I came across this tweet from VICE News researchers are making a dictionary for a Korea that doesn’t exist yet which has the tag:

North and South Korea Are Butting Heads Creating a Unified Dictionary

While it isn't necessarily that I don't believe that a unified North and South Korean dictionary doesn't exist, often times it is that linguistic resources get published to little acclaim and often go unnoticed by the general public.

Another scenario could be that comprehensive online sources do exist but have not been published.

For instance the video mentions how the word bento changed in the North and the South; Wiktionary has the word:


  1. '도시락'의 북한말.

Which mentions that it is the North Korean word for "lunchbox."

Does a unified North & South Korean dictionary really not exist?

  • 1
    British English and American English, they always communicate each other, they still understand the opponent's words even they don't use it. However, South & North Korea, cannot communicate. there is not use to make unified dictionary except scholarly pruposes.
    – mharti
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 2:29
  • 겨레말큰사전 will be the first unified dictionary.
    – Klmo
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 5:05

2 Answers 2


In fact, South Koreans are not very interested in the North Korean language.

Taking this question as an opportunity, I looked up the North Korean dictionary.

As a result, there seems to be nothing worth considering as a dictionary yet.

However, I was able to find a site provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry.

This is a dictionary service for language comparison between North and South Korea.


This site is a very small dictionary service that simply compares words.

The case of the above mentioned '겨례말큰사전' has not been completed yet.

The business of compiling dictionaries for several years has been sluggish.

If the '겨례말큰사전' is completed, it can be viewed as a complete dictionary.


겨레말큰사전 which has not been published yet will be the first unified Korean dictionary. It will be published in 2022.

Please refer to the below websites:

  1. Official website: https://www.gyeoremal.or.kr/index.php
  2. Encyclopedia of Korean Culture: http://encykorea.aks.ac.kr/Contents/Item/E0070640
  3. Wikipedia: https://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EA%B2%A8%EB%A0%88%EB%A7%90%ED%81%B0%EC%82%AC%EC%A0%84%EB%82%A8%EB%B6%81%EA%B3%B5%EB%8F%99%ED%8E%B8%EC%B0%AC%EC%82%AC%EC%97%85%ED%9A%8C

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