View Poll Results: Is Tohoku-ben awesome?

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  • Yes, and I live in Tohoku

    2 20.00%
  • Yes, but I don't live in Tohoku

    3 30.00%
  • No, and I live in Tohoku

    1 10.00%
  • No, but I don't live in Tohoku

    4 40.00%
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Thread: Tohoku-ben

  1. #1

    Default Tohoku-ben

    I was hijacking that other thread, so: this is now the place to talk about the various types of Tohoku-ben.

    (apologizing in advance, because I'm too lazy to futz with this computer's seemingly irreversible and annoying kanji/kana mode.)

    One question from the previous thread: is the nai --> ne thing Tohoku-ben? I thought it was just ordinary Japanese slang.

    Just now at lunch, this one girl, apparently dismayed with the bread, declared "kuwaNE zo!" and chucked it across the room into the bread-bin. I thought it was kind of awesome! "ta-be-naaaa-iii!" would strike me as a lot more childish and pouty, whereas the feeling I get from the above was maybe more of a "I ain't eatin' this!" Does that sound about right? Or is the use of kuu and zo enough to make it almost more of a profane expression?

    I'm withholding my own vote on that poll until I figure out what counts as Tohoku-ben and what doesn't. Some previously discussed issues:

    1) ~be (igu be? kuube? instead of ikou? or tabeyou?) -- consensus seems to be a strong "yes". &san seems to find it pretty unattractive.
    2) ~daccha -- yes?
    3) ga gi gu ge go get softer, almost to the point of nga ngi ngu nge ngo -- seems to be Tohoku-ben, perhaps, although people say that it's done just about all over. I neither love it nor hate it.
    4) shi --> su: I don't hear this. It seems kind of retarded, because you're losing syllables. (Same reason I feel degenerate for being a part of the regrettable mary-merry merger or whatever.) I do vaguely remember the Japanese ALT at college talking about how some people "up north" change shi to su, e.g. "mosu mosu". She thought it was kind of hilarious, and I agreed. I thought she was talking about Hokkaido, but it occurs to me she may have been referring to Tohoku.


    POLL CLARIFICATION: I'm asking about the Tohoku-ben in your Japan.
    Last edited by Wakatta; March 18th, 2009 at 13:04.

  2. #2
    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    well i lived just north of sendai when i was in high school. and i still go and visit my host family once a year for obon. i like all dialects, i just like that local dialects exist in general. what i did notice was the most prominent in the tohoku ben was its use of nasal sounds. i cant really type that on the computer but it often sounded like everyone had a cold.
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  3. #3
    The Quail Eye I Am Quailman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    I live in Fukushima I can vouche for pretty much all the stuff you said in your post Wakatta. on my blog i did a post about various dialects in my prefecture/town. check it out, its kinda cool.

    my favorite is そうだっペ! or 行くベ
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt360 View Post
    Yesterday I went and picked up an iPhone4 and my girlfriend fucking dropped it before I could put it in the case. The screen is fine, but the edges are scuffed a little. I was gonna punch her but she started crying so I just slapped her really hard instead.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    Quote Originally Posted by DougTheHakujin View Post
    I live in Fukushima I can vouche for pretty much all the stuff you said in your post Wakatta. on my blog i did a post about various dialects in my prefecture/town. check it out, its kinda cool.

    my favorite is そうだっペ! or 行くベ
    Awesome! I will.

    So, -is- nai --> ne a Tohoku thing?

  5. #5
    The Quail Eye I Am Quailman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    I don't think so... because people in Tokyo use it quite a bit... and whenever I say anything like "だっぺ" or "べ" to friends in Tokyo, they laugh. So I'm pretty sure that the ~えizing words is just standard slang.
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt360 View Post
    Yesterday I went and picked up an iPhone4 and my girlfriend fucking dropped it before I could put it in the case. The screen is fine, but the edges are scuffed a little. I was gonna punch her but she started crying so I just slapped her really hard instead.

  6. #6
    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    but not so much in kasai, as they use different ways to make things negitive, like へん ひん あらん しらん and so on.
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  7. #7
    Junior Member MeatForest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    Yeah, while living in Shiga gives me no concept of Tohoku-ben whatsoever, I definitely hear various nee sorts of constructions sometimes. Like Mark was saying Kansai-ben definitely has its own ways of making negatives, but kids still use these at my school too.

    I'm pretty sure the slurring of ai sounds to ee in general is originally Tokyo-ben, but has become somewhat popular elsewhere due to Tokyo's pervasive and understandable influence on the youth of today (ie, mass media).

  8. #8
    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    I have heard that Akita-ben is just a more harsh version of Tohoku-ben we have the same things as you have stated above but vowels and certain sylablles like ki turn to st


    Here are some actual examples on our Akita Jet website.

    http://www.akitajet.com/wiki/index.php?title=Akita-ben
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    Huh. I am increasingly convinced that Tohoku-ben is not spoken in my Japan. I mean, other than the accent and such. I hardly ever even hear "obandesu" though people reply in kind when I do it and I've heard it a few times at BoE parties and such. I feel like if anyone walked in and started saying "susu tabemasuta" they'd get stared at like they were from the moon.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakatta View Post
    1) ~be (igu be? kuube? instead of ikou? or tabeyou?) -- consensus seems to be a strong "yes". &san seems to find it pretty unattractive.
    I never said it was unattractive. I said it was hick. While I use どうすっぺ and いぐべ, I'm fully aware that doing so is analagous to a non-native speaker of English learning to say "Now you done gone and ~". They're both perfectly fine regionalisms, but neither is associated with being educated or classy.
    2) ~daccha -- yes?
    It's not "daccha". It's just "ccha". It's sort of the equivalent of 〜よ in Tohoku-ben and can follow verbs and adjectives as well as the copula.
    4) shi --> su:
    This most definitely occurs. The head of education committee in my town pronounces 8月 as はずがず and says things like "ずんだもずおいずいっちゃな" ("ずんだもちおいしいよね").

    ~ない turning into 〜ねえ is not exclusive to Tohoku-ben, but あい and あえ turning into え is a feature of the dialect, and it doesn't just happen in negative endings.

    If some of my students grandparents come to school for something, it's often full on zuzu-ben with the full grammar and vocabulary.

    Remember, Tohoku-ben isn't a single, homogenous thing. It's a group of related dialects and sub-dialects that gradually shift with geography--apparently locals can tell people from my town from the one 7 km to the south, and Tsugaru-ben is pretty different from Fukushima-ben. Similarly while all the dialects of Tohoku get lumped together as Tohoku ben and all the ones of Kanto get lumped together, the Kanto ben of northern Ibaraki isn't going to be all that different from the Tohoku-ben of southeastern Fukushima.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DougTheHakujin View Post
    I don't think so... because people in Tokyo use it quite a bit...
    It shouldn't surprising that dialects in Kanto and Tohoku share features as they're neighboring regions. It's not like there's some linguistically impenetrable barrier between the two regions.
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  12. #12
    The Quail Eye I Am Quailman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    Yeah I know... I'm just saying that Tokyo people obviously use it... and the mass media broadcasts mainly through Tokyo NHK/Fuji etc... and the reality shows on these channels all feature people using the basic/Tokyo-ben or Kansai-ben... whether kids pick it up from here or from their parents.... who knows. It's very intertwined... ampersand, are you a Tohoku resident? I'm in southeastern Fukushima.... so I was just curious.

    As for Akita-ben... I haven't heard much about it, but one of my teacher's wife's in-laws is from Aomori, and he said he can't even understand the in-law when he speaks... that's how distinct and different it is
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt360 View Post
    Yesterday I went and picked up an iPhone4 and my girlfriend fucking dropped it before I could put it in the case. The screen is fine, but the edges are scuffed a little. I was gonna punch her but she started crying so I just slapped her really hard instead.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    Oh, hey, wait a sec...you're in Fukushima, huh? I've been down to ... somewhere in Fukushima ... maybe Fukushima City, if such a thing exists? A few times. Do you go up to Sendai for the meetings? We might actually know each other.

    re: Ampersand, my conjugating friend: Oh, I definitely agree: it's not like there's some a network of magic walls containing homogenous pools of dialect. I meant that I feel like I don't hear any weird grammatical features other than the very occasional べ. (When I mention べ, people don't usually act like it's bizarre...they say, "Yeah, it means like 〜こう/よう/etc." and sometimes chuckle a bit and say いぐべ? to each other by way of demonstration. It seems more or less similar to asking me about "hella"...yeah, sure, I know what it means, and I might say it sometimes, but it's not a staple of my vocabulary. Anyway, other than that...eh. I don't think there's anything other than maybe some phoeneme-shifting, like a really strong softening of the がぎぐげご series. (But the し --> す thing seems totally absent. Maybe slurring Kyoto-sensei does it, but I don't really know what his thing is. He talks like he has a few sponges in his mouth. Nice guy, but hard to understand sometimes.)

    I'm sort of hunting around the web and asking you more knowledgeable types to see if perhaps there's something Tohoku-ben-ish in the conversation around here that either 1) slipped past my admittedly mixed listening skills 2) I've been accepting as normal. My listening was even worse when I was in Machida, so I don't have a great instinctive base for comparison. (I remember being surprised to hear しゃべる within like two minutes of entering a classroom, and being like, I don't think I ever learned that, which is odd as it seems extremely common. Perhaps like a Japanese speaker hearing, "He was like, 'I already sent the email!'" and wondering what they meant.)

    おばんです also seems to fall into the category of "things people understand but don't say routinely".
    Last edited by Wakatta; March 18th, 2009 at 18:13.

  14. #14
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tohoku-ben

    You've got to be joking?

    I mean I sometimes tell people in bars that I think Okayama ben is hot because it makes them more malleable for bedding but really - how do you say this with a straight face? It's rougher than a cat's tongue.
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  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dombay View Post
    You've got to be joking?

    I mean I sometimes tell people in bars that I think Okayama ben is hot because it makes them more malleable for bedding but really - how do you say this with a straight face? It's rougher than a cat's tongue.
    Accents can definitely be awesome.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by-qyxHN4Uc

    vs.

    http://192.20.225.55/tts/speech/bad9...98846ba128.wav

    Moving beyond the silly, I think a lot of accents sound more interesting than mine. Irish accents, Aussie accents, British accents, Indian accents...they can all be pretty cool and add a unique twist to the language. I'm not entirely sure what my not-particularly-regional American accent adds, but it's kind of hard to get an idea about how other people view your accent anyway. (The best way I've found is to listen to people with other accents trying to do my accent and hearing what they exaggerate.)
    Last edited by Wakatta; March 18th, 2009 at 22:26.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SarahJ27's Avatar
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    Default

    I watched a movie that was in Tohoku. What struck me was their intonation. Sometimes it sort of reminded me of Yogi Bear.
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