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Korean (한국어, 조선말)
Spoken by: ~ 78 million
Spoken in: South Korea, North Korea, People's Republic of China
Language family: Isolate

Korean text

Korean is the official language of both North and South Korea. It’s also spoken in neighboring Yanbian, China. Some 72 million speak Korean. There are 2 standard dialects: Seoul (South Korea) and P'yongyang (North Korea). 




Korean uses 19 letters in its Hangul; ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅎ, ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ and ㅉ. The vowels are ㅏ, ㅑ, ㅓ, ㅕ, ㅗ, ㅛ, ㅜ, ㅠ, ㅡ, ㅣ, ㅐ, ㅒ, ㅔ, ㅖ, ㅘ, ㅙ, ㅚ, ㅝ, ㅞ and ㅢ.

Common difficulties[]

The Foreign Service Institute has classified Korean as a "Super-Hard" language. It is estimated that learning Korean to a Professional Working Proficiency in the language (a score of Speaking-3/Reading-3 on the Interagency Language Roundtable scale) will take an average of 88 weeks (2200 class hours).[1]


The Foreign Service Institute offers a course in Korean.

Sublearning - Korean to English movie subtitle flash cards

Pimsleur offers a course in Korean.

Duolingo offers a course in Korean.

Rosetta Stone offers a course in Korean.


  1. U.S. Department of State; FSI's Experience with Language Learning; https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/sls/c78549.htm