Extra! Korea

May 31, 2009

Two items of Korean language news

Filed under: languages — extrakorea @ 4:53 am

The Chosun Ilbo has two news items on the Korean language. The first one describes how, after nearly sixty years of separation, the languages of North and South Korea have diverged to the point that dictionaries are sometimes necessary. (You can watch an interesting video on this topic here, in case you’ve ever wondered how to say “nice legs” in North Korea (“darimae.”).) Of course, there isn’t just one North Korean dialect, which touches on the topic of the second item. Seoul has been declared to be the South’s official dialect, but you already knew that.
If the Korean peninsula is ever reunited, Seoul dialect is sure to become official all over the country, and I wonder how the North Koreans will feel about that, seeing as they’d have to re-learn about their own mother tongue.

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