I heard the following phrase spoken in Osaka:


Is it regional? Does it have any nuance to it?

Is it a more regular pattern or just an intonation of this particular phrase?

(Googling shows some わかりゃせん, but it also seems a spoken dialect; anyway I could not find any dictionary reference)

  • Just did some research - looks like this is Mikawa dialect spoken in Aichi Pref. Feb 25 '16 at 13:08
  • 2
    – Chocolate
    Feb 25 '16 at 13:27
  • 4
    この表現は、使用されている地域が広大すぎて、単純に「方言」と読んでよいものかどうか迷うところです。「非常にニュートラルな方言」、もしくは、「方言らしくない方言」とでも言いましょうか。 Feb 25 '16 at 14:24

tl;dr It is regional speaking, and former has emphasis on it where latter doesn't.

Here's what I found. This wording can be found in 三河弁. Although this is spoken in Aichi, I (from Hyogo) do speak this sometimes.

In this dialect, 〜や(あ)せん in the regular form is 〜や しない.
So わかりゃあせん in regular form is わかりやしない.

Now, わかりません vs わかりやしない(わかりやしません) is slightly different.

We'll break わかりやしない into words...


where is very interesting. is actually Engagement particle turned into casual speaking.

(Cf. http://lang-8.com/81029/journals/227496511358989883065326511567758757626)

So that being said, this phrase is originally わかりはしない, whose basic meaning is "わからない". This は emphasizes preceding word. So it can be interpreted as "I(we)'ll never know."

What about わかりません? It's simply "I don't know," no emphasis put. That's the difference between them.

  • 1
    As @l'électeur pointed out, this phrase is so widely used that it's a little bit hard to call it dialectal. As I mentioned in the answer, although this phrase can be found in Mikawa dialect which is spoken in Aichi, I from Kansai Area do use this phrase. Still, the meaning is the same. Feb 26 '16 at 0:25

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