Corean language

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Early forms
Old Corean (Sillan)
  • Middle Corean
Writing system
Hankoel (predominant)
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in

Corean (한국어, 韓國語 hangugò) is a language spoken predominantly in Corea, where it is the sole official language. The language is spoken natively by the Corean people and as a secondary or tertiary language by other ethnic groups. As a result of modern emigration, Corean is spoken in Tussenland's Westerzee province, Poeja, and Tauland, having been given varying degrees of formal recognition.

The language is mainly written with the Hankoel script, a phonetic writing system devised in the 15th century. Handja, a script using Chinese characters, has faced a decline in use since the 19th century, and now is primarily found in formal documents. In Poeja, both Handja as well as Cyrillic are used. The Latin alphabet is used mainly by the Corean diaspora.


Dialects and distribution


Bilabial Alveolar Alveolo-palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive p p͈ pʰ[1] t t͈ tʰ[2] tɕ t͈ɕ tɕʰ[3] k k͈ kʰ[4]
Fricative s s͈[5] h[6]
Approximant w j
Liquid ɾ~l
Front Central Back
Close i y ɨ u
Close-mid e ø o
Open-mid ɛ ʌ
Open a


Corean is predominately written in Hankoel, an alphabet promulgated by Sedjong the Great in the 1440s. From the late 17th century to the end of the Tsjasjan dynasty, the writing system was scorned by the upper class in favor of Handja, a traditional script using Chinese characters. During the Sjakwang dynasty, Hankoel replaced Handja as the primary script of government.

The Latin script began to be used to write Corean in the 17th century with the arrival of Dutch merchants, castaways, and diplomats. In the 19th century, the Keukenkamp romanization system became the primary Roman transliteration system for the language, later becoming the basis for Latin Corean used by the Corean diaspora. After the Russo-Corean War, the language increasingly began to be written by in Cyrillic by the Corean populations of Poeja, Hawaii, and Russia.

Under the Corean national republic, the Revised Transliteration romanization system was adopted. This was motivated by the perceived flaws of the Keukenkamp romanization, including inaccurate transcription of sounds and transliteration of letters, a surplus of digraphs and trigraphs, and its association with a period of marked Dutch cultural influence. While the Revised system attained popularity in the academic, educational, and governmental realms, Keukenkamp remained widely used.

IPA k t ɾ m n ŋ p s t͈ɕ tɕʰ h
Cyrillic initial к кк кх т тт тх р м н Ø п пп пх с сс ч чч чх х
final нъ т
Keukenkamp initial K k T t T t R r M m N n Ø P p Sj sj Tsj tsj Tsj tsj H h
medial D d Dj dj
final T t L l Ng ng T t Ø
IPA i a ja ʌ o jo u ju ø y ɛ e je wa we ɨ ɨj
Cyrillic и а я о ё о́ ё у ю ве ви э йя е́ йе ва во вэ ве ы ый
Keukenkamp i a ja a ja o jo oe joe eu u e je e je wa we oe oei


  1. ^ Allophones include [p], [b], [β].
  2. ^ Allophones include [t], [d].
  3. ^ Allophones include [tɕ], [ts], [dʑ].
  4. ^ Allophones include [k], [g].
  5. ^ Allophones include [s], [z].
  6. ^ Allophones include [h], [ɦ], as well as [ɸ] and [ç] in front of back and front vowels respectively.

See also