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I'll be visiting Yamagata City soon and would like to ask:

  • as an armchair linguist what features of the local dialect to look out for?
  • what are some common words, phrases, pronunciation differences that I could try to effect to make a nice impression on the locals?
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I can't help you with first-hand knowledge, but you can start by looking here. Some of the comparisons (like 「んだ」 instead of 「そうです」) seems to be part of the standard Touhoku-ben fare.


According to the Wikipedia article, there's some good variety for the expression I quoted (「んだ」) in its formal version (which is equivalent to 「そうです」). In Murayama, for instance, it would be 「んだず」,「んだべした」or「んだずにゃー」, while in Shinjou it would be 「んだじゅー」or 「んだにゃー」. I can't find many explanations in that article, but it seems like quite a variety.

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Now that I'm in Yamagata City I can confirm the first localism I was taught when I asked this question was indeed "んだ" (nda). – hippietrail Jun 9 '11 at 3:46

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