East Asian Languages and Literature
Number of Users Worldwide:
Levels 100-400, SLAT, Minor, BA, Master’s
Korean is the official language of both North Korea and South Korea, which have a total combined population of around 73 million (23 million in the North and 50 million in the South). Korean is also spoken in large ethnic Korean communities in the USA, China, Japan, and Central Asia. In the past, Korean was often written using Chinese characters or Hanja. However, use of Hanja has now more or less been replaced by an indigenous alphabetic script known as Hangul, which was invented in 1443 by King Sejong (possibly with the help of other scholars).