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Korean dialects

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Title: Korean dialects  
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Subject: Korean language, Zainichi Korean language, Koryo-mar, Korean dialects, Infobox Korean settlement/testcases
Collection: Korean Dialects, Korean Language
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Korean dialects

Native speakers
76 million (2007)[1]
  • Korean
Hamgyoeng (NE)
Gyoengsang (SE)
Jeolla (SW)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kor
Glottolog kore1280[2]

A number of Korean dialects are spoken in the Korean Peninsula. The peninsula is extremely mountainous and each dialect's "territory" corresponds closely to the natural boundaries between different geographical regions of Korea. Most of the dialects are named for one of the traditional Eight Provinces of Korea. One is sufficiently distinct from the others to be considered a separate language, the Jeju language.


  • The standard language 1
  • Regional dialects 2
  • Outside of the Korean peninsula 3
  • Classification 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6

The standard language

  • In South Korea, Standard Korean (표준어/標準語) is defined by the National Institute of the Korean Language as "the modern speech of Seoul widely used by the well-cultivated" (교양있는 사람들이 두루 쓰는 현대 서울말). In practice, it tends not to include features that are found exclusively in Seoul.
  • In North Korea, the adopting proclamation stated that the Pyongan dialect spoken in the capital of Pyongyang and its surroundings should be the basis for the North Korean standard language (Munhwaŏ); however, in practice, it remains "firmly rooted" in the Seoul dialect, which had been the national standard for centuries.[3]

Despite North–South differences in the Korean language, the two standards are still broadly intelligible. One notable feature within the divergence is the North's lack of anglicisms due to isolationism and self-reliancepure/invented Korean words are used in replacement.

Regional dialects

Various words for "dragonfly" (Standard Korean of South Korea: 잠자리).

Korea is a mountainous country, and Korean is consequently divided into numerous small local dialects. There are few clear demarcations, so dialect classification is necessarily to some extent arbitrary. Nonetheless, the following divisions are commonly cited in the literature:

Outside of the Korean peninsula



Hamgyŏng dialect

Ryukchin dialect

Northwestern Pyongan


Hwanghae dialect

Seoul dialect

Yeongdong dialect

Chungcheong dialect

Southeastern Gyeongsang dialect

Southwestern Jeolla dialect

Insular Jeju language

See also


  1. ^ Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Korean".  
  3. ^ a b c d e Lee & Ramsey, 2000. The Korean language
  4. ^ Janhunen, Juha, 1996. Manchuria: an ethnic history
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