Similarities between English and Korean: How Do the Languages Relate?

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similarities between english and korean

With the increasing interest of Gen-Z in Korean culture and Korean pop culture gaining popularity in general, there has been a significant rise in people wanting to learn the Korean language.  Although learning a new language can feel quite intimidating but the silver lining when it comes to learning the Korean language is that it has various similarities with the English language. Since English is lingua franca meaning it is a global language, therefore, nowadays people are usually well versed in it and they can easily start learning the Korean language. 

Are you also thinking about learning the Korean language? If the answer is yes, then this blog will help you in getting to know the similarities between English and Korean language

Korean Speakers all Around the World 

Korean which is known as Kugo in the Korean language itself is the native language of people living on the Korean peninsula in northeast Asia. There are around 20 million Korean language speakers in North Korea and 42 million speakers in South Korea. It is also a minority language in China as there are around 2 million Korean speakers living who are inhabitants of the provinces that border North Korea. Korean speakers are also present in Japan and Russia whose population is calculated around half a million people. In the USA too there are approximately 600,000 people who speak the Korean language and they generally live in large communities on the west coast and in New York.

Also Read: What are Language Skills?

Why the Korean Language is Gaining Popularity?

There has been exponential growth in the number of people who want to learn the Korean language over the past few years. South Korea is becoming a leading country in terms of exports which has raised its economic status and has made it the seventh-largest exporter in the world. This is the main reason why people have started showing interest in the Korean language. Learning the Korean language can help in understanding Korean culture deeply and improve the whole experience of watching Korean movies, dramas and K-pop. The fact that Korean companies like Kia, Samsung, Lotte, etc. are expanding on a global level it can open up a lot of carer opportunities for someone who knows the Korean language. 

similarities between english and korean

Detailed Analysis of Similarities Between English and Korean 

For someone who knows the English language well, it can be a lot easier to learn Korean, as there are many similarities between English and Korean. Let us now discuss in detail some of the areas where both English and Korean are quite similar.  


Morphology in linguistics means the study of how words are formed and their relationship to other words in the same language. Both Korean and English learners are engaged in Cognate studies. Academic vocabulary is an important part of teaching these languages to learners. Vocabulary examples are used to help learners develop a deep understanding of the language. 

similarities between english and korean


In linguistics, intonation signifies the variation in the pitch of a speaker which helps to indicate the attitude and emotions of the speaker and to highlight the expression. Both Korean and English languages contain the idea of intonation which helps in bringing out the meaning of a word.  

Also Read: How to Learn a New Language?

Particles and Prepositions

Anyone can confuse particles and prepositions as both of them look similar and somewhat have the same function. Particles look exactly like a preposition and are used as conjunctions with verbs to form a phrasal verb ( for example, show OFF, blurted OUT, Turn ON, etc.) while prepositions help in combining nouns or pronouns (for example, Sahil puts a book ON the table). Both Korean and English languages use these conjunction forms of speech but in Korean generally, particles are used whereas in English it is the prepositions that are used. 

Order of Words 

It is one of the major similarities between English and Korean as both languages have 3 parts in a sentence – subject, verb and object. The difference between these languages comes in the order of these parts. In the English language, the order is subject + verb + object while in the Korean language structure of a sentence is subject + object + verb. In the English language, a sentence is formed by stating what the subject is doing to the object. For example, Sahil sat on the table (Sahil is the subject, sat is the verb and the table is the object). In the Korean language, the sentence would be Sahil table sat (subject + object + verb). In the English language sometimes speakers leave the subject which happens in Korean too. 

Also Read: How to Become a Language Translator?


Phonetics is the part of linguistics which deals with studying speech sounds and their production physiologically. Since English alveolar /s/ and Korean [—tense] /s/ with [+tense] /s*/ have similar pronunciations, learning either language makes switching between the two languages easy.      

(Source: YouTube – Talk To Me In Korean) 

List of English Words of Korean Origin 

The table below represents some of the words of Korean origin which are also a part of English Vocabulary.

English WordsKorean WordsMeaning in the Korean Language
KoreaGoryeoA historic dynasty in Korea
WonWonMonetary unit of North and South Korea
MukbangMeokbangAn online broadcast in which the host eats food while interacting with the audience. 
OndolOndolA system of underfloor heating
HanbokHanbokTraditional Korean clothes 
JucheJuche SaasangIt is a political theory which was formulated by the former leader of North Korea – Kim II Sung. According to this theory, the Korean people are the masters of the development of their country. 
TaekwondoTaegwondoIt is a Korean martial art.
BulgogiBulgogiA dish which contains thin slices of beef which are first marinated and then grilled on a barbecue. 
KimchiGimchiIt is a vegetable pickle which is the national dish of Korea. 
MoonieMun SeonmyeongA member of the unification of the church, founded by Sun Myung Moon. 


What language is most similar to Korean?

The Japanese language has a lot of similarities with Korean in terms of sentence structure and usage of particles. Since both Japan and Korea have had a historical impact of China, there are many similar-sounding words in both languages with similar meanings. 

Are Korean and English related?

There are many similarities between English and Korean language in areas like morphology, intonation, particles and prepositions, order of words and phonetics. 

What is the mix between Korean and English?

Konglish is the term given to the blend of Korean and English languages which is often heard in South Korea and is not regarded well amongst Koreans. 

Is the Korean language similar to Indian?

The Korean language shares a lot of similarities with Hindi and other Indian languages. 

We hope you liked our blog, where we covered comprehensive information about similarities between English and Korean. For more informative articles like this keep following Leverage Edu

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