Dokdo Creole

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Dokdo Creole
Seal of North Gyeongsang.svg
The seal of North Gyeongsang Province, where Dokdo Creole is an official language in South Korea.
Created byJukethatbox
Native toSouth Korea, Japan
  • Macro-Altaic
    • Japonic/Koreanic
      • Dokdo Creole
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byThe Language Research Institute, Academy of Social Science
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Dokdo Creole, a.k.a Dokdoi, Takeshiman or Liancourt Creole(독도고, dogdo-go, Korean:독도어, dogdo-eo(Dokdo language), Japanese: 竹島方言, takeshima-hōgen(Takeshima dialect)) is a Korean-Japanese creole language spoken on the islands of Liancourt Rocks, known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese. Grammatically, it has been described as Japonic, however lexically it is a mixture of both Japonic and Koreanic languages.

In South Korea, specifically North Gyeongsang province, Dokdo Creole(독도어, dogdo-eo, lit. "Dokdo language") is the co-official language with Korean. Contrary to popular belief, Dokdo Creole is not considered a language in Japanese administration(specifically in Shimane prefecture), and is instead called the "Takeshima dialect"(竹島方言, takeshima-hōgen) in official documentation. Despite this, South Korea, as well as international consensus classifies Dokdo Creole as a seperate language from either Korean or Japanese.



Due to the wider administrative support of the Korean government in the preservation of Dokdo Creole, the language de-facto uses the Hangul writing system, which is of Korean origin, and indeed, on the Korean-controlled half of Liancourt Rocks, known in Korean as Seodo(서도), all signs are written in Korean and Dokdoi, both in Hangul. On the Japanese-controlled island of Onna-jima(女島), Dokdoi is not considered a separate language and instead as a dialect of Japanese, thus all signs on the island are written in Standard Japanese. This also explains why the Sōdo dialect, native to Seodo, is much more widely spoken than the Dukdo dialect which is native to Onna-jima.


Most of Dokdoi romanisation is based on Korean romanisation, apart from special symbols like ō, ê, ö and ü.

Latin a ō e ê o u ö ü
IPA a e æ o u ø y
Latin n m b p j ch d t g k h ng s z
IPA n m b p d t g k h ŋ s z


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive p b t d ɟ  k ɡ
Fricative s z h
Approximant j
Flap ɾ
Hangul (consonants)
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal ɲ
Plosive ɟ  
Approximant j

Monophthong /j/, /ɲ/, /ɟ/ do not have a Hangul symbol, instead being represented in diphthongs with vowels, e.g. /ja/ as 야.

/tɕ/ - ㅊ
/dʒ/ - ㅈ


Front Central Back
Close i y u
Close-mid e ø o
Near-open æ (ɐ)
Open a

(⟨ㅇ⟩ at the beginning of a syllable represents no sound. At the end of a syllable, it represents the consonant /ŋ/.)

Hangul (vowels)
Front Central Back
Close 이 위
Close-mid 애 외
Near-open (ɐ)

⟨야⟩ - /ja/
⟨얘⟩ - /je/
⟨요⟩ - /jo/
⟨유⟩ - /ju/
⟨여⟩ - /joː/
⟨예⟩ - /jæ/



In Dokdo Creole, primary stress is placed on the first syllable of a word, whereas secondary stress is, for the most part, placed on the last syllable of a word.


Dokdo Creole uses a (C)V(C) syllabic structure. This means that some words of Japanese origin(which uses a (C)V structure) like yama(山, mountain) becomes yam(얌, mountain).


Japanese kuruma(車, car) → Dokdoi gurōm(구럼, car/automobile) → Dokdoi gurōmdōro(구럼더로, highway, motorway, (infrequent) asphalt)
Japanese gin(銀, silver) → Dokdoi ging(깅, money)



In Dokdoi, there are two main verbs per se: both ending in da. These two verbs are to have and to be. To have is o/a + da(if the preceding word ends in a vowel, ada is used), e.g. tasu ada(타수아다, (I) have a cup). To say something is something else, one simply uses da(or dayo in the Dukdo dialect), e.g. (yong) a aho da((용)아아호다, (I) am an idiot).


Constituent order

Dokdoi, like Japanese, uses an SOV(subject-object-verb) grammatical structure, e.g. inu ga gong oda.(인우가공오다.)(the dog has a ball, lit. dog TOP ball has).

Noun phrase

인우투갼 (inu tu gyan)
lit. dog and cat

The above sentence translates to "The dog and the cat". In Dokdoi, articles like "the" are not used unless you specify the location, e.g. "안우인우(anu inu)", or lit. "the dog (over there)".

Locational articles

anu(안우) - that (one thing, over there)
enu(앤우) - this (next to me)
anugu(안우구) - that (multiple things, over there)
enugu(앤우구) - this (multiple things next to me)


anu byochug(안우뵤축) - that anomaly
enu amsōng(앤우암성) - this man
anugu amsōngadê(암성앋에) - those men
enugu singsadê(앤우구싱사데) - these shrines

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase


Dokdoi has two main dialects: the Dukdo dialect and the Sōdo dialect.


Dukdo(둨도), a.k.a eastern dialect(히가쌔후겐, higaze hugên) is spoken mainly on the Japanese-controlled island of Onna-jima(임지마, imjima). Lexically, it is the more Japonic of the two dialects, which leads to some differences in words, even if they are of the same root, e.g. singsa(싱사) in Sōdo and jinja(진자) in Dukdo, both of which come from Japanese jinja(神社).

Additionally, Dukdo tends to have more diphthongs with /n/, compared to Sōdo which tends to turn /n/ into /ŋ/ in diphthongs. For example, Sōdo anyōngan(안영안) and Dukdo ênyunan(엔유난). Also, Dukdo has more /æ/s than Sōdo, which tends to have more /e/s.


Sōdo(서도), a.k.a western dialect(니지후겐, niji hugên) is spoken mainly on the South Korean-controlled island of Seodo, where the dialect gets its name. It is the more widely spoken dialect of Dokdo Creole, with about 6,000 more native speakers than Dukdo(with 5,000 native speakers). Lexically, it has larger Koreanic influences than Dukdo, but Japonic influence can still be seen, especially in words for nature, cardinal directions, body parts and animal parts.

Example texts

In English:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

In Dokdo Creole(Dukdo):

잉앤데아태누다헤분다투히토주다데욤투진산.갈데아이선투유주훈부여단,투오타구데내아니데툼누새진아카도하수.(ingendê a tenuda hêbunda tu hitojuda dê yom tu jinsan. kardê a isōn tu yujuhun buyōdan, tu otagudê ne anidêtum nu sejin akado hasu.)

In Dokdo Creole(Sōdo):

잉앤대아태누다해분다투히투추대재옴투친상.갈대아이성투유주훈부여당,투오타구대내아니데툼누새친아타도해야(ingende a tenuda hebunda tu hitochude je om tu chinsang. karde a isōng tu yujuhun buyōdang, tu otagude ne anidêtum nu sechin akado heya.)

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