Japanese/Dialects/Ishikawa

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Ishikawa-ben(石川弁) is a local dialect of the Japanese language spoken throughout the prefecture of Ishikawa and some surrounding areas, such as Toyama and Fukui. Unlike kansai-ben, where the intonation of words differs greatly from hyōjungo (i.e. Tokyo-ben), Ishikawa-ben is characterized more by its relaxation of hard consonants into softer ones, resulting in a more "rounded" pronunciation and vocabulary.

Common relaxations and replacements[edit]

Da→ya (だ→や)[edit]

Speakers of Ishikawa-ben often relax the pronunciation of the word だ (the plain form of です) into the word や, producing sentences similar to the following:

  • 「こりゃあ、300円やね。」 "This is 300 yen, right?"
  • 「明日仕事へ行くんや。」 "I'm going to work tomorrow."

This transformation can be extended to other forms of the word だ as well; for example, だろう becomes やろう:

  • 「昨日ぁ渡辺さんに電話したやろう?」 "You called Watanabe yesterday, didn't you?"

So→ho (そ→ほ)[edit]

The syllable そ is often relaxed to the softer ほ, especially when used in the そう sense ("like that"):

  • 「ほうゆったからやったんや!」 "[He] told me so, so I did it!"
  • 「ほうやろう?」 "Isn't it like that?"

This last example is commonly relaxed even further into 「ほうあろう?」, especially among Ishikawa-ben speakers in Kanazawa and neighboring Uchinada.

This relaxation also produces the commonly used phrase 「あ、ほんな?」 ("Oh, really?"), stemming from 「あ、そうですか?」 or possibly 「あ、本当?」 as used in hyōjungo.

Iru→oru (いる→おる)[edit]

The verb いる is often replaced with the synonymous verb おる, although the end result may or may not necessarily convey the "humbled" sense normally associated with the verb おる as used in 謙譲語 (kenjōgo).

  • 「残念やなぁ、ずっとおりたかったのに。」 "That's too bad, [I] wanted to stay the whole time."

Verbs used in the present progressive sense (i.e., ending with ~ている) are often relaxed into the form ~とる rather than ~ておる:

  • 「田中さんはもううちに帰っとる。」 "Mr./Mrs. Tanaka has already returned home."
  • 「大助君は何かおかしい本読んどるぞ。」 "Daisuke is reading some strange book."

When used in the negative sense, いない and ~ていない become おらん and ~とらん, respectively:

  • 「ごめん、課長はただいまおらんよ。」 "Sorry, the department head isn't around at the moment."
  • 「今日の日記はまだ書いとらん。」 "I still haven't written my journal entry for today."

Ka→ke (か→け)[edit]

The particle か, when used at the end of a sentence to signify a question, is often replaced by け or っけ instead:

  • 「今日の行事は全く知っとらんっけ?」 "You don't know anything about today's event?"

Ne→jii (ね→じい)[edit]

The particle ね, when used at the end of a sentence to express uncertainty or to solicit confirmation, is often replaced by じい instead:

  • 「夕べの宴会楽しかったじい!」 "Last night's banquet was a blast, huh?"

Nen / gen (ねん、げん)[edit]

The stems ~ねん and ~げん can be used after the dictionary form of a verb (i.e., verbs ending in ~る, ~く, etc.) to add emphasis to the sentence. Their usage is similar to the stem ~んだよ used by speakers of Tokyo Japanese.

  • 「もう行ったことあるげんって。」 "[He] said he's already been there."
  • 「今日やるねんけど、昨日やるはずだったんだもん。」 "I'll do it today, but I was supposed to do it yesterday."