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[Korea Now] Viewers Charmed by Korea’s Dialects

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Viewers Charmed by Korea’s Dialects
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Korean dialects, often regarded as countrified or funny, are attracting viewers on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media. An increasing number of people are charmed by videos introducing the unique nuances and connotations that local dialects attach to familiar words or phrases.

Korean TV shows have emerged as rich sources of these local expressions. Coupang Play’s Boyhood, set in Onyang and Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province, introduces the Chungcheong dialect, while JTBC’s Welcome to Samdal-ri and tvN’s Marry My Husband introduce the dialects of Jeju Island and North Gyeongsang Province respectively.

As poor impersonations of dialects tend to ruin viewers’ immersion in a series or movie, videos satirizing awkward and exaggerated dialects have become popular, further heightening interest in local languages. Some videos that compare subtle differences in the dialects of Busan and South Gyeongsang Province versus Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province have attracted an impressively high number of views. Such social media content resonates with residents of both Gyeongsang provinces and shares regional expressions for various words or phrases in interesting ways.

“Dialect proficiency tests” and “dialect listening tests” that evaluate people’s command of provincial languages for fun are also popular. Local administrations are making considerable efforts to take advantage of this trend and publicize their towns and home bases through the increased use of local dialects.