I was watching a documentary about North Korean escapees living in China. It mentioned that some of these escapees were worried that their "North Korean" accent when speaking Mandarin would give them away and lead to their deportation.

Would a Mandarin speaker really be able to tell the difference between a North and South Korean accent in Mandarin? Is there any literature about Korean accents in Mandarin?

  • North and South Korean differ quite significantly, so I'd imagine there's a difference. – OmarL Sep 6 '18 at 9:05
  • I'm skeptical that an average Mandarin speaker would know enough about the Korean language to discern South/North Korean. But once you're outed as a Korean, it's not exactly hard to tell a South Korean tourist/businessperson from a North Korean refugee. Just ask for a passport, for example. – jick Sep 6 '18 at 17:19
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    This might be a Korean / Chinese > English translation problem: 조선 발음 / 朝鲜人口音 does refer to "North Korea", but for people of these nations it is a way of saying "Korea" in general (e.g. in Chinese, the "Korean peninsula" is the 朝鲜半岛). I doubt most Mandarin speakers in general could tell from the accent in Mandarin alone, although some of the more savvy ones might. – Michaelyus Sep 7 '18 at 16:07

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