Korean

The History and Origin of The Korean Language

The Korean language, spoken by about 80 million people across the globe, is an East Asian language and belongs to the Koreanic language family. It is the official language of both North Korea and South Korea, with different standardized official forms used in each territory.

Linguists often state that Korean is a language isolate, however, this is somewhat untrue because it does have a relation to few other extinct languages and the Jeju language which is used by a small population in the Jeju Province. This makes Korean part of the Koreanic language family – not an isolate language, simply a member of a micro-family. Today, Korean is often included in the Paleosiberian group of ancient languages in Northeast Asia. This is a term used for genetically unrelated languages that predate other regional language families.

History of The Korean Language

There are three periods of the Korean language, the Old, the Middle, and the Modern Korean language. While Middle and Modern Korean are studied and there is enough information, little is known for the Old Korean language. There is a relation between the Japanese and the other extinct relatives which form the Japonic family, however, these connections are not strong enough to be supported by all linguists.

The Korean Writing System

During the Proto-Three Kingdoms era, together with the Buddhism, Chinese characters arrived in Korea. This alphabet adapted for Korean was named 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. In the 15th century, King Sejong the Great personally developed an alphabetic writing system known today as Hangul. The reason for its creation was mainly due to the fact that there were fundamental differences between the Korean and Chinese languages and a large number of characters to be learned. The lower classes of the population stayed illiterate due to this reason, so to solve the problem, the King promoted the unique alphabet Hangul in order to decrease the illiteracy among the common people.

It is interesting to note that the letters of the Korean alphabet are not written linearly like most alphabets, but instead arranged into blocks that represent syllables. The syllable blocks are then written left to right, top to bottom.

Today, Modern Korean is written with spaces between words, a feature not found in Chinese or Japanese. The Korean punctuation marks are almost identical to Western ones.

United Language Services brings you the best in professional language translation and interpretation of the Korean language. From meetings to doctor’s appointments, depositions to court dates, web applications to legal documentation, whatever you need help with, we are here for you.

The History and Origin of The Korean Language

The Korean language, spoken by about 80 million people across the globe, is an East Asian language and belongs to the Koreanic language family. It is the official language of both North Korea and South Korea, with different standardized official forms used in each territory.

Linguists often state that Korean is a language isolate, however, this is somewhat untrue because it does have a relation to few other extinct languages and the Jeju language which is used by a small population in the Jeju Province. This makes Korean part of the Koreanic language family – not an isolate language, simply a member of a micro-family. Today, Korean is often included in the Paleosiberian group of ancient languages in Northeast Asia. This is a term used for genetically unrelated languages that predate other regional language families.

History of The Korean Language

There are three periods of the Korean language, the Old, the Middle, and the Modern Korean language. While Middle and Modern Korean are studied and there is enough information, little is known for the Old Korean language. There is a relation between the Japanese and the other extinct relatives which form the Japonic family, however, these connections are not strong enough to be supported by all linguists.

The Korean Writing System

During the Proto-Three Kingdoms era, together with the Buddhism, Chinese characters arrived in Korea. This alphabet adapted for Korean was named 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. In the 15th century, King Sejong the Great personally developed an alphabetic writing system known today as Hangul. The reason for its creation was mainly due to the fact that there were fundamental differences between the Korean and Chinese languages and a large number of characters to be learned. The lower classes of the population stayed illiterate due to this reason, so to solve the problem, the King promoted the unique alphabet Hangul in order to decrease the illiteracy among the common people.

It is interesting to note that the letters of the Korean alphabet are not written linearly like most alphabets, but instead arranged into blocks that represent syllables. The syllable blocks are then written left to right, top to bottom.

Today, Modern Korean is written with spaces between words, a feature not found in Chinese or Japanese. The Korean punctuation marks are almost identical to Western ones.

United Language Services brings you the best in professional language translation and interpretation of the Korean language. From meetings to doctor’s appointments, depositions to court dates, web applications to legal documentation, whatever you need help with, we are here for you.