Then 한굴 Hangul is Korean for Korean as in the alphabet. And then it's either 한국말 or 한굴말 (Hangukmal or Hangulmal) for Korean language, as in spoken language. Mal just means language. I forget which one it is though, I think it's the former.
Japanese has a double system: kept the logographic characters from Chinese (the kanji), and has 2 additional syllabic alphabets (hiragana and katakana).
---------- Post added 2012-12-06 at 12:42 PM ----------
---------- Post added 2012-12-06 at 12:00 PM ----------
Take Hanguk for example 한국 , good example because it contains one of letter changing rules. It might look scary but that's just because Hangul organizes the letters of each syllable together, unlike English and most other languages. So the individual letters are this(With the pronunciation of those letters next to them): ᄒ(h) ᅡ(a) ᄂ(n) ᄀ(g) ᅮ(u) ᄀ(k)
Han is one syllable so the letters go together, and the same for guk.ᄀ Changes to a G sound if between vowels or if preceded by the letter ᄂ(n)
Free Korean lesson for you
Therefore it seems logical that while we're at it, might just as well reform the whole word into something easy. However, it's a riddle for me how we went from Nihon/Nippon to Japan... Seems quite a stretch
---------- Post added 2012-12-06 at 12:32 PM ----------
I find this curious too, specially because people don't translate brazilian cities. We (brazilians) say "Nova York" rather than "New York", "Carolina do Sul" rather than "South Carolina", "São Francisco" rather than "San Francisco"... but I never saw an american saying "January River" rather than "Rio de Janeiro", or "Saint Paul" rather than "São Paulo".