Jeju language

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jeju language
Jeju Island (red), where the language is spoken
Native toSouth Korea
RegionJeju Island
EthnicityJeju people
Native speakers
5,000 - 10,000 (2010)
  • Jeju language
Language codes
ISO 639-3jje

The Jeju language (Jeju: 제주말, Jeju-mal) is a Koreanic language spoken on the South Korean island of Jeju. It is related to Korean.

History[change | change source]

The Jeju language comes from Middle Korean, which is also the ancestor of the Korean language.

Jeju became a separate language from (mainland) Korean due to its isolation as an island and because in 1629, Jejuans were banned from leaving Jeju, causing more disconnection.

Usage[change | change source]

UNESCO lists Jeju as a "critically endangered" language, since most of its speakers are over the age of 70.[1] Younger Jejuans speak Korean instead. As of 2010, the language is spoken by 5,000 - 10,000 people, which is less than 2% of Jeju Island's total population.[1]

Dialect or language[change | change source]

Many linguists think Jeju is its own language, mostly because mainland Koreans cannot understand it.[2] Others think Jeju is a dialect of Korean, although a very different one. The local government calls Jeju as a separate language, and the idea of it being a language is becoming more accepted in both Korean and foreign academia. UNESCO listed Jeju as one of the world's languages in 2011.[2]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in danger". Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Distinct and Separate Language of Jeju Island". Day Translations Blog. 2014-12-29. Retrieved 2020-08-16.