Japan and Russia. As the number of Korean immigrants increases, the number of Korean speakers in other countries such as the US and Australia is also on the rise.
One surprising fact about Korean is that it is classified as the largest language isolate in the world! Hangul, amongst the youngest alphabets worldwide, is considered the most well-designed by linguists. Some linguists even describe Hangul as fitting the Korean language brilliantly like a glove!
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