Difference Between Chinese and Korean

By: | Updated: Jul-23, 2021
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Asia is one of the most populated continents in the world. The people living in Asia speak many different languages, some of them are Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Language is a very important part of every society. People in Asia speak their own language and this makes it easier for them to communicate with each other. Since the creation of language, there have been many changes in it. Language evolves and becomes more complex. As society is evolving so are the languages. The people of Asia also use different languages for different purposes. For example, the people of China and Korea use different languages. Both Chinese and Korean are very popular languages in Asia. They have a very rich history.

In the literature, there are different versions of the origin of Chinese and Korean. In fact, the answer to this question is not easy to find. Both Chinese and Korean have a very rich history. The story behind these languages is still unclear. However, one thing is certain that these languages are quite similar in their structure. They are very similar in grammar and vocabulary. Both Chinese and Korean are mutually intelligible. But what are the differences between Chinese and Korean?

What is Chinese? What is Korean? Who created Chinese and Korean? Why are Chinese and Korean different? You know that the two languages are very similar and they are mutually intelligible. There is a common belief that Chinese and Korean originated from the same language. The answer to this question is not easy to find. So, this article will try to find the answer. In this article, we will look at different aspects of Chinese and Korean. We will see what they have in common and what makes them different from each other.

Summary Table

Chinese Korean
Uses Hanzi Uses Hanja or Hangul
There are sounds similar to English such as “sh” Uses a different letter called “tongue-root consonant”
Verb-object-subject sentence structure Verb-subject-object sentence structure


Difference Between Chinese and Korean

What are the origins of Chinese?

Chinese is an Eastern language that originated from a group of people who were speaking a language that is called the Sino-Tibetan languages. The language was spoken in the Yellow River basin and other areas. The speakers of this language migrated to China. It is said that a group of people moved from the southern part of China to the north and became known as Han Chinese. The first kingdom in which Chinese was spoken was named Xia Dynasty, but it only lasted for a short period of time. It was succeeded by the Shang Dynasty. The first recorded written history about China was recorded in the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC).

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In the Western world, the oldest version of Chinese language that we know is from what is called Old Chinese. It is believed that this language was spoken in the Western region of China. The language is believed to have been used for more than 2000 years before it became extinct.

What are the origins of Korean?

Korean is the language spoken by Koreans. It is a member of the Koreanic language family, which includes Hangul, one of the two official scripts of Korea. In the early 7th century, King Sejong the Great invented Hangul. This script was first used to write Korean and it is now used to write the Korean language. According to the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Korea is a branch of the Altaic language family that includes all the languages spoken in Korea, Japan, Manchuria, and Mongolia. The Korean language has a rich history of 2,000 years. It is the first language in East Asia to be written with a logographic script.

What is the relation of Chinese and Korean?

There are many similarities between Chinese and Korean. The main reason why Chinese and Korean have similarities in their grammar and vocabulary is because they are derived from the same language. They have some common words in their vocabulary, they share the same writing system, and their grammar is similar.

Korean language has many words that are very similar to Chinese. For example, “wang” or in English means “king” sounds very similar in Korean and Chinese. The meaning of “wang” is also similar in both languages. Another example is in Korean “banjang” and in Chinese “ban zhang” which means “monitor”.

Chinese Vs. Korean:

While Chinese and Korean are different languages, they have a lot of similarities in their origin and in their characteristics. As mentioned, they are both members of the Sino-Tibetan language family. They both belong to the Uralic language family. This means that they are all closely related to each other but this does not mean that they are the same. So, here are the main differences between Chinese and Korean.

  1. The writing style

The writing style of Chinese and Korean is quite different. The Chinese writing system uses a lot of characters that are not easy to understand for those who do not know how to read Chinese. Chinese use about 10,000 Hanzi characters in their writing system. The most common ones are ideograms and logograms. This means that they have different meanings when they are used in Chinese language. For example, the character “大” (big) is a logogram that means “great” but it also means “hundred”.

The Korean writing system uses fewer characters and it is a phonetic alphabet. The characters have different meanings but they are easy to understand. In this writing system, there are only 24 letters that represent the 24 sounds of the Korean language. These letters are called Hanja in Korea. Hangeul, however, is the Korean alphabet. It is called Hangul in Korea. The most common one is “동” (east) that means “opposite”.

  1. Sounds

The sounds of the Korean language are different from those of Chinese. Chinese has the “sh” sound that is quite similar to the English “sh”. In Chinese, this sound is represented by a “zh”. This sound is not used in Korean language. Instead, it uses a different letter called “tongue-root consonant”.

In Korean, the “sh” sound is represented by a “j” and it is also not used in English. Korean generally sounds more like a language that is closer to Japanese. This means that there are many words in Korean that sound similar to Japanese.

  1. Sentence structure

In Chinese, the sentence structure is a bit different from Korean. In Chinese, the sentence is more complicated than in Korean. The word order is also different in these two languages. In Korean, you can have a verb-subject-object sentence structure. In Chinese, you can have a verb-object-subject sentence structure.

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