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Learn Japanese dialects with KitKat!

August 21, 2008

Mrs Overoften uncovered this KitKat in a local shop, and knowing I have a passing interest in these matters, brought it home.

This KitKat gives you a vocabulary lesson in various ben (dialects) around Kyushu.

KitKat Kyushu Pack

For example, starting in the north, you can see that those folks in Fukuoka say すいとう for 好きだ (suki da), which will translate as anything from “I like it” to “I love you”.

Going west to Saga-ken you see that locals say がばい (gabai) for とても or 非常に, meaning ‘very’.

In Nagasaki-ken やぐらしか (yagurashika) means うっとうしい (too much).   Over in Oita-ken, they say どおくる (dookuru) for おちょくる (ochokuru), which is to make fun of someone.

Round these parts, Kumamoto-ken, もっこす means 頑固者 or わがまま (stubborn, obstinate).

Over in Miyazaki-ken, よだきい means 面倒くさい (too much trouble, can’t be bothered).  Meanwhile people in Kagoshima-ken are said to say ぼっけもん for こわいもの知らず (brave, but closer to reckless).

And now with this vocabulary lesson firmly implanted in your memory you can sit back and reward yourself with a cup of coffee, and a KitKat.  (I am not affiliated to Nestlé but will accept gifts from them should anyone from HQ be reading this.)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. shintaro inoue permalink
    July 17, 2009 11:38 am

    um. yeah, ben doesn’t mean dialect. well the kanji does but you don’t use ben unless like the name of the dialect goes before “ben”. If you’re going to dialect by itself, you use hogen.

    ~shintaro inoue

    • July 17, 2009 12:01 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Shintaro, I appreciate it, I really do.
      And in turn may I give you some English advice? Don’t start a negative comment with “Um, yeah…” I know it’s a fashion for a certain age group, but it makes the writer sound pompous and condescending, and immediately turns off the reader.


  1. KitKat Kyushu Pack « Have a break, have a KitKat

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