So, I'm going to Japan as part of the JET Programme, and will be staying in Minamiaizu, Fukushima Prefecture.
While I have about 18 months of Japanese, these were mostly night classes, and I could really use more daily practice (.... which I'm expecting to get); I've been informed that the local area has their own dialect - what am I going to end up learning (not necessarily deliberately), and what's going to be different for me? What are the characteristics of the local dialect?

(If it helps, the class was using this series, which I'm assuming is teaching 'Tokyo standard' Japanese)

  • Are you asking "what are the characteristics of the Fukushima dialect?"?
    – Earthliŋ
    Jul 2, 2013 at 23:51
  • @Earthling - er, yes, sorry. Give me a second here.... Jul 2, 2013 at 23:53
  • They have a wikipedia article. Also, googling 福島弁 should give you a bunch of hits with info.
    – Jesse Good
    Jul 2, 2013 at 23:57
  • @JesseGood - Ah, thanks... hopefully, I'll be able to read this some day... Jul 3, 2013 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Touhoku dialect? More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C5%8Dhoku_dialect

That being said, unless you're going way off into the boonies, I think if you've got a good understanding of standard Japanese, you'll be fine.

Here are some of my informal experiences with different dialects:

  1. Only a problem if you're speaking informally, which most likely means with a friend - someone who will forgive your listening comprehension mistakes :)

  2. That being said, most of the dialects I've encountered haven't been soooo extremely different from standard japanese that I couldn't understand what was being said. Usually the suffixes of verbs (verb conjugations) change a bit, and some local-only vocabulary might come into play.

Part of the fun of learning Japanese is learning these local dialects :) Hope this helps.

  • I would agree with this for the most part. I live in the middle of nowhere in Kumamoto, and I didn't know any Kumamoto-ben when I moved here. I was able to pick it up with no problem from listening to coworkers talk, and nobody ever uses it when they talk to me aside from a few friends. Even coworkers who know I'm more than capable in Japanese still tend to treat me like a beginner.
    – ssb
    Jul 3, 2013 at 14:58

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