Category Archives: Dialects

Dialect – 우리 친구아이가 (Busan)

Some dialects ought to be classified as a completely different language whereas others just “sound funny”. 제주도 dialect has a reputation for belonging to the former category while most other dialects can supposedly be cracked with a bit of patience and a sense of humour.

부산 dialect has a reputation for being really strong and even using alternative grammar patterns for some expressions. My LP has family in Busan so we talked a bit about dialects over lunch the other day. The movie 친구 is often quoted for the line “우리 친구아이가” (in standard Korean: 우리 친구잖아). Actually this particular sentence pattern and sample sentence is also covered in a TTMIK dialect lesson, but it was immortalised in the movie 친구.

The 아이가 ending looks fairly random at first, but it comes from 아니다. For Danish speakers it will not sound that weird since it corresponds to our own slightly odd way of using the word “ikke” (literally “not”) at the end of a sentence to ask a question informally (ik’?). In comparison, in English you would have to say “isn’t it?”, which can in some situations make it sound a bit more like an afterthought where you ask for confirmation compared to if just saying “right?”.

I’m often surprised by the similarities between Danish and Korean. They look so different, and yet there are some surprising similarities.