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A number of Korean dialects are spoken in the Korean Peninsula. The peninsula is extremely mountainous and each dialect's "territory" corresponds closely to the natural boundaries between different geographical regions of Korea. Most of the dialects are named for one of the traditional Eight Provinces of Korea. One is sufficiently distinct from the others to be considered a separate language, the Jeju language.
The standard language
In South Korea, Standard Korean (//pyojun-eo) is defined by the National Institute of the Korean Language as "the modern speech of Seoul widely used by the well-cultivated" (? ? ). In practice, it tends not to include features that are found exclusively in Seoul.
Korea is a mountainous country, and Korean is consequently divided into numerous small local dialects. There are few clear demarcations, so dialect classification is necessarily to some extent arbitrary. Nonetheless, the following divisions are commonly cited in the literature:
Ryukchin dialect (Yukchin): Spoken in the historical Yukchin region which is located in the northern part of North Hamgyong Province, far removed from P'y?ng'an, but has more in common with P'y?ng'an dialects than with the surrounding Hamgy?ng dialects.  Since it has been isolated from the major changes of Korean language, it has preserved distinct features of Middle Korean. It is the only known tonal Korean language.
A recent statistical analysis of these dialects suggests that the hierarchical structure within these dialects are highly uncertain, meaning that there is no quantitative evidence to support a family-tree-like relationship among them.
Outside of the Korean peninsula
Koryo-mar (Autonym /, Standard Korean: ), usually identified as a descendant of the Hamgy?ng dialect, is spoken by the Koryo-saram, ethnic Koreans in the post-Soviet states of Russia and Central Asia. It consists of a Korean base vocabulary, but takes many loanwords and calques from Russian language. It is mostly based on Hamgyong and Ryukchin dialect, since Koryo-saram people are mainly from the northern part of Hamgyong region.
Korean language in China () As discussed above, Koreans in China use a dialect nearly identical to Hamgy?ng dialect in North Korea, but there are still some differences, as the former has relatively more loanwords from modern Chinese.
Some researchers classify the Korean dialects in Western and Eastern dialects. Compared with Middle Korean, the Western dialects have preserved long vowels, while the Eastern dialects have preserved tones or pitch accent. The Jeju language and some dialects in North Korean make no distinction between vowel length or tone. But the Southeastern dialect and the Northeastern dialect may not be closely related to each other genealogically.