Intonation in Korean as spoken in North Korea

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Hi all!
I am no great expert in Korean, but I hear it spoken quite often. And this thing always puzzled me:
Why is it that they seem to speak with such emphasis? such exaggerated tones? at least, on TV?
Is that the way they normally speak in everyday life?
This is nothing like what I hear from South Korean speakers, whether on television or in everyday life?
Is that a characteristic feature of North Korean?
 
  • Avant Gardener

    New Member
    English - North America
    People who are more familiar with everyday life in North Korea can weigh in, but this is not how most people speak. In fact the video is from a very famous announcer, 리춘히 (Ri Chun-hee), who popularized this kind of speaking style for North Korean broadcast. In the move "Parasite," when the characters begin to mimic North Korean broadcasters, it is probably 리춘히 who they are thinking of (consciously or unconsciously). While some political or official speeches may approximate 리춘히's speaking style, this is not how people talk for most occasions.

    Edit: This post originally responded to a video that has been taken down. Suffice it to say that you can find many examples of everyday speech in North Korea quite different from the famous news announcements if you look online. North Korean film also provides examples of more naturalistic dialogue.
     
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    pcy0308

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hello Setwale_Charm,
    Avant Gardener is spot on with the 리춘히 (Ri Chun-hee) reference. No, it is not how people talk up north. Checking out some YouTube videos on and interviews with North Korean defectors will give you a good idea of how North Koreans actually speak.

    Keep in mind the North Korea government - or should I say the Kim family's enterprise - is a single party dictatorship with a firm control over people, businesses, education, and media - or for that matter, what and how information is disseminated. I guess the broadcast/speech you see on TV is done so for many purposes, be it for the sake of emphasizing the regime's authoritativeness, power, control, and its firm grip over people and all things political, social and economic or with the purpose of creating this dignified, omniscient and allegedly "divine" façade of Kim's regime, just creating a political image that cannot be toppled.
     

    CharlesLee

    Member
    Korean
    Hi all!
    I am no great expert in Korean, but I hear it spoken quite often. And this thing always puzzled me:
    Why is it that they seem to speak with such emphasis? such exaggerated tones? at least, on TV?
    Is that the way they normally speak in everyday life?
    This is nothing like what I hear from South Korean speakers, whether on television or in everyday life?
    Is that a characteristic feature of North Korean?
    Hello,

    Yes, it became the feature of North Korean broad caster's tone.

    However, the tone of 리춘희 sounds like Korean's speech technique a little bit.

    The technique isn't different from South Korea, especially when appealing to feelings.

    These tones are what we also use in oratory or what we used to deliver a speech in the selection of the representatives.

    But 리춘희's speech is too long and sounds like protracted to me. That's why South Koreans consider them exaggerating.

    If you're really into the supreme speech style, the old Koreans with the gesture of Phoenix or Dragon are absolute goose bumps.

    And the royal family institution for foreigners was about the number of 600 people. They had an opportunity.

    But I do not know where the foreigners came from mostly. I'm just guessing they are probably Europeans or Americans including

    Russians.
     
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