In Japan, each region has a different dialect. The Osaka dialect or Kansai dialect are really famous, so some of you may already know about those. But do you know any words in the Hokkaido dialect? Hokkaido also has a unique dialect.
There are many travelers who visit Hokkaido every year to enjoy the great nature and delicious seafood at this northernmost island of Japan. When you visit Hokkaido, if you use the Hokkaido dialect it will be easy to connect with the local people! Do you think remembering words in any dialect is difficult? In this article, I will introduce to you 3 really easy and useful words in Hokkaido dialect! With these words, your trip to Hokkaido will definitely be even more fantastic!
‘Waya’ has several meanings that all come down to the same thing, for example, wonderful, great, or incredible. We can say ‘waya’ when we want to show how surprised we feel. Let me show you one mini conversation as an example.
A: Look, I got an expensive present from my boyfriend!
見て、彼氏から高価なプレゼントをもらったよ！ (Mite, kareshi kara kouka na present wo moratta yo!)
B: Oh, really? That is waya!
本当に？それはわやだね！ (Hontou ni? Sore wa waya dane!)
‘Namara’ is used when you want to emphasize a word. It is like ‘really’ or ‘very’ in English. In regular Japanese it would be translated to ‘sugoku’ or ‘sugoi’. Here is one example of how to use this word in a conversation.
A: What do you think about this bag?
このバッグどう思う？ (Kono bag dou omou?)
B: Umm… it’s namara cute, but it’s also namara expensive!
うーん、なまら可愛いけど、なまら高いね！ (U-n, namara kawaii kedo, namara takai ne!)
‘Menkoi’ simply means ‘cute’. In regular Japanese you would use the famous ‘kawaii’. As ‘kawaii’ is really useful in Japan, ‘menkoi’ is also really useful in Hokkaido. Instead of ‘kawaii’ you can say ‘menkoi’ in Hokkaido.
A: Look! This key ring of Hello Kitty is really menkoi!
見て！このハローキティのキーホルダー超めんこい！ (Mite! Kono Hello Kitty no key holder cho menkoi!)
B: Wow! It’s so menkoi! I want to buy this too!
わあ！本当にめんこいね！私もこれ買いたいな！ (Waa! Hontou ni menkoi ne! Watashi mo kore kaitai na!)
The 3 words mentioned above are frequently used by people in Hokkaido. These words are also simple and useful. Let’s try to use these words when you visit Hokkaido. Knowing a bit about the local language will go a long way with the locals!