Introduction to Busan Dialect 부산 사투리

The Busan dialect has an interesting fundamental difference from the dialect spoken in Seoul. When questions are asked in Busan dialect, the question changes depending on if it’s a yes/no question or a question using a question word like where, who, or what. For example, where are you going? uses a different form than are you going to school?, which is a yes/no question. However, in Seoul, which is considered to be standard Korean, the question is the same in both cases, and this distinction is lost.

In the two months I’ve been living in Busan, I have come up against a few obstacles while studying Korean. First, all the materials I have for learning Korean focus on a type of polite speech called 존댓말. This type of speech is used with people you don’t know like shopkeepers or older people. However, when I meet people in cafes for language exchange, they usually speak using intimate language called 반말. It’s pretty simple to go from polite speech to intimate speech once you learn how, but it was just a bit of a mystery until I progressed far enough to learn.

The second issue is that people in Busan, of course, speak Busan dialect. Both the accent and the words used are different from the standard language spoken in Seoul. I haven’t been able to find much material on the Busan dialect, so I took notes whenever I met people for language exchange.

Eventually, I asked my friend, 정언 (Jeongeon) to explain the grammar to me and help me produce this post and the audio recording above. Many thanks for her patience. The notes below will be helpful for the audio recording above. Please leave comments.

Questions in Busan dialect can end in 노 when a question word is used or in 나 for yes/no questions.

Questions using 뭐, 어디, 언제, …

Present: verb stem + 노? Past: verb stem + 었/았노?

Examples:

어디 가노? Where are you going? 어디 갔노? Where did you go?

뭐 하노? What are you doing? 뭐 했노? What did you do?

뭐 마시노? What are you drinking? 뭐 마싰노? What did you drink?

뭐 먹노? What are you eating? 뭐 먹었노? What did you eat?

Note: ㅆ is pronounced as ㄴ.
Note: 마시다 would normally conjugate to 마셨노 but is pronounced 마싰노.

Questions with yes/no answer:

Present: verb stem + 나? Past: verb stem + 었/았나?

Examples:

집에 가나? Are you going home? 집에 갔나? Did you go home?

공부 하나? Are you studying? 공부 했나? Did you study?

맥주 마시나? Are you drinking beer? 맥주 마싰나? Did you drink beer?

김밥 먹나? Are you eating kimbap? 김밥 먹었나? Did you eat kimbap?

Statements are formed with the verb stem plus 는다, after consonant, or ㄴ다, after vowel. In past tense, add 었다 or 았다.

Examples:

집에 간다. I’m going home. 집에 갔다. I went home.

공부한다. I’m studying. 공부했다. I studied.

맥주 마신다. I’m drinking beer. 맥주 마싰다. I drank beer.

김밥 먹는다. I’m eating kimbap. 김밥 먹었다. I ate kimbap.

Note: here ㅆ is pronounced like normal batchim sound.

These forms work with the “want to” form V+고 싶다 as well.

Examples:

뭐 하고 싶노? What do you want to do?

공부 하고 싶나? Do you want to study?

공부하고 싶다. I want to study.

The future form can be written as verb stem + (으)ㄹ거다.

Examples:

내일 김밥 먹을거다. Tomorrow I will eat kimbap.

내일 맥주 마실거다. Tomorrow I will drink beer.

내일 공부할거다. Tomorrow I will study.

 

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