Korean language in China

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Chinese Korean language
Traditional Chinese 中國朝鮮語
Simplified Chinese 中国朝鲜语
Chinese Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 중국조선말
Hancha 中國朝鮮말

Chinese Korean language (Chosŏn'gŭl: 중국조선말; hancha: 中國朝鮮말; RR: Jungguk Joseonmal) refers to the variety of the Korean language spoken by Ethnic Koreans in China, primarily located in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning.

All five dialects of Korean except for the Jeju dialect are spoken by members of the Korean diaspora who settled in China before 1949. The educational standard is North Korean.

Chinese Korean vocabulary is significantly similar to the North Korean standard, as is orthography; a major exception of orthography is that the spelling of some Chinese cities is different (e.g. 북경 vs 베이징); exceptions of vocabulary are all related to China.


Language standardisation[edit]

Due to the People's Republic of China having maintained favourable relations with North Korea, and also the proximity of the two nations, the standardised dialect of Korean amongst Chinese-Koreans is similar to that of North Korea.

Regional variations[edit]




The copula "-ᆸ니까/-습니까" in Standard Korean is rendered as "-ᆷ둥/-슴둥" in dialects of Korean spoken in Northeastern Jilin, and "-ᆷ니꺼/-심니꺼" in dialects spoken in Southwestern Heilongjiang.

At the same time, there are grammatical influences from Standard Chinese, for example:

  • 전화를 치다 "make a phone call" (Standard Korean: 전화를 걸다). In Chinese, the same sentence 电话 literally means to physically "hit" a telephone, hence the word 치다, "to hit", is used to describe making a phone call.
  • 무엇을 주면 무엇을 먹는다 "eat whatever is given" (Standard Korean: 주는 것은 다 먹는다)


Vocabulary is another differentiating factor in comparison with other varieties of Korean, with usage of words such as 개구리 and 개구락지 (frog). As a result of Chinese influence, there are many words that arise from Modern Standard Chinese.

Some words arise from the eum pronunciation of hanja, for example 공인 (工人, worker) and 판공실 (辦公室, office).

The vocabulary utilises many borrowings from Standard Chinese, for example, 뗀노 (from 电脑 diànnăo, computer) and 쌍발하다 (from 上班儿 shàngbānr + 하다, "to go to work").


  • 宮下尚子(2007)《言語接触と中国朝鮮語の成立》,九州大学出版会
  • 东北三省朝鲜语文工作协作小组办公室(1985)《朝鲜语规范集》,延边人民出版社
  • 宣德五、金祥元、赵习(1985)《朝鲜语简志》,民族出版社