Yamagata dialect

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Yamagata dialect
Murayama dialect
Native to Japan
Region Yamagata
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog yama1262[1]

The Yamagata dialect (山形弁 Yamagata-ben?) is the local dialect spoken in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. It is a form of Tōhoku-ben, and can itself be broken down into sub-regional branches that vary from area to area within Yamagata.

Yamagata-ben was used for comic effect in the Japanese film Swing Girls, 2004, to suggest that the film was set in a rural, 'backward' location. However, some Yamagata residents feel that the film used the dialect in an unnatural and patronising way. The dialect has also had Japan-wide exposure through Daniel Kahl, an American who has made a TV career as the gaijin talent who can speak fluent Yamagata-ben.

Lista of Yamagata-ben words

List of Yamagata-ben words although not all of which are spoken throughout the prefecture:

  • oshoushina - thank you
  • oshoshi- thanks
  • arigatou sama - thank you
  • sasukune - no problem/ you're welcome
  • domosu - thank you / greeting
  • kiyotsu - take care
  • ohayosu - G'morning
  • oban desu - Good evening
  • obanwasu - G'morning
  • oban kata - Good evening
  • hisashibe - it's been a while (since we last met)
  • n dasu - it is so
  • n da - yes
  • n ne - no
  • na shite -why is this?
  • omoshaibe - interesting
  • muzurikado -difficult
  • jonda - great! skillful!
  • igube - let's go
  • aibe - let's go
  • migi sa muzaru- turn right
  • migi sa mujiru- turn right
  • hidari sa muzaru- turn left
  • hidari sa mujiru- turn left
  • shaikosunna- stop interfering/bothering me
  • sawannazu!- don't touch me!
  • tentsu- lie
  • agarashai - welcome
  • ke- a statement made to offer one food
  • ku- a statement made accepting one's offer of food
  • ~nan da be? (~nan desu ka?) - ...is what?
  • n dakara - therefore
  • agae/agayae- please eat


  1. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Yamagata". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>