July 2, 2013

Basic Words in the Okinawan Dialect

Okinawan Dialect: Simple Words and Phrases

okinawa dialect words and phrases
An Eclectic Version of an Old Okinwan House
Okinawa has its own dialect that is different from Japanese. In fact, Okinawa and the surrounding islands have many different dialects, but the dialect used on Okinawa is typically the most common and well known.

The Okinawan's used their dialect for many years, from sometime around 1400's or before, to the 1800's when Japan seized Okinawa and the official language was changed to Japanese.

While learning the Okinawan dialect might not be the best choice if you simply want to learn words to help you get around the island, it is a lot of fun to use with the elderly Okinawan's and it usually brings a smile to their face.

Here are just a few simply words to say in the Okinawan dialect. One should also learn as many basic phrases and words in Japanese as possible to make getting around Okinawa that much easier.

7 Simple Okinawan Dialect Words to Use in Okinwa

We will show the word in Okinawan, then with some pronunciation help, and the translation to English. If you don't think you can learn all seven words, try just one at a time.

Word -- Pronunciation = Meaning in English

Haisai -- Hai sai = Hello

Nifeedeebiru -- Ni Hey De Biru = Thank You

Chya ganjyuu -- Chi ya gan jew = Are You Healthy? (How are you?)

Mensoree -- Men so re e = Welcome

Chyuurakagi -- Chyu ra kagi = Good Looking or Beautiful

Deijii -- De i jii = Very (deijii oishii = very delicious)

Uchinanchu -- U Chi Nan Chu = Okinawan or a person from Okinawa

okinawan dialect basic words
Okinawan - English
The best way to learn these is through practice with others, especially Okinawans! So learn one or a few of these words, and try to use them as you interact with the people in Okinawa. Just remember that not everyone will know these words, so if you get a funny or confused look, it may be best to not try any other Okinawan phrases on them.

We hope you will have fun with these words, and enjoy Okinawa a little more as you get out and use them. Share this with others who might find it useful and entertaining, and leave a comment with any thoughts or questions!

Looking for ideas of things to do? Look no further than our Top 10 Things to Do in Okinawa. Or you might be interested in learn more about Typhoon Season in Okinawa.

And who wouldn't want to read our Sushi Etiquette Guide to make your next sushi adventure enjoyable, and respectful.

If you are particularly studious or ambitions, you can check out this website, which contains a list of many more words in the Okinawan dialect which you can learn, and use!

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