Published September 20, 2019
This video was recorded by Alaric Naude in South Korea. Jeju, or 제주 방언 (濟州方言), is spoken primarily on Jeju Island, which is also the Jeju Province of South Korea. UNESCO considers it a critically endangered language, meaning that the intergenerational transmission of the language is in rapid decline. The result is that most Jeju speakers are elders rather than children. However, the Jeju National University Foreign Language Institute is making strides to support the language community, and past efforts have produced a Jeju-to-Korean dictionary as well as the Jeju Development Institute. To bring Jeju out of its critically endangered status, the community will require adequate governmental support for Jeju education, as well as a reversal of the changes in cultural and generational divides that reduce the number of children learning the language. Jeju is spoken by under 10,000 people with around 5,000 native speakers predominantly on Jeju Island. It is a Sillan language of the Han branch of the Koreanic language family.