No46 [Language] Omoshiroi yo NIHONGO!

nihongoWelcome once again, to the fascinating world of the Japanese language.

All languages have regional dialects from the different parts of the countries they are spoken in, and of course Japanese is no exception. The world of Japanese dialects is very rich and can be fascinating to get into. As well as regional dialects there is also a wealth of slang.

This time let’s take a look at some phrases from the Hiroshima dialect, called Hiroshima-ben. This dialect has recently been used in the cycling manga “Yowamushi pedal”. Why not surprise the people living in Hiroshima by speaking their dialect when you visit.


I, me
Tokyo: “watashi” (わたし)
Hiroshima for men: “washi” (わし)
Hiroshima for women: “uchi” (うち)

Thank you
Tokyo: “arigatou” (ありがとう)
Hiroshima: “arigato no” (ありがとのぅ)

How much does it cost?
Tokyo: “Kore wa ikura desu ka?” (これはいくらですか。)
Hiroshima: “Kore nanbo ne?” (これなんぼね)
If you remember back to the article in ZOOM vol.45 about Osaka dialect, you will see that this is the same in both.

Tokyo: “totemo” (とても)
Hiroshima: “buchi” (ぶち) “buri” (ぶり) “bari” (ばり)
This is a little tricky because there are subtle variations regarding to how strong the emphasis is.
“Buri” is stronger than “buchi”, but “bari” is stronger than “buri”.

◆Example: This is very delicious, want to try?
Tokyo: Kore, totemo oishii kara tabetemina? (これ、とてもおいしいから食べてみな?)
Hiroshima: “Kore, buchi umai kee tabetemi?” (これ、ぶちうまいけえ食べてみぃ?)

Is it so?
Tokyo: “Sou nan da” (そうなんだ)
Hiroshima: “Hou nan jaa” (ほうなんじゃあ)

First give me beer!
Tokyo: “Toriaezu biiru” (とりあえずビール)
Hiroshima: “Tachimachi biiru” (たちまちビール)
In the Tokyo dialect “tachimachi” usually means “suddenly”, but in Hiroshima it can be used to mean “firstly” like here.




The most famous word that most Japanese know from this dialect might well be “jakee” (じゃけえ. It simply means “because”, and is the Hiroshima equivalent to the standard “dakara” (だから).

◆Example: Tomorrow is my day off so let’s go drinking.
Tokyo: “Ashita yasumi dakara nomou yo!” (明日休みだから飲もうよ!)
Hiroshima: “Ashita yasumi jakee nomou ya!” (明日休みじゃけえ飲もうや!)


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