Useful phrases in the Hakata dialect

Fukuoka’s local dialect, otherwise known as Hakata-ben, is said to be one of the cutest sounding dialects in Japan.

A key way to identify it is through their use of the word “ttai” or “tai”. This suffix is usually added to the end of sentences and used in almost the same way as “yo” of standard Japanese to indicate to the listener that this is new information.

Japanese learners who are keen to learn the dialect can check out 「Tokyo Tower: Okan To Boku To, Tokidoki, Oton」, a coming-of-age drama featuring a protagonist who speaks Hakata-ben while living in Tokyo.

Other noteworthy productions include 「Oppai Volleyball」, which was filmed in Kitakyushu and 「Nodame Cantabile」, whose protagonist Megumi Noda hails from Fukuoka.

Channel your inner kawaii-ness and conquer these adorable-sounding phrases in Hakata-ben!

English Hakata Dialect
I’m hungry ひもじか~                                                                                himochika~
I don’t eat meat; do you have a vegetarian menu? 肉は食べんけん, ベジタリアン料理はなか?
niku wa tabenken, begitarian ryōri wa na ka?
Can we get a seat in the non-smoking section? 禁煙席にしてほしいっちゃけど
kin en seki ni shite hoshii chakedo
Is this seat taken? とっとーと?
to ttō to?
Yes, this seat is taken. とっとーと。

to ttō to

This is very delicious! これはバリうまかぁ~
kore wa bari uma kaa~
Can I get this for take away? 持ち帰りにできん?
mochi kaeri ni dekin?
Let’s go grab a drink! 飲みに行くばい!
nomi ni iku bai!
Do you have any set menu? セットメニューはあると?
setto menyū wa aru to?
Sure thing! よかよか~
yoka yoka~


(This feature first appeared on WAttention Singapore magazine, Sep/Oct 2017 Vol. 40)




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