Documentary on Korean Dialects: 사투리의 눈물 : “콱 마! 궁둥이를 주차뿌까?”

4 September, 2012

This is an awesome and well-made documentary by MBC covering the dialects in Korea. Please watch it!

Seriously, I love Korean documentaries!

If you love Korean linguistics / dialects like me, you would know that it’s pretty rare to come across anything (online) that gives a good introduction to the various dialects spoken in Korea. Although this documentary is entirely in Korean, it is also entirely subbed (in Korean), so it makes for good reading / listening practice as well as learning something about dialects! ^^ 강추!!

The documentary talks about the general characteristics of dialects and goes on to show how dialects have been regarded as ‘countryside’ and ‘lower status’ in Korea and how it is fast disappearing, especially among the 20-30s.

The documentary starts with introducing 3 characteristics of the 경상도 사투리 which is spoken in Busan.

1. 성조 Intonation

Participants from Seoul and Busan were asked to say the following.

This was spoken by a Busan participant. While the Seoul participants pronounce 2 and E in exactly the same way, same intonation.

성조라는 것은 성대의 긴장을 수반하는 피치의 올림 –> 높낮이의 구별 능령이 있습니다. 서울말처럼 길이로 변별되는 언어는 발음은 수월하고 편한 것 같지만 (상대적으로) 변별력이 다소 떨어지는 그런 경향이 있습니다.

Intonation is very much a part of the Busan satoori while the Seoul standard uses more of vowel length and hence their ability to distinguish between different intonations is slightly lower.

2. 경제적 발음 (Economical way of pronunciation – easy on the tongue)

This is so.. linguistics xD The documentary talks about how the ㄱ consonant is pronounced inside of the mouth (I think it’s a palatal consonant) while ㅈ consonant is pronounced in front of the mouth, which makes it easier to pronounce, especially coupled with the ㅣ vowel, which is also in front of the mouth. This is why people from Busan tend to pronounce 기 as 지.

예) 기름 –> 지름, 김치–> 짐치, 물 깊다 –> 물 짚다

3. 다양한 어휘

If you think Seoul dialect has a lot of expressions.. think twice. All the expressions below is equivalent to 매우 많다 / 진짜 많다 / 정말 많다. O.o I never knew half of them.

씨부리다. If you are into k-movies, you should have heard this quite a number of times. Apparently its origins is a native Korean word 히부리다, meaning 말하다. In order to make it easier on the tongue, the ㅎ consonant changes to ㅅ and then gets reinforced to become ㅆ. Language is just so amazing.

Please don’t ask me why, but I love this screenshot 😛

I don’t know why I have such a strong love for dialects, and why I’m so sad that dialects are fast disappearing and replaced by the Seoul Standard.

Dialects are also disappearing in Singapore.. maybe I should learn to be a better speaker of my own dialect O.o

Love the following quote though.

I think it’s really sad that people get laughed at when they don’t speak in the standard way (this is not just talking about Korea). Some of my Korean friends refuse to speak in satoori because they find it awkward and I even have friends apologizing to me because they have the satoori accent O.o

So, I’m really happy that the recent drama 응답하라 1997 has brought back a little love and respect for the Busan dialect. Hopefully it will encourage more people to be proud of using their own dialects and to keep it going strong.

If there is a chance, I really really want to learn it!! Kudos to MBC for the awesome documentary!! ^^

사투리 억수로 좋아하는디!

p.s. I found this awesome 대구 사투리 사전!! For those who are interested in the Daegu dialect! ^^

    1. You’re so obsessed with Korea……….. Almost as obsessed as me, haha 😉 My dream is to be able to live in Korea or Japan as long as I want to. Sadly that will probably never happen. If I’m not mistaken that’s your dream too? You’re much closer than me to realizing that dream, and I’m sure with your determination you will be one of those few selected ones that make it.

      Native english speaker have it easy..(not you but Canadians and Americans etc)

      It’s kind of ironic that there probably is loads of Koreans who would love to live Singapore and change with you, but of course that is not possible. But if it Was the world would be a much happier place. If we just could switch problems with each other that fits our life better that would be perfect.

    1. Hey Shanna, today I am dropping by your blog and really enjoyed this article!!

      Do you have any recommended books for me to learn the Busan Satoori? I search over it and seems hard to found it.

      Thanks! 🙂

      1. thanks Jimmy! I don’t think there are books that you can learn satoori from (not that I know of). The best drama to learn from will be Reply 1997 (it’s an awesomeee drama)

    1. Hey thanks so much for this. Wanted to study more about Korean culture to know how to translate even though I speak a few languages to native level, but I just ummm cant translate things literally. like “Annyonghaseyo” means “How are you” instead of “Do you have peace???” etc… same for Chinese and English. studying for a better job =D

      1. haha sometimes literal translation doesn’t work so well!

    1. Hi Shanna^^
      I really loved this article and it was exactly what I was looking for!!!
      Your passion for Korean language and culture and your determination in learning every aspect of it is really admirable! Awesome job on your blog, really!!!
      I’m also really interested in learning about 사투리 and I wanted to ask you if you could recommend any videos that focus in particular on Gyeonggi-do dialects.
      Thank you and keep up the good work;D

      1. Thank you!! 😀 Sorry for the late reply and that your comment was wrongly processed by the blog ㅠㅠ You can watch Reply 1994 and Reply 1997. These dramas use dialects!! (: Reply 1997 is my favourite, you can start with that!!

    1. Hello! I just found your blog! The documentary isn’t on youtube anymore unfortunately 🙁 Do you know the name of the documentary by chance? I would love to watch it!

      1. Hi Michelle! I think it’s called 사투리의 눈물 (in the title). (:

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