Basic words written strangely in Japanese game (e.g. "すいませーん")

I started playing a dialog-based Japanese game on my NDS in hopes of picking up some vocabulary and improving my listening skills (voice actors read almost everything in the game.)

Surprisingly, I discovered that some common words are spelled wrong in the game. It seems to me as if they write them the way most people actually pronounce them in real life.

For example

Word: すみません :arrow_right::arrow_right: In-game spelling: すいませーん
ありがとう :arrow_right::arrow_right: ありがと

I’m a beginner and would like to know if that’s a common thing and if it’s ok to pronounce these words as they are spelled in the game! :thinking::thinking:

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Short answer:
Slang.
Most commonly the omision of something to make it easier/quicker to say.
It is fairly common so you will get used to it quickly.

You will find that the Japanese like to omit things in casual speech pretty often.

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They are just more colloquial versions. You definitely do not just want to use those forms willy nilly.

https://jisho.org/word/すいません
https://jisho.org/word/ありがと

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すいません is a very common way to say すみません in a casual way. It’s in the dictionary as well. The lengthening is just mimicking how people say it (in that particular situation in the game you were playing) even further. It reminds me of how you call a waiter or waitress at a restaurant.

It’s not really any different from when you see “c’mon” or “Imma” in English.

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Thanks everyone!

So, when speaking (not writing), is it okay to pronounce ありがとう as ありがと?

I was under the impression that that would be wrong and would sound weird to Japanese speakers, but they apparently also pronounce it that way sometimes…

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You’ll hear ありがと in real life. Same with さよなら rather than さようなら. Though keep in mind that it’s not really a common word to use for everyday “goodbyes,” but if you go to a Japanese school you’ll hear it a lot. That’s the normal way kids say goodbye to teachers at school.

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In general with a lot of slang, I would stick with the “correct” way untill getting a feel for when it is appropriate.
Learning the language before starting to style it with slang seems like a safe bet in order to avoid awkward situations.

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I remember how surprised I was when I found out that 猫 is sometimes spelled ぬこ。。。

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Whaaaat, really? I mean, it kinda sounds similar… but still.

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You’re right! At least now I won’t feel bad if I forget to double a vowel sound :+1:

That’s a little different. That’s just internet slang. It’s not representing a casual pronunciation or anything. Things get pretty weird in English internet slang too, but I wouldn’t really try to use that in the real world.

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Yeah in the case of these 2 words its not such a big deal since theyre fairly mild slang, but there are definitely slang you do not want to use in certain situations (or ever for that matter).

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Fun fact: in Osaka-ben, すみません can even become すんまへん

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Sounds like it’d be pretty hard to understand that dialect…

ほうやで~

Nah, you get the hang of it. I’ve been learning it. Hiroshima dialect too. One of the most confusing things about Hiroshima dialect is that the copula だ becomes じゃ, so it always sounds like people are about to say じゃない. And then から can become け, so だから becomes じゃけ, which sounds like something else altogether.

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That must be frustrating! What got you integrated in learning the dialects in the first place?

On the subject of dialects, in Hokkaido you use 投げる(なげる)instead of すてる when saying you’re throwing away trash, which sounds to everyone else that you’re just chucking your garbage around willy-nilly :joy:

So if you find a weird word or something out of place, then it’s probably slang like others said or some sort of dialect quirkiness

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Apparently in Okinawa they have a separate language related to Japanese as well as a Japanese dialect, so I’m guessing that understanding locals there might actually be quite tough with only standard Japanese!

Well Kansai dialect is going to be important if you want to watch and understand much of any Japanese comedy or variety shows. Kansai dialect is often used by comedians due to the heavy influence of the entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo that is based in Osaka and introduced the Osaka-style manzai act. Amongst the most famous manzai acts currently would be acts like Downtown.

You’ll often also encounter anime/manga/etc. where one or more characters are going to speak Kansai-ben (of some regional variety), or some other dialect.

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Translating a drama series in which basically all the characters come from either Osaka or Onomichi.

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