We propose a novel language model for Hangul text recognition. Without relying on prior linguistic knowledge in training, the proposed model learns variable length Hangul character sequences, which comprise the elementary tokens of Korean language, and their probabilities from statistics of a raw text corpus. Experiments in handwritten Hangul recognition shows that the proposed language model is effective in postprocessing of recognition results. (C) 2003 Pattern Recognition Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.