Hangul, the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean. It was created in the mid-15th century, and is now the official script of both North Korea and South Korea and is co-official in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of Jilin Province, People's Republic of China.
Hangul is a true alphabet of 24 consonant and vowel letters. However, instead of being written sequentially like the letters of the Latin alphabet, Hangul letters are grouped into blocks, such as 한 han; each of these blocks transcribes a syllable. That is, although 한 may look like a single character, it is composed of three distinct letters: ㅎ h, ㅏ a, and ㄴ n. Each Hangul block consists of two to five letters, including at least one consonant and one vowel. These blocks are then arranged either horizontally from left to right or vertically from top to bottom. For a phonological description, see Korean phonology.