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Dialects

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Dialects

Postby ILuvEire » Mon 05.25.2009 5:14 am

Does anyone study a Japanese dialect? Or do you speak a Japanese dialect? I am listening to a podcast (Learn Japanese with Beb and Alex) that has some info about Kansaiben, and the Japanese Wikipedia article is pretty interesting.

I'm also very interested in Miyazakiben, and Hiroshimaben. Wikipedia needs a Miyazakiben article. :P
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Re: Dialects

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 05.25.2009 5:23 am

Wikipedia article on Miyazaki-ben
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%AE%AE%E5%B4%8E%E5%BC%81

I personally speak Gifu-ben, only because I live here and it's kind of infectious.
It's also gotten to the point where I'm not quite sure what is gifu-ben and what is 標準語 anymore. :(
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Re: Dialects

Postby becki_kanou » Mon 05.25.2009 6:49 am

I live in Kansai so I speak Kansai-ben (mostly Kobe-ben) all the time with my family and friends, and as Harisenbon said, after a while it gets hard to tell what is standard Japanese and what is dialect.
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Re: Dialects

Postby tōkai devotee » Mon 05.25.2009 7:08 am

Let me put in a vote for Mikawa-ben! That was the dialect I spoke when I lived in Aichi-ken.
It's not really a case of 'studying' a dialect, but when you live there, you just pick it up, especially when you live with a Japanese family. I picked up most of my Mikawa-ben from my host family's obaasan!
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Re: Dialects

Postby ILuvEire » Tue 05.26.2009 10:32 pm

I think I'm going to learn some kansaiben, along with standard Japanese. It sounds really, really pretty!
関西弁も標準語を勉強しますだろう。めちゃめちゃ綺麗ですな!
(I tried translating...)
(訳したい・・・)

(Also, am I correct in using -tai for 'try')
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Re: Dialects

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 05.26.2009 10:48 pm

ILuvEire wrote:(Also, am I correct in using -tai for 'try')


No, that means "want to". -te miru is for try -- so "I tried to translate" would be "訳してみた".
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Re: Dialects

Postby ILuvEire » Wed 05.27.2009 1:21 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:(Also, am I correct in using -tai for 'try')


No, that means "want to". -te miru is for try -- so "I tried to translate" would be "訳してみた".

Oh, of course! Thank you.
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Re: Dialects

Postby spin13 » Thu 05.28.2009 5:12 am

While I speak mainly 標準語, my speech is colored slightly by 江戸言葉/下町言葉. The most notable bit is that I do not always distinguish between ひ and し all the time. 人 is pronounced しと around here, for example. Beyond that, however, I'm sometimes at a loss for whether things are regional, generational, or just simply slang. For example, I pronounced 同じ as 同し for quite a while because the Shitamachi old men I know say that. I'm also guilty of the ~あい→~えい switch I've been told is associated with Tokyo, but seems to be fairly wide spread slang*. On the other hand, I do my best not to use じゃん which I simply don't like.

*Except for Kyoto, where I had multiple people try to correct my pronunciation. 「すげー」や「じゃねー」は日本語じゃないですよ!

My experience with them is limited to books and movies, but I've always liked the Fukuoka dialects (博多弁, etc.) and Yamagata-ben. The Fukuoka dialects just sound like little kids who can't pronounced things properly yet. 良かか?何ばしとーたい!?この席は取っとーと? In Yamagata-ben, does anybody know the origin of the ござる→がんす switch (e.g., ありがとうがんす)? I've always wondered if was based on 願+Yamagata-ben politeness marker (す).

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Re: Dialects

Postby coco » Thu 05.28.2009 8:47 am

spin13 wrote: In Yamagata-ben, does anybody know the origin of the ござる→がんす switch (e.g., ありがとうがんす)? I've always wondered if was based on 願+Yamagata-ben politeness marker (す).

これはおもしろい発想ですね。 :D
でもたぶん、「ございます」の音変化である「ござんす(Gozansu)」が詰まってのGansuだと思います。
お相撲さんはGo(w)asu, 一時期の山手の主婦言葉だとZamasu。遊女はZansu。ケムンパスはYansu。
おもしろいですね。 :)
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Re: Dialects

Postby Pork Chop » Thu 05.28.2009 6:27 pm

I speak a bit of Okinawan (ウチ ナグチ) from the main island of Okinawa (沖縄本島) and I've been trying to learn some of what my wife's family speaks - which i think is mainly 波照間方言, possibly mixed in with some 八重山方言.
They're basically (a) separate language(s) though, in the same language family as Japanese.
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Re: Dialects

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 06.02.2009 9:18 am

Pork Chop wrote:I speak a bit of Okinawan (ウチ ナグチ) from the main island of Okinawa (沖縄本島) and I've been trying to learn some of what my wife's family speaks - which i think is mainly 波照間方言, possibly mixed in with some 八重山方言.
They're basically (a) separate language(s) though, in the same language family as Japanese.



The Japanese I knew said Okinawan is not Japanese.. It's a completely different language..

I know it's an exageration but the 2 months I spent there certainly left me scratching my head alot trying to figure out what people were saying..
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Re: Dialects

Postby Pork Chop » Tue 06.02.2009 11:34 am

Japanese linguists like to say Okinawan is just an older form of Japanese, with slight variations.
Most non-Japanese linguists (and Okinawans) say it's a completely different language.
Some stuff is simple, like using ぬ instead of the particle の.
Other stuff is a little more abstract like うむしるむ instead of おもしろい
My favorite is probably when they give other readings for kanji that you may not know otherwise, like 美ら (ちゅら) from 美ら海水族館.
I mostly use it for set phrases, so I haven't really tackled the strange grammar/politeness rules in Okinawan that are a bit more complex than standard Japanese.

Like I said before, the biggest issue that I have is that I spent most of my time learning the language used on the main island of Okinawa, but having a little bit of a hard time with what's spoken on Ishigaki/Yaeyama and Hateruma. Those at least share some words with what I learned, I'm glad I'm not trying to tackle the language of Miyako as well - which is completely unintelligible; though I read somewhere that Miyako is supposed to be most closely related to the Yaeyama language. A friend told me that all Okinawan culture is supposed to have originated from Yaeyama.
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Re: Dialects

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 06.02.2009 12:16 pm

I think it's inevitable that if you live in a place long enough you'll pick up some of the dialect; the problem is that foreigners often sound odd speaking dialectical Japanese because they're only able to do it partway -- dialect is not just some alternate words and particles, but also accent, intonation, and other more subtle things that are very hard for a foreigner to master (since textbooks generally only cover standard Japanese). There probably are some people who can speak dialects well enough that the native speakers of those dialects don't feel any 違和感, but it takes time.
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Re: Dialects

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 06.02.2009 8:04 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:the problem is that foreigners often sound odd speaking dialectical Japanese because they're only able to do it partway -


Exactly. Dialects are not just about sticking in the "kansai-ben version" of a word. There's an entire speech pattern and rhythm to the dialects. It would sound completely out of place if you were speaking in a 標準語 rhythm and suddenly threw in a ちゃうか?! ;)

If you listen to someone who is actually from kansai you can tell it not by the words they use, but from their speed and rhythm of speech.
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Re: Dialects

Postby Pork Chop » Wed 06.03.2009 5:08 pm

Well, to be clear, I'm not learning Okinawan in a vacuum.
I started learning it as a requirement of where I was living when I started learning Japanese in high school.
I've had enough reasons to keep using it & people to keep using it with to continue to learn.
My accent, speech patterns, and particle (mis)usage are pretty typical of Okinawans.

On Japanese radio in Okinawa they have a "learn Okinawan" radio show that's actually hosted by an American expat (he's an old friend of my wife's). Note, this show's completely in Japanese (and Okinawan) with the intention of keeping alive a language that's on the verge of dying out.

I understand you guys are mainly talking about folks that learn kansaiben words to insert into their standard Japanese, coz it sounds cool - but that's not always the case.
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