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Korean 한국어/韓國語 (South Korea) 조선말/朝鮮말 (North Korea) Native to: Korea Ethnicity: Koreans Native speakers: 77.2 million (2010) Language family: Koreanic
Korean in the recordings and texts are a variant used in South Korea. Although both South Korean and North Korean variants are usually mutually intelligible, North Korea has different orthography, phonology and even the different name of the language (They call the Korean language not 한국어 but 조선말, Josŏnmal.)
Information about the Language: The Korean language is mainly spoken by Ethnic Koreans and the official language of South Korea, North Korea, and Yanbian Prefecture and Changbai County in China. It is also spoken by the Korean diaspora in Japan (Zainichi Koreans) and the former Soviet Union (Koryo-saram) who developed their unique dialects influenced by the local languages.
Korean is usually considered to be a language isolate or part of Koreanic languages with the Jeju language if Jeju is considered as a separate language. Some scholars also claim that it might share a common root with the Japonic languages which have remarkably similar grammar and a few words which seem to be cognate. It is suggested that the origin of the language is somewhere in Manchuria.
Modern Korean, like Old and Middle Korean, is an agglutinative language with various affixes and particles. Each sentence has one out of six (or seven) speech levels which indicates the relationship between a speaker and a listener. Although Middle Korean and some modern dialects in eastern Korea have pitch accents, it disappeared in Modern Standard Korean and central dialects. Korean phonology doesn't distinguish voiced and voiceless consonants. Instead, it has three levels of aspiration: weak (usually called plain), strong (usually called just aspirated), and tenuis.