Pyongan dialect

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Northwestern Korean
Native to North Korea, China
Region P'yŏng'an, Chagang, Liaoning
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
  • Northwestern
    • Pyongan
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog pyon1239[1]

The Pyongan dialect (평안도 사투리), alternatively Northwestern Korean (서북 방언, 西北方言), is the Korean dialect of the northwestern Korean peninsula and neighboring parts of China. It has influenced the standard language of North Korea, but is not the basis of it, which remains Seoul dialect.



In the Pyongan dialect an eight vowel system is used (이·에·애·으·어·아·우·오). The sound of 어 is much closer to that of 오 compared to other dialects. There are various features that differentiate the sound of words from southwestern and midland dialects. 위, 왜, 워 and 와 are closer to an original sound of 야, 여, 요 and 유.


The ㄷ (d) consonant, in addition to the first syllable of ㄱ (g) and ㅎ (h) are not palatalized in the Pyongan dialect (e.g. 뎡거댱, 정거장). Sino-Korean words beginning with ㄴ (n) in southern dialects are pronounced as ㄹ (r), as in the cases of 뉴행 and 노동.


Stems of the ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅅ irregulars use both forms, such as in the case of 듣다·드드니, 들으니 (listening, to hear).




Various words used in the Pyongan dialect differ to that of other Korean dialects, such as 간나 (sissy), 클마니 (father) and 클마니 (grandmother). The etymology of words such as "우틔" (衣) arises from the Manchu language.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Pyongan". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.