Northern and Southern Korean

Today I found an interesting article about difference between the Korean spoken in North Korea and South Korea. Apparently the Korean spoken in North Korean has a different accent, archaic vocabulary, and lots of loanwords from Chinese and Russian, while in South Korea they have a lot of English loanwords. To South Koreans the Korean of North Korea sounds old fashioned and quaint. Some also see it as ‘pure’ as it has few loanwords from English.

The article mentions an app called Univoca, short for “unification vocabulary”, that is being developed to help North Korean defectors in South Korea to learn the Southern version of Korean.

Have you ever tried to learn a different dialect or regional variety of your language?

Have you changed your accent to fit in?

5 thoughts on “Northern and Southern Korean

  1. Once I had read an article about North and South Korean that said North tend to be more “sad” as to say “it is raining” in south and northern would say “the sky is sad”- the words and sentences according to the article would show how people in north really is.

    Answering the questions, yes Portuguese from Portugal is distinct from the one in Brazil.
    I’m from Rio de Janeiro with all sh sound, but as I have been leaving in Southern state of Rio Grande do Sul for the last 26 years, I lost most part of my original accent. People from south see I’m not from here, and people from Rio says I lot the accent and some think I’m from southern it is funny sometimes.

  2. Yes. I speak Hong Kong Cantonese. Hong Kong people like to use lots of English words when speaking. It is uncommon for other Cantonese speakers of Guangdong province to do this. When I speak to them, I don’t use those English words. I also speak slower when possible because it may be difficult for them to understand my accent if I am speaking too fast. Their speaking speed is slower than Hong Kong speakers.

  3. My original accent was south-west England. Moved to Swansea (Wales) for university and later became a teacher of English in a Swansea secondary school. Years of banter in classroom and staffroom led to a distinctly Welsh intonation to my speech.

  4. I meant to imply in above comment that the “strength” of a local accent is a factor in whether you acquire it or not. The Swansea accent is VERY strong and omnipresent. Likewise Glaswegian. Should think it’s hard to resist picking up those accents given long exposure and a positive attitude to the locality.

  5. The differing sources of loanwords between North and South Korea (Russian and Chinese vs. English) are obviously due to recent (c.65 years) political affiliations. Are there also more fundamental dialectal differences betweeen North and South? Perhaps the divergence is reinforced by being under separate jurisdictions.

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