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Tsugaru dialect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tsugaru dialect
Aomori dialect
Tsugaru dialect area.
Native toJapan
Language codes
ISO 639-3

The Tsugaru dialect (津軽弁, Tsugaru-ben) is a Japanese dialect spoken in western Aomori Prefecture.

The Tsugaru dialect is reputed to be so divergent from standard Japanese for those who are not native speakers, that even people living in the same prefecture may have trouble understanding it.[1][note 1] In 1988, fans of the Tsugaru dialect proclaimed October 23 to be Tsugaru Dialect Day (津軽弁の日, Tsugaru-ben no hi). October 23 is the anniversary of the death of Takagi Kyozo, a famous poet who wrote in the Tsugaru dialect.

In Tsuruta, there is an annual summer Tsugaru-ben competition (津軽弁大会, Tsugaru-ben taikai) in which teams of foreigners create short skits or performances, usually humorous, using the dialect. In June 2009, a short segment featuring the competition was broadcast nationally on NHK.


The words are sometimes very different from those of standard Japanese.

English Standard Japanese Tsugaru dialect
I 私 (わたし, watashi) わ (wa)
you あなた (anata) な (na)
cute かわいい (kawaii) めごい (megoi)
friend 友達 (ともだち, tomodachi) けやぐ (keyagu)
countryside 田舎 (いなか, inaka) じゃご (jyago)
but けれど (keredo) だばって (dabatte)
same 同じ (おなじ, onaji) ふとず (futozu)
very とても (totemo) たげ/がっぱ (tage/gappa)
cold 冷たい (つめたい, tsumetai) しゃっこい (shakkoi)
warm 暖かい (あたたかい, atatakai) ぬげ (nuge)
noisy うるさい (urusai) さしね (sashine)
irritating イライラする (ira-irasuru) かちゃくちゃね (kacha-kuchane)
money (お)金 ((お)かね, (o-)kane) じぇんこ (jenko)
forehead ひたい (hitai), (お)でこ ((o-)deko) なずぎ (nazugi)
home 家 (いえ, ie) え (e)
cooked rice/meal ごはん (gohan) まま (mama)
to freeze (transitive verb) 凍らせる (こおらせる, kooraseru) しみらがす (shimiragasu)
to freeze (intransitive verb) 凍る (こおる, kooru) しみる (shimiru)
to eat (verb) 食べる (たべる, taberu), 食う (くう, kuu) (colloquial) く (ku)


  1. ^ The ResearchGate mirror (archive) contains metadata about the presentation.


  1. ^ Takubo, Yukinori (2018-08-08). Mutual Intelligibility as a measure of linguistic distance and intergenerational transmission (PDF). Approaches to Endangered Languages in Japan and Northeast Asia: Description, Documentation and Revitalization. National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics. pp. 16 and 29. doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.12014.66880. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2022-12-24 – via ResearchGate.

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