The Korean language is an East Asian language spoken by about 80 million people. It is a member of the Koreanic language family and is the official and national language of both Koreas: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea), with different standardized official forms used in each territory. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County of the People's Republic of China.
Historical and modern linguists classify Korean as a language isolate; however, it does have a few extinct relatives, which together with Korean itself and the Jeju language (spoken in the Jeju Province and considered somewhat distinct) form the Koreanic language family. This implies that Korean is not an isolate, but a member of a small family. The idea that Korean belongs to the controversial Altaic language family is discredited in academic research. Korean is now often included in the Paleosiberian family, a group of ancient languages in Northeast Asia. The Korean language is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax.