The KOREAN Language:
Korean is a language of uncertain ancestry. It is thought by some scholars to be akin to Japanese, by others to be a member of the Altaic subfamily of the Ural-Altaic family of languages, and by still others to be unrelated to any known language. The Korean tongue is spoken by about 68 million people in Korea (45 million in South Korea and 23 million in North Korea) and by nearly 1 million others in Japan. Unlike Cantonese, Korean does not use tones to make semantic distinctions. Its syntax, however, is similar to that of Chinese, while its morphology resembles that of Japanese. A distinctive feature of Korean is the use of a number of different forms to indicate the respective social positions of the speaker, the individual spoken to, and the individual spoken about.