Hamgyŏng dialect

Northeastern Korean
Native to North Korea, China
Region Hamgyŏng, Jilin
  • Hamgyŏng
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog hamg1238[1]
Hamgyŏng dialect
Chosŏn'gŭl 함경도 방언
Revised Romanization Hamgyeongdo Bang'eon
McCune–Reischauer Hamgyŏngdo Pang'ŏn

The Hamgyŏng dialects, or Northeastern Korean, is a dialect of the Korean language used in southern North Hamgyŏng, South Hamgyŏng, and Ryanggang Provinces of North Korea, as well as the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of northeast China. It is one of the more divergent dialects of Korean, and contains intonation, vocabulary, and grammatical differences that distinguish it from the standard Korean of the north or south.

Specific vocabulary differences include kinship terminology. For example, "father", in standard Korean abŏji (아버지), becomes abai (아바이) or aebi (애비).[2]

It is reflected in Koryo-mar, the dialect of Korean spoken by ethnic Koreans in the former USSR, as most of them are descendants of late 19th-century emigrants from Hamgyŏng province to the Russian Far East.[3] The first dictionary of Korean in a European language, Putsillo 1874's attempt at a Russian–Korean dictionary, was based largely on the Hamgyŏng dialect; the author lived in Vladivostok while composing it.[4]


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Hamgyongdo". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. Kwak 1993, p. 210
  3. Kim 2007, p. 103
  4. Hub et al. 1983, p. 60


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