Korean dialects

Native speakers
76 million (2007)[1]
  • Korean
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

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:

A recent statistical analysis of these dialects suggests that the hierarchical structure within these dialects are highly uncertain, meaning that there is no quantitative evidence to support a family-tree-like relationship among them.[5]

Outside of the Korean peninsula



Hamgyŏng dialect

Ryukchin dialect


Pyongan dialect


Hwanghae dialect

Gyeonggi dialect

Yeongdong dialect

Chungcheong dialect


Gyeongsang dialect


Jeolla dialect


Jeju language

See also


  1. Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Korean". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Lee & Ramsey, 2000. The Korean language
  4. Janhunen, Juha (1996). Manchuria: An Ethnic History. Finno-Ugrian Society. ISBN 978-951-9403-84-7.
  5. Lee, Sean; Mokrousov, Igor (29 May 2015). "A Sketch of Language History in the Korean Peninsula". PLOS ONE. 10 (5): e0128448. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128448.
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