Let’s Speak Japanese Dialect! 10 funny phrases in Hokkaido!

Let's Speak Japanese Dialect! 10 funny phrases in Hokkaido!

Hokkaido Japanese dialect is a dialect spoken by people from the island of Hokkaido. Most terms or words come from dialects of Tohoku, Northwestern Honshu and the Ainu language. But urban areas such as Sapporo use the standard Japanese language. The Hokkaido Japanese dialect is mostly spoken in rural areas and by the older generation. It’s fun to know these phrases as you want to go around the areas in Hokkaido.



 

Let’s Speak Japanese Dialect! 10 funny phrases in Hokkaido!

 

1. Namara

Namara in the Hokkaido Japanese dialect means very. The equivalent term in standard Japanese language is totemo. So instead of saying totemo oishi (very delicious) when in the island of Hokkaido say namara umai! This term was popularized by Yo Oizumi, an entertainer from the island.

 

2. Be

Be is a volitional suffix in the Hokkaido Japanese dialect. In the standard language, the equivalent term is de sho or de shou which means right? Or isn’t it? When you want confirmation or affirmation of your statement you say da be? (de shou?/ right?/ isn’t it).

 

3. Ssho

A short cut to the term de shou in the Hokkaido Japanese dialect is ssho, it has the same meaning as be. When asking if a person found the food delicious say: kore oishi ssho? (It is delicious, isn’t it?). This is to get an affirmative or confirmative answer.

 

4. Obandesu

Konbanwa is the standard good evening greeting in Japanese. In the Hokkaido Japanese dialect obandesu is the proper good evening greeting. So when in the island, greet the people on the streets or those you meet with Obandesu in the evening.

 

5. Menkoi

Menkoi literally means small face in the Hokkaido Japanese dialect. And it is often used to describe someone or something as cute. Hello Kitty wa namara menkoi, be? (The Hello Kitty is very cute, isn’t it?). Consider it a compliment if someone told you have small face or menkoi.

 

 

6. Shakkoi

Tsumetai is the standard word for cold to the touch in the Japanese language. In the Hokkaido Japanese dialect, tsumetai is replaced by the word shakkoi. If the water is cold to the touch, say: Mizu wa shakkoi desu.In describing a person, Paul san wa shakkoi desu (Mr. Paul is cold).

 

7. Shibaberu

Shibaberu is used to describe extreme or severe cold weather or condition in the Hokkaido Japanese dialect. In standard Japanese language this term is equivalent to hageshiku hiekomu. The extreme weather in Hokkaido brings shibaberu or shivering cold freezing up to the bones.

 

8. Gomi wa nageru

The term gomi wa nageru literally means throw away rubbish or trash in Hokkaido Japanese dialect. But it is also used in the dialect as throw away, like throw away the ball. The standard Japanese language equivalent is gomi wa suteru.

 

9. Yurukunai

In the Hokkaido Japanese dialect, the word yurukunai is used to describe something as not easy or not simple. The standard Japanese language equivalent is kantan dehanai. So in describing something difficult such as a game, say: kono gemu wa yurukunai desu (This game is not simple or easy).

 

10. Shitakke

Shitakke is the word for goodbye in Hokkaido Japanese dialect. The standard Japanese term equivalent is soredeha for goodbye or matane for see you later. Speaking to people in Hokkaido and you want to leave the conversation or leave the place, it is important to be polite and say: Shitakke, arigatou gozaimasu! (Goodbye, thank you very much!)

 

Conclusion

Hokkaido Japanese dialect is just one of the different dialects spoken throughout Japan. After learning the standard language which is primarily Tokyo-ben or Tokyo dialect, it is fun to learn the other dialects as well. Hokkaido is a melting pot of Japanese people coming from different regions and the Ainu indigenous language make the dialect seemingly funny to outsiders. But it is fun to learn and practice when one is visiting the island.

 

Let’s Speak Japanese Dialect! 10 funny phrases in Hokkaido!

1. Namara
2. Be
3. Ssho
4. Obandesu
5. Menkoi
6. Shakkoi
7. Shibaberu
8. Gomi wa nageru
9. Yurukunai
10. Shitakke