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Korean is spoken in South and North Korea by about 70 million people. There are another 2 million speakers in China, 700,000 in Japan, and smaller numbers in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. About 600,000 Koreans live in the United States.

Korean, like Japanese, is not known to be related to any other language, though its grammatical structure is somewhat similar to Japanese, and more than half of its vocabulary has been borrowed from the Chinese. Korean used the Chinese characters for writing long before the invention of the Korean alphabet, and continued, even after its invention, to use the two together. (In the fourth line of the poem above the proper nouns Yongbyon and Yag San appear with the Chinese characters following in parentheses). This practice was abolished in North Korea after World War II, but in the South the Chinese characters continue to be used. Students in South Korean secondary schools today are required to learn 1,800 Chinese characters.


Korean historically bears a close relation to the Chinese language, not only in words, but also in pronunciation. Compared to Chinese, however, Korean adds some ways of pronunciation that impose a strict, challenging requirement on lip and glottis control, such as tightening, loosening and aspirated sound. Therefore, learning Korean requires repeated practice and immersion into a real environment of Korean culture, so as to get familiar with Korean pronunciation, grammar, intonation and accents. With over a century of experience in language teaching, Berlitz offers you professional, native-speaking Korean instructors who have been strictly trained in the Berlitz Method®. Customized instruction is given only in Korean throughout. A lively style of teaching is introduced by simulation of real-world scenarios to train students on practical Korean skills comprehensively.

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