Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Like A Foreign Language

In comments for last post, gaijinhodge says "Actually, "mecha" is Osaka dialect for really. I guess language changed a lot in Japan since I left, because everyone south of Hiei mountain used "Mecha" and everyone north of Fuji mountain used "Cho" when I was in Japan".

In my opinion, I guess that mecha is often used in the west part of Japan, and cho is used in the east.
In fact, I'd said usually mecha when I lived in Fukuoka three years ago. (But I'd often used cho too, hehe...)

I was born and grew up in Fukuoka,Kyushu area. And I live in Hyogo,Kansai area now. Osaka as well as Hyogo is also in Kansai area.
In Fukuoka, there is a dialect said "Hakata-ben" in Japanese, in Osaka, there is "Osaka-ben". And the both dialects are well-known in Japan.

By the way, the standard Japanese is based on "Tokyo-ben".
In English, "What are you doing now?" says "Nani shiteruno?" in the standard Japanese.
However, in Hakata-ben, it says "Namba shiyotto?", and in Osaka-ben, "Nani shiten-nen?".
When you heard the three phrases: the standard Japanese, Hakata-ben and Osaka-ben, can you sense they have same meaning?
If you couldn't sense that, don't worry. Because, there are many dialects even the Japanese can't understand, and really sounds like foreign languages in Japan!

I think every countries have dialects like Japan has. How are dialects in your county?

Oh,yes, I thought about mecha and cho yesterday, and I caught a good idea!
I created a hybrid word mixed mecha with cho.
It's "MECHO"! How's this? Do you feel that's MECHO cool?





英語の"What are you doing now?"は、標準語で言うと"なにしてるの?"になる。



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Anonymous said...

Dialects are easily classified as slang and also accents. Slang is regular words that we stop really fast or jumble together. Like the word "you all" would be "ya'll" in some parts of the country. Accents (you probably know) are just variations in the way people talk. Like if you compare somebody's accent from Texas and New York. They'll be different. How is Japan's Dialects?

Dream Senshi said...

* giggle! * I like your "MECHO!" I think it's very cute. :)

I know some people in America who can't understand people with British accents, even when they aren't using any particularly British language, like "loo" instead of "toilet." But, there are definitely differences across subcultures in America, even though I'm pretty sure we're all taught to write the same.

©Sherly said...

Hmm~ Indonesia also has a lot of dialects too. And almost all of the dialects sounds like foreign languages to people who don't speak it.

And like Dream Senshi said, English has accents too, though it isn't so hard to distinguish it (but I'll admit it's pretty hard for me to listen to British accent, but that's just me ^^U).. For example, an American might say "toilet", but a British might say "loo", and a Canadian might say, "washroom"

And "MECHO!" sounds like a great idea! *giggle*

gaijinhodge said...

Good response.

The strange thing about Japanese dialects is that they aren't pronunciation based (except for a few places - in Wakayamaben "zabuton" sounds like "dabuton") but they words are actually changed "Wakaranai -> Wakarahen" (Osaka dialect)

In English language, words stay the same but the pronunciation is different. If you read the play "Pygmalion," the British characters talk about how one is able to determine how "high-class" one is in society just by their pronunciation.

I've had to get angry at my daughter because she pronounces her words with a southern dipthong. She says "hayerh" instead of "hair" and "heyalp" instead of "help."


Mara said...

I think most people who speak English at least know most of the words used more frequently in other dialects, but I do think that "chesterfield" (Canadian and northern Californian for a sofa or couch), "serviettes" (table napkins), and "parkade" (parking garages), might be lost on some people. A real pity is that there are many ways to spell a word in English depending on where you are(a building's "storey" vs. "story", the obvious "colour" vs. "color", "realise" vs. "realize", "practise" as a verb vs. "practice", "travelling" vs. "traveling"). It makes spell-check a real pain since I spell things differently than most people around me.
And now I'll have to start using "mecho" on my older brother and father instead of "totemo", "sugoku", "mecha", or "cho". See how long it takes for them to get what it means.

SlipStitchWitch said...

Yeah I dont think we normally use completly different words in different areas here. Its mostly the way you say it...for example

I live in Washington state and I say it...Wash Ing Ton

but I've heard people on the east coast pronounce it

Warsh Ing Ton

They spell it the same way I do...but for some reason it comes out differently.

Christian said...

There's an expression: "No one is more English than an Englishman living in another country."

Similarly, no one is more Japanese than an American. It seems that when a Westerner studies a bit of Japanese culture, he becomes an expert to the point where he feels he has the right to correct a Japanese citizen on the finer points of his own culture. It's really bad when two such Americans meet: I've heard terrible, violent arguments about how soy sauce and wasabi are properly served with sushi.

thinktieng said...

omg, your english is great now,very very good.
the level has raise like from 10 to 95

good job

btw, mecho, i like mocha better ^^ joke.