View Full Version : Self-Study Dialects

August 17th, 2010, 08:54
One thing I have always really enjoyed studying is non-standard Japanese, and none more fun than Keigo . . . just kidding (though you shold all learn the fun of keigo!) I mean Hogen(s), regional dialects.

Hogens are fun to learn, contrasting with standard-- getting a hang of them can give you a deeper understanding for the language overall, and help solidify your understanding of standard. Just don't mix them up on important occasions! Learning the local lingo and accent can also endear you to locals. It really makes that place seem like your "furusato," though I think even if I live in the north a long time I will always love western accents.

I never understood standard grammar until I forced myself to learn in order to (and by contrasting it with) learning Kansai Ben. It was useful because I have lots of relatives who live in Osaka/Kyoto.

For those of you living in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, etc.:

Kansai-ben: Kansai Dialect Self-study Site (http://web.mit.edu/kansai/)

Great resource site. Unfortunately I am not. Anyone got a Niigata ben website? Though from what I've heard around my village so far, any hogen seems pretty tame here.

Unfortunately, most do not have much in terms of research materials.

So, if you got great sites like the one above, or know good drama/anime/shows that can aid in Hogen study, or just want to talk about the funky hogens around your hometown in general, give a post!

August 17th, 2010, 14:44
Kyoto has a special brand of Keigo and I think it sounds nice.

August 17th, 2010, 15:09
そう思ってはります?そうどすね、私も思うさかい。I think I didn't f it up. ちゃう?

It seems like there is a lot of confusion around Kyoto. A lot of people talk about Kyoto ben, how polite it is and different from other Kansai ben. From what I can tell though, that is only when using Keigo.

Otherwise, in regular conversational speech, outside of using the polite "haru" a little more, Kyoto people speak pretty similarly to Osaka ben in my opinion.

August 17th, 2010, 15:23
That is the stuff. When you speak it to me, i feel like i am some えらい社長さん at a fancy Cabaret in Kyoto and you are pouring me drinks of shochu, and not that Green Jade shit that is everywhere either, but something real nice like that looks like it came straight out of ex-prime minister Koizumi sans liquor cabinet, and lighting my endless chain of seven star cigarettes while continuously repeating まぁまぁまぁ、社長さん in my left ear until i get tired of hearing it which will be never.

other than the occasional business trip and the みやこ音楽祭, in hokkaido we care little for kansaiben altogether.

August 17th, 2010, 22:49
haha the videos on that site totally feature one of my japanese professors from university. small world.

but yeah, if anyone knew any good sites for dialects other than kansai-ben, that would be awesome. i tried to google up stuff for my prefecture and even just kyushu in general and couldn't find much of anything. i've learned a few just by asking people ("acchi" and "kicchi"... and honestly acchi [atsui] sounds like the sort of thing used all across japan lol) but it would be nice to have a more complete list.

August 18th, 2010, 09:37
I do not know about Kyuushuu, but I wonder if it sounds anything like dialects for shikoku.

Recently I have been watching a drama called Ryouma Den, which follows the life of Sakamoto Ryōma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakamoto_Ry%C5%8Dma), Sakamoto Ryouma. One of the fun things about this show is that at the time there was no standard Japanese language, and all the characters speak in their native dialects, or even languages.

Sometimes you are forced to read the Japanese subtitles, lest you miss what the French, Russian or Dutch characters are saying. So far the only western character to play a major role has been Thomas Glover, who is fortunately Brittish for us English speakers.

Among Japanese, you will hear speech from Tosa, Choshu, Satsuma, Kyoto, Osaka/Kobe, Edo, Nagasaki and others.

Of course, lots and lots of keigo . . . spoken in various dialects. Ie. you not only have to cope with the various dialects, but the polite and casual forms of all of them.

Since most of the characters come from Tosa (modern day Kochi Ken on shikoku) I have become quite accustomed to hearing it. At first I needed subtitles, but after you get through the first 15 episodes or so, you can get a good handle on both the terminology/story and the Hogens. Then watching the episodes without subtitles should be of little issue.

Anyway, Tosa ben is realy cool. とにかく、土佐弁ちゅうがは、まっこと、おもしろいと思うぜよ。

Speaking Kansai ben helps, because western dialects often share much in common. Even if the accents are totally off, some of the words/conjugations/grammar are very similar.

ほんとう=>ほんま (Or you can say まっこと depending)
おまえたち=>おまえら (Kansai) おまんら (Tosa)
いけない=>いかん (Kansai is あかん)

and others cannot pick off the top of my head. Similar to Hiroshima or far western Honshu, だ (end of sentance, や in kansai ben) often becomes じゃ, though it still sometimes becomes や like in Kansai. There is also the common tendancy for western dialects to turn そう into ほう on occasion. それなら becomes ほんなら。Also the tendancy to use おる instead of いる。

Tosa also features a similar pattern to Kansai's ねん as exclamation point, き.

kansai: なんでやねん!?
Tosa: どいてじゃき?


Though you could also say なんぜ!? in place of なんで. が appears a lot more in Tosa grammar, though I have a hard time figuring out exactly how it works. Example:

Standard 標準語: 悪いと言うのは、おまえだ
Kansai 関西弁:悪いちゅうのは、おまえや
Tosa 土佐弁:悪いゆうがは、おまんじゃ

Some other interesting patterns I have noticed:

てください -> てっつかさい
だろう -> ですろう (formal) ろう (casual)
ぞ -> ぜよ
けど -> けんど
~ても/~でも -> ~たち
ている -> ちゅう or sometimes ゆう

standard: 先生は君を探しているぞ
Tosa: 先生はおまんを探しゆうがぞ

Standard: そう言っても、無理に決まっている
Kansai: せえやって、無理に決まっとる / ほんなこっちゃゆうとって、無理に決まっとんねん
Tosa: そうゆうたち、無理に決まっちゅう

Oh, and before I forget, all Tosa men use わっし instead of 俺 or 僕 (わたし), even in polite speech. わっしあち can also be used by the individual in the mids of great emotional conflict.

Tosa Ben is not the only interesting one in there. With Saigo Takamori (Kichinosuke) recently making his appearence in the Drama, I am a bit challenged to make sence of his Satsuma Ben. Nagasaki dialect is even more of a mystery to me, fortunately it is not used much (so far).

In contrast, Choshu ben is rather similar to Tosa, if anything being more similar to standard-- perhaps this is expected seeing as Yamaguchi is part of Honshuu, albeit the most western tip. If you have heard someone from Hiroshima talk, you can probably know what to expect.

I think MySoju has the first 12 episodes or so subtitled, so please check it out. :D

August 18th, 2010, 16:09
("acchi" and "kicchi"... and honestly acchi [atsui] sounds like the sort of thing used all across japan lol)

middle aged ladies all over the country say this every time they get into a car in summer. it is the word that means "the feeling of getting in to a car in summer."

August 23rd, 2010, 10:59
i tried to google up stuff for my prefecture and even just kyushu in general and couldn't find much of anything

There isn't a "Kyushu-ben" as much as there is Hakata-ben, Kagoshima-ben, Nagasaki-ben. etc.

August 23rd, 2010, 13:54
Nagasaki ben I have heard, and had trouble with. What does "Bai" mean??

August 23rd, 2010, 14:01
Nagasaki ben I have heard, and had trouble with. What does "Bai" mean??



It's used in rural Fukuoka dialects like Chikuho and Tagawa-ben as well.

August 23rd, 2010, 15:40
Nagasaki ben I have heard, and had trouble with. What does "Bai" mean??

They might also use ~ばってん the same way. Kumamoto-ben also uses the ~ばい for emphasis.

August 24th, 2010, 16:15
The only place I have heard it is on Ryoma Den (with Ryoma and friends living in Nagasaki now) so you will have to forgive me for making stupid questions.

I think one week I heard しぇえ or something similar, pretty sure it was meant to be しろう, or more similar to kansai's せえ, for "do it!"

Like 無理無理! 別の商売を考えしぇえ!

Am I anywhere near the mark (or just hearing things)? Also, do women there in real life actually use うち for わたし?

In lots of TV shows and other media (including Ryoma Den), they like to make Kansai-speakers use うち (women) or わい (men) for わたし, but in real life almost no one from kansai actually uses those terms. I was wondering if that is the case in Nagasaki too.

August 24th, 2010, 16:28
しょこたん語 イズ ベスト 弁.

March 1st, 2011, 19:18
How many dialects does japanese language have? Which is very important for learning japanese language?

March 1st, 2011, 22:44
seven. also, none of them are all that important.

March 1st, 2011, 23:18
There's a lot more than that. I can think of 4 or 5 just within 100km of me.

March 2nd, 2011, 08:21
this should settle any lingering questions:

もし日本の面積と人口が10倍だったら - Chakuwiki (http://wiki.chakuriki.net/index.php/%E3%82%82%E3%81%97%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E3%81%AE%E9%9D%A2%E7%A9%8D%E3%81%A8%E4%BA%BA%E5%8F%A3%E3%81%8C10%E5%80%8D%E3%81%A0%E3%81%A3%E3%81%9F%E3%82%89)

March 3rd, 2011, 01:16
How many dialects does japanese language have? Which is very important for learning japanese language?
How many dialects does English have?
Its an impossible question, there's broad stuff like 'Texan' but then you can often get different dialects from town to town, person to person even (idiolects). Linguistic terms are very fuzzy things.

March 7th, 2011, 20:32
Yeah man. There's broad things like Kansai men, miyagi ben, etc. etc. but even the vocab and words can change depending on your town or city.

That said it's not important enough to learn. Everyone is going to understand you if you speak "standard" Japanese. Learn a dialect when you get here or become a linguist and write papers about it. Other than that it's not that important except for shocking drunk Japanese people.

March 8th, 2011, 08:23
Page, I hear what you are saying and I agree with you for the most part, but when you live this far out in the inaka, and you have to take your trash down to the county dump where they will charge you a fee if your garbage is not sorted correctly, then it helps to know the local dialect.

First I wet my hair real good, slicking it back into a nice pom, extra curl on the front. Next, I put on my brightest track suit, and jump into my Momotarou 2gou kei-truck, which already has the perfect enka album waiting in my MD player that i chose because i like the packaging and songs about Osaka, even though i have never been.

it takes me two or three tries, but Momo always starts in the end. I take off down the county road, taking my turns wide, and remembering to pull off slightly to the side and set my hazards on panic attack whenever i get a phone call, because Kannon knows i don't need another 5ky ticket.

When I get to the dump, i greet the watchman with my best BFI tohoku-ben, throwing a thick and surly おぱぴーぷぺぽべ~ which means おはようございます in the local tongue. We talk about how it is cold, and ask each other if we are not cold. Surprisingly spry for his age, the old man flashes me a yellow, toothy grin, and I know that no one will be sorting through my trash today.

March 9th, 2011, 03:06
Damn your guys love their Ps. Sounds mental.