Of those who speak Korean, how many are native speakers versus those who learn speak it as a secondary language?

  • This is an interesting question, and one that I've tried to get solid numbers on before. But would this question not be off-topic here?
    – user12
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 20:23
  • @dotvezz maybe it is off topic. Sorry I need to study the guideline more closely.
    – John
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 20:26
  • 6
    Surely this is a relevant question to people considering learning the language? Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 22:05
  • I think questions about counts of things are in a gray area since they could (and probably will) change over time, meaning that the answer could be very off in a year or more. Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


It is impossible to count either L1 or L2 speakers precisely, but rough estimates are possible. L1 speakers are more than 77 million. If you count the number of Korean speakers in other countries as L2, that totals almost 4 million. See Ethnologue's entry for Korean for further details.

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