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Korean is the official language of North Korea and South Korea. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers. It was formerly written using Hanja, borrowed Chinese characters pronounced in the Korean way. In the 15th century a national writing system was developed by Sejong the Great, currently called Hangul. The genealogical classification of the Korean language is debated. Some linguists place it in the Altaic language family, while others consider it to be a language isolate. It is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax. The Korean names for the language are based on the names for Korea used in North and South Korea. In South Korea, the language is most often called Hangungmal, or more formally, Hangugeo or Gugeo. In North Korea and Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China, the language is most often called Chosŏnmal, or more formally, Chosŏnŏ. On the other hand, Korean people in the former USSR, who refer to themselves as Koryo-saram call the language Goryeomal. In mainland China, following the establishment of diplomatic relations with South Korea in 1992, the term Cháoxiǎnyǔ has normally been used to refer to the language spoken in North Korea and Yanbian, while Hánguóyǔ is used to refer to the language spoken in South Korea. Some older English sources also used the name "Korean" to refer to the language, country, and people. It is known that word Korean was referred from Goryeo, which is thought to be first dynasty known to western countries.