Seoul dialect

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The Seoul dialect (서울말) is the basis of the standard language of Korean in South Korea. It is spoken in the Seoul National Capital Area, which includes Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi. The dialect does not merely mean 'a standard accent'. The exact form of the South Korea's standard accent is that of broadcast news readers.

The vowels for e and ae are merged for young speakers. Vowel length is not distinguished consistently, if at all.

Among young speakers or in informal contexts, the postpositions -do (-도, "also"), -ro (-로, "to") and -go (-고, "and then") and their derivatives tend to be pronounced with -du (-두), -ru (-루) and -gu (-구). The sentence-final verb ending -yo tends to be pronounced with a schwa, which is sometimes transcribed as -yeo (-여) on the Internet in informal contexts.

Samchon (삼촌, "uncle") is usually pronounced as samchun (삼춘).

Young Seoul dialect speakers tend to end interrogative sentences (questions) with -nya? (-냐?). They also use unique intonations slightly different from those used by broadcast news readers. The informal ending -eo (-어) is also used quite commonly in both Seoul dialect questions and sentences.

Variations in accent

The Seoul accent can be divided into three variations: conservative, general, and modified. The conservative form is often found in those who have been born or have lived in Seoul before the industrialisation in the 1970s (i.e. old natives in Seoul). To...
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