What Language Is North Korea

The official language of North Korea is Chosŏnŏ, which is also known as Korean or the Korean language. It is an East Asian language that belongs to the Koreanic language family and is native to the North Korean population, who are largely composed of ethnic Koreans. North Korea utilizes a unique dialect, Hwanghae Province dialect, which is also known as the Pyongyang dialect of South Pyongan province, making it distinguishable from the dialects used in South Korea.

Chosŏnŏ is written using the Hangul script. It is a phonetic syllabary created in 1444 by King Sejong the Great, and is an important cultural artifact of the Korean people. Hangul is the official script of both South and North Korea, but there is some debate over which version is more widely used. Hangul was formerly known as Chosŏn muntcha in North Korea, but is now referred to simply as Hangul.

The primary language used in North Korea is Chosŏnŏ, but there are also some other languages spoken in the country by a smaller population such as Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. Chinese is widely used in urban areas such as Pyongyang, while Russian is favored in parts of North Korea where it was once common. Additionally, North Korea has many sign language interpreters located in its major cities.

In North Korea, English is largely discouraged due to its association with the West and its capitalist ideologies. For this reason, Chosŏnŏ is strongly encouraged and promoted by the government, as it is seen as a symbol of North Korean nationalism. The language is often used by North Koreans to express and maintain their cultural identity. As such, understanding Chosŏnŏ is necessary for the full integration of North Koreans into the global community.

It is important to note that North Korea is home to various ethnic groups and languages, including the Ezozuishu, Manchu, and Chinese. These ethnic minorities are closely monitored by the government, which encourages them to speak and write exclusively in Korean, as this is seen as an important tool for maintaining a strong national identity.

Chosŏnŏ has had a long and complex history.Used widely in the Joseon Dynasty from 1392 to 1910, it underwent a series of reforms in the early 20th century which led to the current ‘modern’ version, spoken in North and South Korea.All North Korean primary and secondary education are conducted almost entirely in Chosŏnŏ, with some English lessons provided in some schools.North Korea also has its own version of an English language training school, the Korea Central English Academy, which is located in Pyongyang.

Experts in the field agree that if North Korea wishes to be a part of the international community that understands and speaks English, it needs to provide materials appropriate for its level of English proficiency. In other words, North Korean individuals should be provided with proper education and resources in order to fully understand the nuances of the language.

Today, language education in North Korea is largely focused on the Korean language, with little to no attention being given to the English language. While it is true that the North Korean government has made attempts to increase English proficiency in the country, present day language policy in North Korea still appears to have a long way to go in order to be considered an adequate level of English language education.

English Learning in North Korea

In recent years, English language classes have seen a dramatic increase in North Korea, beginning in elementary school and continuing through adulthood. Despite the progressive surge in English learning, attitudes towards foreign languages remain largely negative, based firmly in the belief that North Korea should remain independent from other countries, with the Korean language being integral to North Korea’s national identity.

The language learning programs have been designed to use a combination of video and audio, as well as educational books in an effort to increase English comprehension among North Koreans. Teaching materials have mainly focused on focusing on vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar, but have not emphasized the importance of cultural understanding, which is integral to effective language learning.

English proficiency in North Korea is still low compared to other countries in East Asia, but recent tests conducted among North Korean students have shown a gradual increase in English proficiency. This can be partially attributed to increasing access to English language materials and programs, as well as to a growing interest among North Koreans in studying abroad.

However, language barriers remain a major obstacle for North Koreans who wish to pursue higher education or job opportunities abroad. English proficiency is required for admission to foreign universities, and many employers look for applicants who possess a good command of the language. This makes it difficult for many North Koreans to gain opportunity outside of their home country.


In conclusion, North Korea’s official language is Chosŏnŏ, a Koreanic language written using the Hangul script. While English is largely discouraged due to its association with the West and its capitalist ideologies, there are currently a growing number of North Korean individuals who are learning the language. The North Korean government has recently placed emphasis on the importance of English and other foreign language education, and have implemented various learning materials and programs aimed at increasing English proficiency within the country. However, language barriers still remain a major challenge for North Koreans wishing to pursue higher education or job opportunities abroad.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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