Where is Korean spoken? Easy—the Korean Peninsula, right? North and South Korea, perhaps with a bit of spillover into northeastern China, with Korean-speaking communities found across the world in the vast Korean diaspora, particularly in the United States, Japan, and Canada. But wait—it’s more complicated than that. Did you know that an entire Korean sub-ethnic group, calling themselves the Koryo-saram, live throughout the former Soviet Union states, especially Uzbekistan, and that they have their very own language, a unique dialect of Korean, called Koryo-mar?
That’s right—there’s a unique Korean language native to Central Asia, still spoken today by perhaps as many as 200,000 people. It’s difficult to determine a precise figure, given the language’s precarious status as Russian, Uzbek, and other major languages gradually erode the unique vernacular. Unfortunately, Koryo-mar is endangered, with most younger Koryo-saram forgoing Koryo-mar and learning Russian, Uzbek, or other languages deemed more important. Thus, the majority of Koryo-mar speakers today are older, with most Koryo-saram only relying on the language to describe their unique Koryo-saram cuisine. Here at TranslationServices.com, we’re passionate about endangered languages like Koryo-mar, so we’re proud to provide our own translation services for the language.
If you’d like to see a free quote for our Koryo-mar translation services, reach out today and ask!
Koryo-mar: the Korean dialect of the Soviet Union
Koryo-saram communities across the former Soviet Union were established when ethnic Koreans, largely from modern-day North Korea, flocked to the region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, bringing their language with them. Today, they’re spread out mainly across Uzbekistan, Russia, and Kazakhstan, with smaller numbers in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Koryo-mar is mostly descended from the Hamgyŏng dialect of the northeastern portion of the Korean Peninsula, and despite being technically classified as a dialect, Koryo-mar is reportedly difficult for speakers of Standard Korean to understand.
The heavy usage of Russian among the modern-day Koryo-saram has impacted the way Koryo-mar has developed, which constitutes a contributing factor to the language’s relatively high mutual unintelligibility with Standard Korean. Generally, though, the language shares the same grammatical features and basic vocabulary as Korean, with its subject-object-verb word order and suffix-based noun cases. Koreanic languages are heavily context-dependent, with speakers routinely omitting the subject and even object when obvious through context. Another key feature of Koreanic languages, including Koryo-mar, is the strict honorific system, with the relationship and age between speakers dictating which of the several speech registers is appropriate.
Our passionate team of Koryo-mar translators is waiting for you.
It’s hard to find a translation company that will work with Koryo-mar, which is generally overlooked on the world stage—but at TranslationServices.com, we believe in the value of this unique tongue. That’s why we’ve looked all across Uzbekistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Koryo-saram communities elsewhere to bring you the best Koryo-mar translation talent we could find. Our translators are proud of their unique language and are eager to help clients from all around the world better communicate with their people. To this end, we offer translation services both to and from Koryo-mar, depending on your needs.
Our diverse translators also cover a wide range of translation types, from business translation and academic translation to literary translation, localization, and beyond. Due to the relatively low number of Koryo-mar speakers, we may not always be able to cater to the specific niche you’re looking for, but we’ve done our best to build a well-rounded team of translators experienced in different areas of Koryo-mar translation. Not only that, but many of our translators are also well versed in different fields, which means we can even translate technically dense material in a wide range of disciplines. We strive to provide the most comprehensive Koryo-mar translation services you can find on the web.
We’re eager to help you with your Koryo-mar translation project. Send us a message today to tell us the details of your project!