Embarrassing Korean language question

I tried google, but I can’t find an answer for something as rudimentary as this. My simple question is this: Do they speak the same dialect of Korean in N and S Korea? If not, is it as big of a difference as there is between Cantonese and Mandarin in China, or more of a North/South USA difference?

Well, I don’t know korean from greek myself, but wiki indicates that the same language is spoken in north and south korea, with only small dialectical variations. new yawk/midwest/southern/californian english seems like an appropriate analogy to me, though that’s kinduv a WAG.

A very good resource for this is the Ethnologue website. According to its page on Korean, not all dialects are easily understood by speakers of other dialects.

RE: Embarrassing Korean language question

I’m very disappointed with this thread chaoticdonkey.
I was expecting you to ask something along along these lines:
“My Korean language has developed reddish spots, and it burns when I use it.
Should I be concerned?”

Nah, that was syphillis. Thankfully, KL’s got it under control.

As far as I know the difference between Korean spoken in the North vs the South is more in the style of a Deep South vs Far North divide rather than Cantonese vs Mandarin.

I’d expect the main differences to come down to accent and word choice. Basically, it would sound odd but be generally understandable. As far as word choice goes I think the differences would mainly be in the amount of sino-derived korean used vs the amount of ‘pure’ korean [I’ve read that north koreans prefer to use mostly ‘pure’ korean as an extension of nationalist sentiment] as well using more ‘communist-friendly’ vocabulary, i.e. comrade vs hey-you.

Having heard North Koreans speaking, I’d say it’s just a matter of accent. A South Korean would understand a North Korean and vice versa as easily as a Texan understands a New Jersey-an… New Jersey-er… New Jers… screw it. Whatever. In any case, it’s pretty much the same. Remember, the country was only divided 52 years ago. Not much time for the language to divide so much that it’d be unintelligible to the other side.

I believe the term is “asshat.”