Jeolla dialect

Southwestern Korean
Native to South Korea
Region Honam
  • Jeolla
  • Northern
  • Southern
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog chol1278[1]
Jeolla dialect
Hangul 전라도 방언
Hanja 全羅道方言
Revised Romanization Jeolla bangeon
McCune–Reischauer Chŏlla pangŏn

The Jeolla dialect of Korean (also known as Cholla; Hangul: 전라도 방언/사투리 , hanja: 全羅道方言 ), or Southwestern Korean, are spoken in the Honam region of South Korea, including the city of Gwangju. This area was known as Jeolla Province during the Joseon.

Like the Chungcheong dialect, the Jeolla dialect is considered non-standard. Perhaps the most obvious difference comes from common verb endings. In place of the usual -seumnida (습니다 [sɯmnida]) or -seyo (세요 [sɛjo]) endings, a southern Jeolla person will use -rau (라우 [ɾau]) or -jirau (지라우 [tɕiɾau]) appended to the verb. For a causative verb ending, expressed in standard language with a -nikka (니까 [nik͈a]) ending, Jeolla people use -ngkkei (능게 [ŋk͈ei]), so the past tense of the verb "did" ("because someone did it"), haesseunikka (했으니까 [hɛs͈ɯnik͈a]), becomes haesseungkke (했승게 [hɛs͈ɯŋk͈e]). A similar sound is used for the quotative ending, "somebody said...". The usual verb endings are -dago (다고 [tako]) and -rago (라고 [ɾako]). Jeolla dialect prefers -dangkke (당게 [taŋk͈e]).

Regarding pronunciation differences, there is often a tendency to pronounce only the second vowel in a diphthong. For example, the verb ending that indicates "since", -neundae, becomes -neundi (는디). The name of the large city of Gwangju (광주) becomes Gangju (강주), and the verb 'to not have, to be absent', eopda 없다, becomes very close to upda (웂다). There are some words that are unique to the dialect as well: utjeseo (웆제서) for "why", sibang (시방) for "now", and dwitgan (뒷간) for "outhouse". Jeolla dialect speakers have a tendency to end their sentences with -ing, (잉) especially when asking a favor. This can be compared to the word "eh," as used by some Canadians.

Pansori texts are written in the Jeolla dialect.[2]


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Chollado". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 7, p. 935
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