Hogen

An Atlas of Japanese Dialects

Tuesday
Aug202013

At the Beach in Fukuoka

   Noticed this sign at the beach the other day. Can you spot the Hakata-ben (博多弁, Hakata dialect)? And can you change the sign to make it even more Hakata-ben-ppoi  (博多弁っぽい), that is make it look more like the Hakata dialect?

Sunday
Jun262011

How d'ye do?

   This search turned up very few hits. It seems people all over Japan utters the standard phrase “Hajimemashite” (初めまして) when meeting someone for the first time. That’s to be expected, I suppose. Why, even loquacious Americans can become rather stiff and uncomfortable around strangers. Dôzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

 Aomori

   In Hachinohe

      はじめやんして

      Hajime yanshite

         (Possibly used throughout the former Morioka han, present-day Aomori and Iwate.)

Miyage

   ど~も~

   Dômô

   In Nishimorokata-gun

      はじめっじゃんそか

      Hajimejjannsoka

         (Standard Japanese: はじめてでしょうか)

   In Sendai

      おんや、まんずまんず

      Onya, manzumanzu

         (Can also be used when you receive something.)

Akita

   あら、初めでだんしな

   Ara, hajime dedannshina

   はずめでだんす

   Hazume dedansu

      (~だんす, dedansu is Akita-ben for desu)

   Southern Akita prefecture

      あったことねぇやな、はじめてだよな

      Atta koto nê yana. Hajimete dayona

         (A casual way of saying to a friend’s friend, “We haven’t met, have we? How d’ye do?)

Fukushima

   ちわ~

   Chiwah

      (Probably a contraction of konnichiwa) 

Chûbu - Niigata

   初だの~

   Not sure if this is read “Hatsu da noh” or “Haji da noh”, but it’s probably the latter.

   Sado-ben, spoken on Sado Island

      どこさんさぁ

      Dokosansâ

         (Because it’s an island and everyone already knows everyone else rather than say, Nice to meet you, they ask where you’re from: どこの出身 -- Doko no shusshin?)

Aichi -  Nagoya-ben

      おみゃあさん、はじめてだなも

      Omyâsan, hajimete danamo

         (Apparently only older women use this phrase nowadays)

Kansai - Ôsaka

   まいど

   Maido!

      Seems like they say this a lot in Ôsaka.

Shikoku - Tokushima

   おうたことないんちゃう

   Ôta koto nain chau

      (Standard Japanese: 今までに会ったことはないでしょうか -- We haven’t met before, have we?)

Okinawa

   はじみてぃ、やいびーんやーさい

   Hajimichi, yaibîn yâsai

      (A casual, and rather long way of saying hajimemashite)

Tuesday
Jun142011

Hakata Ben

Hakata Yamakasa Gion Festival 

  There are a number of dialects found throughout Japan, the most famous of which is the Kansai dialect, known as Kansai-ben. It is spoken by the people of Ôsaka and its environs and commonly used by comedians, many of whom hail from the region.

   Hakata-ben the dialect spoken in and around Fukuoka City is another well-known patois. In addition to many other idiosyncrasies, it uses the suffix "-to" to mark the past tense and questions.

   For example, "What are you doing?" in Standard Japanese is "Nani o shite iru no?" In Hakata, however, people often use either of these two phrases: "Nanba shiyotto?" or "Nan shitôtô?"

   The most widely known phrase in Hakata-ben is Tottôto (とっとーと). This means to take something for oneself or reserve something, as seen in the following examples:

A. この席、とっとーと?

Kono seki tottôto?

Is this seat taken?

B. とっとーと。

Tottôto.

Yes, it’s taken.

 

E. あんた、お菓子たべんと?

Anta okashi tabento?

Aren’t you going to eat the sweets?

F. あとで、食べるけん、とっとーと。

Atode taberuken, totôto.

I’m going to eat them later, so I’ve “got dibs” on them.

   In the video below, AKB48's Mariko Shinoda speaks in Hakata ben to her friend back in Fukuoka.

   Recently, a new souvenir has gone on sale in Fukuoka. Called Tottôto, it is a pie made with sweet bean filling. We recommend it. The commercial for this confectionary is quite entertaining. Have a look:

For more on Japanese dialects click

Written by Yokorômons, edited by Aonghas Crowe

Sunday
Jan302011

Three days from today

 

 Who knew that a word as quotidian as "three days from today" could be said in so many different ways? Shiasatte (明明後日) is the standard way to say three days from today or two days after tomorrow in Japanese. Why people here just don't say, "See you on Wednesday", I do not know. 

   + Shiasatte, shâsatte, shigâsatte, shinoasatte, shirasatte, and so on.

    Sâsatte, sannasatte

    Yanoasatte, yanâsatte, yanasatte, yaneasatte, yaniasatte

    sakibusatte

   X Yûka, sonayûka

    Asachisunâcha

Tuesday
Jan042011

T'anks!

Visiting Kyōto last month, it didn’t take long before I heard one of the more commonly known regionalisms: Ōkini. The singsong way the people of Kyōto say, "Thank you", made me wonder if there were other ways in Japan of expressing one’s gratitude. I was surprised by what I discovered. I have put together a list of some of these local sayings.

 

Incidentally, the original meaning of arigatō (有り難う) conveyed the sense that the thing you were thanking a person for had been difficult for them to do (有るものが難しい) and you felt bad for having them do it. Dōmo (どうも) comes from dōshite-mo (どうしても), and emphasizes the feeling of gratitude or regret.

 

  Hokkaidō

1. Hokkaidō

Hokkaidō-ben

  どうも!

    Dōmo!

(Common among friends.)

  どうもね!

    Dōmo-ne!

(Same as saying dōmo.)

有り難う

  Arigatō!

(Standard Japanese.)

なんも、なんも

  Nanmo, nanmo!

(Includes the feeling of sorry, don’t worry about it.)

 

  Tōhoku 

2. Aomori

Tsugaru-ben

  ありがどごしてす

    Arigado goshidesu!

(This is the polite form.)

  めやぐだの~

    Meyagudanoh!

(Similar to saying meiwaku-o kakemashite sumimasen, sorry for causing you trouble.)

  どうも

    Dōmo!

(Same as Aomori.)

3. Iwate

4. Miyage

5. Akita

ぶじょほーだんし

  Bujohohdanshi!

(Originates from the word buchōhō, meaning carelessness or blunder, sorry about that.)

どんも、おぎぃなぁ

  Donmo, ogi-nā!

おぎぃ

  Ogi!

(Southern Akita prefecture, i is shortened with falling accent.)

6. Yamagata

Yonezawa-ben

  おしょうしな

    Oshōshina!

(Not commonly used among youths.)

Shōnai-ben (northwestern Yamagata)

  もっけだ

    Mokkeda!

(Can be used to mean arigatō, gomen, dōmo, and so on.)

7. Fukushima

 

  Kantō

8. Ibaraki

Ibaragi-ben

  どーもね

    Dōmo-ne!

9. Tochigi

 すいません

  Suimasen!

(Used when receiving something.)

10. Gunma

11. Saitama

Chichibu Region

  わりぃねぇー

    Warine~!

(Saying warui-ne but including the feeling of gratitude.)

12. Chiba

13. Tōkyō

Arigatō!

14. Kanagawa

 

  Chūbu

15. Niigata

いかったいね

  Ikattaine!

あんがとの

  Angatono!

(Means arigatō-ne.)

おーぎにはや

  Ōginihaya!

(North-central Niigata prefecture. Nearly extinct saying.)

いやいやいやいや、ど~もっス

  Iya iya iya iya, dōmossu!

    (May be a personal tick.)

16. Toyama

 あんがとう

  Angatō!

  (Seems to be falling into disuse.)

Toyama-ben

  気の毒な

    Kinodoku-na!

(Expresses regret at having troubled someone by doing something for you.)

  だいてやっちゃ

    Daiteyaccha!

(Used when someone treats you to dinner or drinks.)

17. Ishikawa

Kanazawa-ben

  あんやとごぜえみす

    Anyato gozēmisu!

  あんやと

    Anyato!

18. Fukui

19. Yamanashi

20. Nagano

Shinshū-ben

  あいとうですぁ

    Aitō desu-a!

(Intonation similar to Kansai dialect. Desu-a is a contraction of Desu-wa.)

Īda-ben

かんな

    Kanna!

(Kaniya is also said.)

  おかたしけ

    Okatashike!

(May be a corruption of katajikenai, which means to be grateful.)

  おしょーしー

    Oshōshī!

(Second and third syllables are extended. Includes the feeling of obligation and gratefulness.)

  うれしいに

    Ureshi-ni!

(Means one is happy/delighted, but conveys the same meaning as arigatô.)

  ありがとや

    Arigatoya!

(Arigato-na! is also possible.)

21. Gifu

22. Shizuoka

Enshū-ben

  ありがとね

    Arigato-ne.

23. Aichi

Nagoya-ben

  ありがと

    Arigáto!

(Accent on the ga, shortened to.)

  ありがとさん

    Arigato-san!

(A casual way to say thanks.)

 

  Kansai

Ōkini!

Maido ōkini!

24. Mie

 おおきにいー

  Ōkinī!

   (Accent on the final syllable.)

25. Shiga

26. Kyōto

  おおきに

   Ōkini!

(More common among the elderly. Intonation is important.)

27. Ōsaka

 おおきに

   Ōkini!

 ありがとー

  Arigatoh!

(Intonation is key, rising on last syllable.)

 ありがとさん

   Arigato-san!

まいどおおきに

  Maido Ōkini!

(Used when, for example, thanking someone for their continued patronage.)

28. Hyōgo

 Yura-ben (Awaji-shima)

   おおきによ

    Ōkiniyo!

 

29. Nara

30. Wakayama

 

  Chūgoku

31. Tottori

 Yonago-ben

  だんだん

    Dandan!

(Not common with younger residents of Yonago City.)

 ようこそ

  Yōkoso!

(In standard Japanese this phrase is said when expressing the gratitude felt when someone visits you.)

32. Shimane

33. Okayama

 ごめんよぉ

  Gomenyō!

   (Used by women. Accent on go.)

 わりいなぁ

  Wariinā!

すまんなぁ

  Sumannā!

(These two are used by men.)

34. Hiroshima

 ありがとね

   Arigato-ne!

(Accent placed on the ga and ne.)

 すまんのう

  Sumannō!

(Similar to sumimasen in meaning. More common among the elderly.)

35. Yamaguchi

  ありがとうあります

   Arigatō arimasu!

すまんのう

  Sumannō!

    (Meaning is closer to arigatō (thanks) than sumimasen (sorry).)

Iwaguni

  すまだったねー

   Sumadatta-nē!

    (Strong accent on the final .)

 

  Shikoku

36. Tokushima

Awa-ben (Northern central Tokushima prefecture.)

  あんとー

    Antō!

(May be nothing more than baby talk.)

  おおけに

    Ōkeni!

  ありがとぐわした

    Arigato guwashita!

37. Kagawa

ど~~も

  Do~hmo.

(Be sure to let the word fall languidly from your lips.)

38. Ehime

39. Kōchi

 

  Kyūshū

40. Fukuoka

 ありがとー

  Arigatō!

(Intonation and accent, like many of these is key. Spoken in a quick staccato, with an accent on the end.)

 だんだん

  Dandan!

    (Apparently, this saying is fairly common among elderly women, but in all my years living in Fukuoka, I’ve never heard it. Means thanks so much.)

41. Saga

すんまっせん

  Sunmassen

あんがとー

  Angatō!

あんがちょー

  Angachō!

おおきに

  Ōkini!

(Same as Kyōto. Another person from Saga told me that no one says this.)

42. Nagasaki

 Iki-ben (Islands in Nagasaki prefecture, west of Fukuoka prefecture.)

  おおきん

    Ōkin!

(Similar to ōkini.)

43. Kumamoto

 すんまっせん

  Sunmassen

    (Also means excuse me, as in sumimasen.)

しょうじょう

  Shōjō!

   (An elegant way of saying thanks.)

44. Ōita

45. Miyazaki

 あいがと

  Arigato!

   (Said with rising inflection.)

46. Kagoshima

  あいがとごわした

   Aigato gowashita!

おおきに

  Ōkini

  (Common among those born before 1955.)

あいがとさげもした

  Aigato sagemoshita!

   (Original Satsuma-ben. A polite expression)

あいがともしゃげもした

  Aigato moshagemoshita!

    (Polite form.)

Amami Ōshima (a collection of islands halfway between Kyūshū and Okinawa)

  ありがっさまありょうた

    Arigassama aryōta!

 

  Okinawa

47. Okinawa

 にへーでーびる

   Nihēdēbiru!

Miyako-jima-ben

  タンディガータンディ

    Tandigātandi!