Korean Language Program
The Korean phonetic alphabet is called Han’gŭl 한글 which means “the great writing” and was invented in the 15th century. Korean may be written entirely in letters of the Han’gŭl or in “mixed script”, where native words are written in Han’gŭl and words of Chinese origin (Sino-Korean words) may be written in Chinese characters. Han’gŭl was created by King Sejong the Great and his royal scholars in 1443. Han’gŭl is one of the most scientific writing systems that has ever been created.
The Korean language consists of seven geographically based dialects: 1. Central dialect (Seoul and vicinity) is the standard language of South Korea; 2. Ch’ungchŏng dialect, spoken in the Ch’ungchŏng province area; 3. Chŏlla dialect, spoken in the southwest; 4. Kyŏngsang dialect, spoken in the southeast; 5. P’yŏngan dialect of North Korea; 6. Hamgyŏng dialect, spoken in the northeast; 7. Cheju dialect, spoken on the island of Cheju.