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31 Facts About Korean language
Exact relationship between Korean and the Japonic languages, most notably Japanese, is unclear; there is a long-standing controversy whether perceived similarities between the two languages should be attributed to a common origin or rather to mutual influence and a sprachbund.
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The linguistic homeland of Korean language is suggested to be somewhere in contemporary Northeast China.
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When first recorded in historical texts, Korean was only a spoken language; all written records were maintained in Classical Chinese, which, even when spoken, is not intelligible to someone who speaks only Korean.
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Since the turn of the 21st century, aspects of Korean language culture have spread to other countries through globalization and cultural exports.
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The Khitan language has several vocabulary items similar to Korean that are not found in other Mongolian or Tungusic languages, suggesting a Korean influence on Khitan.
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Hypothesis that Korean could be related to Japanese has had some supporters due to some overlap in vocabulary and similar grammatical features that have been elaborated upon by such researchers as Samuel E Martin and Roy Andrew Miller.
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Some linguists concerned with the issue between Japanese and Korean language, including Alexander Vovin, have argued that the indicated similarities are not due to any genetic relationship, but rather to a sprachbund effect and heavy borrowing, especially from Ancient Korean language into Western Old Japanese.
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The Korean language consonants have elements of stiff voice, but it is not yet known how typical this is of faucalized consonants.
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The Korean language is traditionally considered to have nine parts of speech.
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The sentence structure or basic form of a Korean sentence is subject–object–verb, but the verb is the only required and immovable element and word order is highly flexible, as in many other agglutinative languages.
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Rather, gendered differences in Korean language can be observed through formality, intonation, word choice, etc.
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Korean language social structure traditionally was a patriarchically dominated family system that emphasized the maintenance of family lines.
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All Sino-Korean language morphemes are monosyllabic as in Chinese, whereas native Korean language morphemes can be polysyllabic.
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Exact proportion of Sino-Korean language vocabulary is a matter of debate.
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Korean language alphabet was denounced and looked down upon by the yangban aristocracy, who deemed it too easy to learn, but it gained widespread use among the common class and was widely used to print popular novels which were enjoyed by the common class.
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Letters of the Korean language alphabet are not written linearly like most alphabets, but instead arranged into blocks that represent syllables.
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So, while the word bibimbap is written as eight characters in a row in the Latin alphabet, in Korean language it is written ???, as three "syllabic blocks" in a row.
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Traditionally, Korean language was written in columns, from top to bottom, right to left, like traditional Chinese.
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Korean language has numerous small local dialects [literally 'speech'], saturi (), or bang'eon ().
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The standard language of both South Korea and North Korea is based on the dialect of the area around Seoul (which, as Hanyang, was the capital of Joseon-era Korea for 500 years), though the northern standard after the Korean War has been influenced by the dialect of P'yongyang.
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All dialects of Korean are similar to each other and largely mutually intelligible, though the dialect of Jeju Island is divergent enough to be sometimes classified as a separate language.
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Some dialects are conservative, maintaining Middle Korean sounds which have been lost from the standard language, whereas others are highly innovative.
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Nonetheless, the separation of the two Korean language states has resulted in increasing differences among the dialects that have emerged over time.
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Currently, Korean is the fourth most popular foreign language in China, following English, Japanese, and Russian.
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In South Korea, the regulatory body for Korean is the Seoul-based National Institute of the Korean Language, which was created by presidential decree on 23 January 1991.
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