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Korean language usage by Korean Americans on the decline

December 16, 2014
college expo

About 51 percent of second-generation Korean Americans speak Korean at home.

Korean language use by Korean Americans is on the decline, according to a report released Sunday by the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College in New York.

About 51 percent of second-generation Korean Americans speak Korean at home, compared to 94 percent of first-generation immigrants and 78 percent of 1.5-generationers (those who immigrated to the U.S. before 12 years of age), according to the center.

Of married second-generation Korean Americans overall, only 29 percent maintained Korean usage in comparison to 56 percent of those who were not married.

And while 82 percent of Korean Americans who married first-generation Koreans used Korean at home, the number was 14 percent for those who married second-generation Koreans.

The percentage of Korean Americans who use Korean was 31 percent for those who married Asian Americans and 13 percent for those who married whites, the report said.

That about 55 percent of all American-born Korean Americans marry non-Koreans affects Korean language usage, said Pyong Gap Min, center director and Queens College sociology professor.

Min said it’s easier for 1.5-generation Koreans to maintain Korean speaking, especially with the increased convenience of watching Korean television through a variety of mediums.

Overall, 79 percent of the entire Korean American population regardless of generation use Korean, lower than Vietnamese Americans at 87 percent, Chinese Americans at 82 percent and Indian Americans at 80 percent.

2 Comments

  1. Edward

    December 16, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Bound to happen.

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