Let's decipher obscure 方言

So I live in an area with a fairly thick dialect (mostly spoken by the older folks) and yesterday a coworker taught me a new phrase in said dialect. It’s such a far way off from standard Japanese that he actually had to convince me he was even still speaking Japanese.

It gave me the idea that a thread where we share dialect-specific phrases and try to figure out what they actually mean could be a fun spoken-Japanese to the Let's decipher stylized kanji! thread!

Since dialects can get pretty whack, and to keep the thread somewhat organized, here’s my proposed format:

Dialect: 何々弁
Phrase:Insert barely intelligible Japanese sentences here
Meaning: This is optional, but if it has one, this would be the equivalent phrase in standard Japanese
Rough translation/Usage cases: (This is where you can put either an English translation, or an explanation of how the phrase is used)

Please at least try to keep the equivalent phrases/translations in spoilers if you include them! It’s no fun to try and figure them out if we get the answer right away :blush:

Here’s what I got yesterday-
Dialect: 会津弁 (A region of Fukushima)
Phrase: びっちゃえっそでくたまでがおった
Actual meaning: 水たまり大変多くて困った
Rough translation/Usage cases: So this literally means “I suffered because there were so many puddles”. The standard Japanese phrase is supposedly some kind of proverb/saying about having to walk through the puddles scattered around after a heavy rain, but it’s really more used as a “God, that sucked.” or “Man I’m so freaking tired (due to some circumstance).” It gets used in the same contexts as 「疲れちゃったなー」 and the like.
**Disclaimer, this phrase shouldn’t be actually used unless you want to sound like an old geezer from the boonies.


You don’t even have to go out into the boonies to get funky dialectical words. For example:

Dialect: 広島弁
Phrase: 「ほうじゃけ 」
Meaning: そうですから


It’s not exactly the format you’re proposing, but the 方言バトル series never cease to amaze me. :joy:


I’m just about to head out from work, but I’ll have to check this out once I get home!

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I work in 気仙沼 Kesennuma (Northern Miyagi) and they’ve got a bit of their own thing going. Actually there are LINE stickers with their own mascot, Hoya Boya, in a 方言 version. See here: 方言ホヤぼーや - LINE スタンプ | LINE STORE

I’ve tried to figure out what most of them mean, but here’s one for now:

Dialect: 気仙沼弁
Phrase: 「おだづなよ」
Meaning: 「ふざけるな・ふざけんなよ・調子に乗るな」
Rough translation/Usage cases: Basically whatever you can think of that fits ふざけないで I guess lol


Dialect: 関西弁
Phrase: 「せやなぁ」
Meaning: そうですね

Phrase: 「ほんまに」
Meaning: 本当に

Phrase: 「全然分からへんや」
Meaning: 全然分からないよ

Phrase: 「知らん」
Meaning: 知らない

Phrase: 「せやあらへん」
Meaning: そうじゃない

A lot of people already know these because of how popular Kansai弁 is but I thought I might as post something since I studied in Osaka. Another thing that throws off my friends is when I use 言う in simple past tense. In standard it is った but in Kansai it is うた. This always confuses my friends who speak Japanese as a second language and don’t know the kansai dialect. Even confuses the old guys in my 田舎 town.

Edit: One of my pairs were backwards.
Edit 2: Additional tidbit.


I live in Kansai and use these pretty frequently in everyday conversations.

Dialect: 関西弁 (Kansai)
Phrase: あかんちゃう?
Actual meaning: だめ(いけない)じゃない
Rough translation/Usage cases: Isn’t that bad/not allowed/you can’t?

Dialect: 関西弁 (Kansai)
Phrase: しゃあない
Actual meaning: 仕方がない
Rough translation/Usage cases: It can’t be helped.

Dialect: 関西弁 (Kansai)
Phrase: 気にせんとき
Actual meaning: 気にしないでね
Rough translation/Usage cases: Don’t worry about it.


Dialect: 東農弁 (Eastern Gifu)
Meaning: 久しぶり
Rough translation/Usage cases: My father-in-law says this whenever we meet. (Even if it was a week ago.) My wife says the saying is old as dirt, so of course I use it as much as I can. (That, and お茶の子さいさい; my favorite) We live in Nagoya, (which is not far enough from her parents who live in Gifu), and it seems like younger people have no idea what I’m saying, but older people giggle. Not sure if the saying has anything to do with turtles.

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If I had to guess it would be something like ‘The turtles finally came.’ So it has been a while since they saw you so 久しぶり or 久々ひさびさ for 関西弁

Just a guess of course. :slight_smile:


I feel like the Ishikawa dialect is not that hard to decipher, but I’ll post anyways!

Dialect: 石川弁・北陸弁

Phrase: 「ほうなんや!」
Meaning: そうなんだ!・そうなんですか!
Translation/Usage: Oh, really! そう is relaxed to ほう, and だ is relaxed to や。This “relaxation” is used in many cases throughout the whole dialect.

Phrase: 「だれだれさんおらん。」
Meaning: だれだれさんいません。
Translation/Usage: “Somebody” isn’t here. おる is often used in place of いる、and lots of negative verbs end with ん instead of ない。Therefore, いる・いない becomes おる・おらん。

Phrase: 「やっぱそうや!」
Meaning: やっぱりそうだ!
Translation/Usage: I told you so! or Of course it is!

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Turtles are sometimes differently-speed enabled. (Best not to diss turtles around these parts), so I’m thinking your guess makes sense.

Ah, wait. I remembered a good one.

Dialect: 石川弁・北陸弁

Phrase: 「ずっぱ、ダメ!」
Meaning: Don’t do ずっぱ!
Translation/Usage: ずっぱ is when you don’t put your shoes all the way on. You just slip them on so that the heel of the shoe is crushed under your foot, and then you walk around like that. Obviously this happens a lot in Japan because of how much you have to take off/put on your shoes. People get lazy and do ずっぱ。


I had no idea this was a Kansai thing too! My area uses the ゆ reading for all casual form conjugations. Eg ゆう、ゆった、ゆってる、etc. as well. It’s one I’ve picked up unintentionally into my own speech :sweat_smile:

It always comes out of me while drinking and one of the old geezers says something weird and I respond with なんだうた

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IIRC in 関西弁 the てform of ゆう is ゆうて, not ゆって.

I’ve seen several variations of the ている too, either as ゆうてる or as ゆうとる. Might be regional differences within Kansai :woman_shrugging:


Ohhh interesting. My areas dialect definitely conjugates it as it otherwise would, just with the ゆ reading.

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Interesting… :thinking:

Dropping the い in ている is very common where I was in Osaka. It was always 今、何してるの what are you up to now?

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6年生の授業を準備してる。今日の主語は「私の一番好きな思い出は。。。」です。主要点が 「I enjoyed… (gerund, ie running, swimming, hiking etc).」です。