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This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Friday, 7 March 2014

HanGung-mal, i-ssibal saekki-ya! Mal hae?, Part III: Jeju Dialect

Still don't get it? Please watch Running Man Special: Jeju Race, featuring Shin Se-kyung and Cha Tae-hyun.
Jeju dialect (Hangul/Hanja: 제주방언/濟州方言) is the dialect used on the island of Jeju in Korea, with the exception of Chuja-myeon in Jeju City. It differs greatly from the dialects of the mainland, and preserves many archaic words which are lost in them. It has borrowed many words from Manchurian, Chinese, Japanese,and especially Mongolian,and there are many words which appear to be original formations (possibly from the language of Tamna).

The name is transcribed Jeju in Revised Romanization and Cheju in McCune Script. In Korean, it is known as 제주 방언/濟州方言/Jeju bang-eon, 제주 사투리/Jeju saturi, 제주어/濟州語/Jejueo or 제주말/Jejumal. The last covers both language and dialect. Although many Koreans, including those who speak Jeju, consider Jeju a dialect of Korean, it can be considered a separate language because it is nearly mutually unintelligible with Korean dialects of the mainland. It has been recognized as a distinct language locally and by UNESCO.

There are 5,000–10,000 fluent speakers, all born before 1950. Jeju was once spoken across Jeju Island, apart from the Chuja islands in Jeju City, where the Chuja dialect, a variety of the Jeolla dialect, is spoken. It also survives in diasporic enclaves in Japan. In January 2011, UNESCO added Jeju to its Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger as a "critically endangered language".

The large amount of words from Mongolian is a natural result of the 100 years of Mongolian rule on the island, and a large number have to do with horses. Another difference is the slightly different intonation of words. The Jeju Dialect tends to use more stress on certain syllables.

One large difference is the seeming lack of formality and deference to elders. For example, while a speaker of the Seoul Dialect might say annyeonghaseyo (“Hello”) to an older person, a speaker of the Jeju dialect would say 반갑시오 (ban-gapsio) (“How do you do?”) or
반갑수다 ban-gapsuda, which is roughly equivalent to "Howdy, partner". In mainland Korea it would be inappropriate for a child to say this to an adult, but this usage is acceptable in Jeju.

Even dumbfounded Lee Kwang-soo, Shin Se-kyung and Yoo Jae-seok can't understand Jeju Dialect!