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Someone ended their sentence with やいな. What dialect is this? What does やい mean? I assume that な means the same thing as in standard Japanese?

Update: the original sentence was 「もう出来あがり?仕事はやいな~」.

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    Please add some examples. Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 16:31
  • @TsuyoshiIto: I believe I recall Ippei in ALWAYS三丁目の夕日 using this... Google tells me it was 「来るったら、来るやい!」-- in reference to Santa.
    – rintaun
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 16:43
  • Someone said this to me. もう出来あがり?仕事はやいな~ Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 18:06
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    that's 速い(はやい) ^^;
    – rintaun
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 18:15

2 Answers 2

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Update: This is not an instance of やい, but rather 速い【はやい】, so the information in my original answer is not actually applicable in this case.


Wikipedia suggests that at the very least, this is a feature of Hakata dialect (though it is also likely a feature of other dialects as well, as suggested by my comment above). In Hakata dialect, it is used as a light suggestion/command, like the ~て form of verbs in other dialect:

  • 「やい」(軽い命令)
    動詞の連用形に接続。「やれ」の転化したもの。

    • 「ちょっとあそこを見て」→「ちいとあすこば見やい」

な would then be the same as in standard Japanese, as you assumed.

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  • Sounds like a large part of this answer should be in the question, not the answer... I don't see @language hacker's comment anywhere. If it was made in private, the question should have been edited accordingly... I'll make the edits, hope that's ok.
    – Dave
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 23:45
  • @Dave Yeah, thanks. Should've thought of that.
    – rintaun
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 23:47
  • やい in the example 来るやい in your comment on the quesiton is used when the speaker states something resolutely (sense [2] in Daijirin), and it is different from the やい in the Hakata dialect which signifies the light imperative. Commented Jul 2, 2011 at 6:13
  • @Tsuyoshi Yeah, I meant it was a different やい by my "other dialects" note, but I suppose that wasn't really very clear.
    – rintaun
    Commented Jul 2, 2011 at 6:15
  • やい!たい!ばい! Anyone from Fukuoka here?
    – syockit
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 19:11
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When used not as a suffix, but as a stand-alone word, やい is a (rude) attention-getter among children, like the British "Oi", but specific to kids. (Adults would use おい!)

Kids: やい、俺のガンダムを勝手にいじるな! (Hey, don't mess with my Gundam toy!)

Adults: おい、おれの新車に触るんじゃねえ! (Hey, don't touch my new car!)

I believe the above is the most common usage (標準語) usage of やい, though as others have noted, some dialects have their own uses for the word.

PS: I thought I'd answer the question as asked in the title, ignoring the fact that it was inspired by a mis-parsed "速い" :)

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  • I've also heard やい used as a taunt (like nerr nerr). や~い! や~い!
    – Hyperworm
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 13:20
  • True, but since "やい!やい!" wouldn't work as a taunt, I tend to think of やい as a distinct word from やーい, which would. Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 17:19

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