The Wikipedia article on Sino-Korean vocabulary states that Sino-Korean words make up about 60% of the Korean vocabulary (though by frequency of usage, the percentage is lower).

Are there any statistics on what percentage of Korean vocabulary is derived from English?

I'm interested in any English-derived vocabulary, from 'Konglish' words such as 화이팅, 디카, 썸타다, to more straightforward borrowings like 바베큐 and 메타데이터. I'd be interested in statistics that combine or distinguish the two.

What percentage of words in spoken and written language is based off English?

Answers with trustworthy, or better, verifiable source are preferred. Domain-specific language (e.g. Business Korean, Medical Korean) may be covered too.

  • What makes you think that 썸타다 comes from English? I can't find any resource for it.
    – user237
    Oct 25, 2016 at 10:13
  • @SuperCoolHandsomeGelBoy This answer, and other conversations with native Koreans. Oct 25, 2016 at 10:15
  • Ugh, our teacher showed some stats, but I wouldn't be able to find the source. Also, "precentage" needs definition -- e.g. percentage of words in the dictionary, or percentage of words actually used by teenagers, or percentage of spoken language (that is weighted by use frequency)... Nov 1, 2016 at 14:08
  • @qarma my first sentence acknowledges that very question - hopefully, by parallel with what I've said about the Wikipedia article, it's clear that my primary question is about percentage of words 'in the dictionary', though of course I'd be interested in usage statistics too. Nov 1, 2016 at 15:45
  • @qarma as you've been generous enough to place a bounty, feel free to edit the question with any other aspects you're interested in! Nov 1, 2016 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


Here is a statistics of percentage of Konglish in Korean, but it is written in Chinese and of course the data could not be accurate.

This statistics only accounts for daily conversations


50% of usual conversations are local, while among the another 50%:

  • Hanja accounts for 50 - 60%

  • Originated from English -> 20 - 30%

  • Originated from Japan -> 5%

If we talk about all words that could be written or used nowadays,

  • 70% are from China

  • 20% are local vocabularies

  • 10% are borrowed from the foreign countries

However there is no statistics for English-originated vocabs.

Reason why you could hardly find an exact statistics for Konglish words

  1. North Korea and South Korea uses different 외래어, so the statistics are different.

  2. More and more foreign vocabularies are imported to South Korea, which makes the statistics unstable. Some may try to quote figures on Konglish word percentage, but this percentage will go astray within a few years.

  • Pros: There are a lot of Chinese learners of Korean language, their forums get more traffic; There's shared CJK thing that may make it easier for a Chinese speaker to find Korean source. Cons: This is pure hear-say. Nov 7, 2016 at 17:24
  • @I don't think you have read my answer thoroughly. It is clearly stated that the statistics are never accurate, as revealed in the last column
    – user237
    Nov 8, 2016 at 0:40
  • @SuperCoolHandsomeGelBoy last section you mean?
    – busukxuan
    Nov 8, 2016 at 1:50

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