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[Korea Quiz] Korean dialects

July 10, 2024 - 09:35 By Korea Herald

Find the answer at the bottom.

Due to topographical boundaries such as the country's mountainous terrain, along with administrative divisions, South Korea's regions have developed their own dialects over time.

Among them, the dialect spoken in the provinces of Chungcheong, the inland area situated in the mid-section of South Korea, is famous for its slow and drawn-out manner of speaking, as well as its adept use of metaphors and indirect expressions. This aspect is often used as comedy material.

A widely popular anecdote features a Chungcheong native delivering a warning in the leisurely speech patterns of the dialect: By the time he finishes uttering the warning, it is too late.

Chungcheong natives' reluctance to directly express their thoughts or desires is humorously illustrated in the following anecdote, which involves a customer inquiring about the price of a food item at a marketplace.

Customer: How much is this?

Merchant (a Chungcheong native): Give me as much as you like.

Customer: Is 3,000 won ($2.16) okay?

Merchant: Leave it. I’ll give it to my dog.

Standard Korean is defined by the National Institute of the Korean Language as "the modern language of Seoul commonly spoken by the cultured."

Although most local dialects are not very difficult for speakers of standard Korean to understand, primarily involving different pronunciations, intonations and names for certain things, the dialect spoken on the island of Jeju is an exception. Mainland Koreans would find it challenging to communicate with speakers of Jeju dialect, as it reportedly preserves some of the key features of medieval Korean. For this reason, some linguists even consider Jeju to have its own distinct language.

Answer: (a)

Korea Quiz