Sino-Korean word from 廣東.


  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [ˈkwa̠(ː)ŋdo̞ŋ]
  • Phonetic hangul: [(ː)]
    • Though still prescribed in Standard Korean, most speakers in both Koreas no longer distinguish vowel length.
Revised Romanization?Gwangdong
Revised Romanization (translit.)?Gwangdong
Yale Romanization?kwāngtong
Form from
광동(廣東) (Gwangdong)
Form from
Standard Mandarin
광둥 (Gwangdung)

Proper noun


광동 (Gwangdong) (hanja 廣東)

  1. Guangdong (a province of China)

Usage notes


From the first millennium until the 1980s, all Koreans referred to all place names in China by their Sino-Korean names.

In 1986, the South Korean government mandated that place names which have been used in modern China (defined as after 1911) should be referred to by transliterations of their Standard Mandarin names, while historical place names which have not been in use in modern times would still be referred to by their Sino-Korean names. Hence the ancient imperial capital of Chang'an would still be called 장안(長安) (Jang'an), while Xi'an, the modern city at the site of Chang'an, would be called 시안 (Sian) and not the traditional Sino-Korean 서안(西安) (Seoan).

This is currently enforced by Chapter 4, Section 2, Paragraph 2 (4장 2절 2항) of the Law of Foreign Words Notation.

South Koreans today have generally accepted the use of Mandarin forms for most modern Chinese place names, although the traditional Sino-Korean place names remain commonly used for:

  • Locations of cultural or historical importance such as 낙양(洛陽) (Nagyang, Luoyang), 황하(黃河) (Hwangha, Yellow River), and 태산(泰山) (Taesan, Mount Tai)
  • Certain large cities such as 북경(北京) (Bukgyeong, Beijing), 상해(上海) (Sanghae, Shanghai), and 청도(靑島) (Cheongdo, Qingdao), although the Mandarin forms are increasingly common for some of these, especially among younger speakers
  • Certain provinces such as 사천(四川) (Sacheon, Sichuan) and 길림(吉林) (Gillim, Jilin); again, the Mandarin forms are increasingly common for some of these

Use of such well-established Sino-Korean toponyms is permitted by Chapter 4, Section 2, Paragraph 4 of the Law. However, government institutions, most media outlets, and school textbooks use the new Mandarin-derived forms even for these.

In certain academic fields and literary genres in South Korea, it is conventional to only use Sino-Korean toponyms. In academia, this includes history, literary studies, and Chinese linguistics.

In North Korea and among Koreans in China, only the Sino-Korean forms are used.