77 Million People Speak Korean

A total of 77.2 million people around the world speak Korean, up from 66.4 million back in 1986, according to the website Ethnologue.com which catalogs all known living languages.

In November of last year, the National Institute of the Korean Language submitted the latest North and South Korean population figures to Ethnologue and asked it to update its statistics since the database was using data from 1986.

Since the revision, the language rose from 18th to 13th place in terms of the number of users around the world.

Chinese ranked first with 1.2 billion speakers, followed by Spanish (414 million), English (335 million), Hindi (260 million), and Arabic (237 million). Some 167 million people spoke Russian, placing it eighth, while Japanese ranked ninth with 122 million.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 15, 2014 10:04 KST