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Vernacular vs. Colloquial: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on December 29, 2023
Vernacular refers to the language or dialect spoken by the ordinary people in a particular region or country, while colloquial describes informal or conversational language style, often used in casual settings.
Vernacular vs. Colloquial

Key Differences

Vernacular language is the everyday speech of a particular region, often distinct from the standard or official language. It includes regional dialects and expressions. Colloquial language, however, is characterized by informal or familiar conversation, often using slang or idiomatic expressions, and is not necessarily tied to a specific region.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
Vernacular reflects cultural and regional identities through language, often passed down through generations. It can include unique vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Colloquial language, while informal, is more about the tone and casual nature of communication rather than the regional aspects.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
Vernacular is often used in literature and media to depict regional authenticity and cultural specificity. It helps in grounding characters and settings in a particular locale. Colloquial language, on the other hand, is used to convey a relaxed, informal conversational style, making dialogues more relatable and natural.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
Vernacular can sometimes be incomprehensible to those outside the region due to its unique linguistic features. It represents the linguistic identity of a community. In contrast, colloquial language, though informal, is generally more universally understood among speakers of the same language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
While vernacular language is often tied to a specific place or community, colloquial language changes more with time than with location. Colloquialisms can become widely recognized and used, transcending their original regional confines.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Language specific to a region or community
Informal, casual language style
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Usage

Reflects regional culture and identity
Used in casual, informal conversations
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Characteristics

Regional dialects, unique vocabulary
Slang, idioms, informal expressions
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Changes Over

More stable, linked to cultural heritage
Evolves with social trends and usage
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Accessibility

May be challenging for outsiders
Generally understandable among language speakers
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
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Vernacular and Colloquial Definitions

Vernacular

Native language or dialect of a specific population.
The novel was praised for its authentic vernacular dialogue.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Colloquial

Informal or conversational style of speaking.
His writing is known for its colloquial tone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Vernacular

Everyday language spoken by ordinary people in a region.
He wrote his poems in the vernacular to reach a wider audience.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Colloquial

Casual or familiar language used in informal settings.
His speeches are engaging due to his colloquial style.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Vernacular

Non-standard, regional form of a language.
The play's use of vernacular made it particularly resonant with local audiences.
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Colloquial

Everyday language featuring idioms and slang.
She captured the teenagers' voices with accurate colloquial language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Vernacular

Indigenous language distinct from the national language.
Folk songs are often composed in the vernacular.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Colloquial

Language characterized by informal expressions.
The book's colloquial dialogue makes it a relatable read.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Vernacular

The everyday language spoken by a people as distinguished from the literary language.
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Dec 10, 2023

Colloquial

Informal speech differing from formal or literary language.
The article uses colloquial terms to appeal to a younger audience.
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Vernacular

A variety of such everyday language specific to a social group or region
The vernaculars of New York City.
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Dec 10, 2023

Colloquial

Characteristic of or appropriate to the spoken language or to writing that seeks the effect of speech; informal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

The specialized vocabulary of a particular trade, profession, or group
In the legal vernacular.
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Colloquial

Relating to conversation; conversational.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Vernacular

The common, nonscientific name of a plant or animal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Colloquial

(linguistics) Characteristic of familiar conversation, of common parlance; informal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Native to or commonly spoken by the members of a particular country or region.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Colloquial

Of or pertaining to a conversation; conversational or chatty.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Using the native language of a region, especially as distinct from the literary language
A vernacular poet.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Colloquial

A colloquial word or phrase, colloquialism
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Relating to or expressed in the native language or dialect.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Colloquial

Pertaining to, or used in, conversation, esp. common and familiar conversation; conversational; hence, unstudied; informal; as, colloquial intercourse; colloquial phrases; a colloquial style.
His [Johnson's] colloquial talents were, indeed, of the highest order.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Of or being an indigenous building style using local materials and traditional methods of construction and ornament, especially as distinguished from academic or historical architectural styles.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Colloquial

Characteristic of informal spoken language or conversation;
Wrote her letters in a colloquial style
The broken syntax and casual enunciation of conversational English
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Occurring or existing in a particular locality; endemic
A vernacular disease.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Relating to or designating the common, nonscientific name of a biological species.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

The language of a people or a national language.
A vernacular of the United States is English.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Everyday speech or dialect, including colloquialisms, as opposed to standard, literary, liturgical, or scientific idiom.
Street vernacular can be quite different from what is heard elsewhere.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Language unique to a particular group of people.
For those of a certain age, hiphop vernacular might just as well be a foreign language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

A language lacking standardization or a written form.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Indigenous spoken language, as distinct from a literary or liturgical language such as Ecclesiastical Latin.
Vatican II allowed the celebration of the mass in the vernacular.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

(architecture) A style of architecture involving local building materials and styles, not imported.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Of or pertaining to everyday language, as opposed to standard, literary, liturgical, or scientific idiom.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Belonging to the country of one's birth; one's own by birth or nature.
A vernacular disease
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

(architecture) Of or related to local building materials and styles; not imported.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

(art) Connected to a collective memory; not imported.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Belonging to the country of one's birth; one's own by birth or nature; native; indigenous; - now used chiefly of language; as, English is our vernacular language.
His skill in the vernacular dialect of the Celtic tongue.
Which in our vernacular idiom may be thus interpreted.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

The vernacular language; one's mother tongue; often, the common forms of expression in a particular locality, opposed to literary or learned forms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

A characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves);
They don't speak our lingo
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

The everyday speech of the people (as distinguished from literary language)
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Being or characteristic of or appropriate to everyday language;
Common parlance
A vernacular term
Vernacular speakers
The vulgar tongue of the masses
The technical and vulgar names for an animal species
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 10, 2023

Vernacular

Language reflecting a community's cultural identity.
The vernacular expressions in her stories added a local flavor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does colloquial mean?

Colloquial refers to a casual, informal style of language, often used in conversation.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

How does vernacular language reflect culture?

Vernacular embodies regional cultural identities through unique expressions and vocabulary.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Is vernacular language always a dialect?

Often, but it can also be a language distinct from the national or official language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Do colloquial expressions vary over time?

Yes, colloquial language evolves with social trends and popular usage.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

What is vernacular language?

Vernacular refers to the native language or dialect of a specific region or community.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can vernacular become an official language?

Yes, in some cases, vernacular languages have been recognized as official languages.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Why is vernacular important in literature?

It adds authenticity and regional flavor, helping to depict characters and settings realistically.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can colloquial language be used in formal writing?

It's less common, but may be used for effect or to create a conversational tone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can colloquial language include slang?

Yes, colloquial language often incorporates slang and idiomatic expressions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

How do colloquialisms affect language comprehension?

They can make language more relatable but may confuse non-native speakers.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Is colloquial language less formal than vernacular?

Colloquial language is informal, but vernacular can be formal or informal, depending on the context.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Are colloquial terms accepted in formal documents?

Generally, they are avoided in formal writing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can colloquial language be part of a vernacular?

Yes, colloquialisms can be a part of the vernacular speech of a region.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Is vernacular language taught in schools?

This varies by region and educational policies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can vernacular language be standardized?

Attempts can be made, but its regional variations often resist standardization.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Why do people use colloquial language?

For ease, comfort, and to create a sense of familiarity in conversation.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can someone speak in a vernacular and colloquial style simultaneously?

Yes, vernacular speech can include colloquial expressions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Do translators face challenges with vernacular?

Yes, translating vernacular language can be challenging due to its cultural specificity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

How do vernacular and colloquial languages enrich a language?

They add diversity, depth, and cultural richness to a language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Does vernacular language change across generations?

Yes, but usually at a slower pace compared to colloquial language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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