Watching Ping Pong: The Animation, I found several sentences with ば after a name; while I know the conditional ば, I'm not sure what this should mean:






It seems to replace を, since all sentencence (not sure for the first and last, though; the last maybe as a slangy 思えば?) seems to work the same if I replace ば with を, and 苦楽を共にする is even a set phrase; I tried to find more about this use, but I didn't find anything.

I'm also unsure about the form ばやることば: is it をやることを, with the second を referring to 禁じる?

Should I read it as を? Is it a colloquial or dialectal use?

  • 2
    What does "gergal" mean?
    – Leebo
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 14:50
  • A typo due to my native language, I fixed it; thanks
    – Mauro
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 15:16
  • 1
    Does this answer your question: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/46744/9831
    – chocolate
    Commented Jan 8, 2023 at 5:54
  • It does, thanks.
    – Mauro
    Commented Jan 8, 2023 at 12:40

2 Answers 2

  • The ば is を in dialect. I think it is generally considered Kyushu-dialect.

〜ば (福岡の方言) の解説 地域 西部・南部


  • 苦楽を共にする is a set phrase, but it means more or less literally to be together when things do and don't work well.

  • 対外試合ばやることば厳しく禁じちょう is 対外試合をやることを厳しく禁じている in Tokyo dialect, meaning strictly prohibiting doing a (non-official) match with players outside (the school). So yes to your question.

For the last one, I guess it is changed incorrectly. In the manga version, the corresponding phrase is

そげな話 聞いて、//佐久間がどげん // 感じおろうかのォ

(/ for break in the bubble). There is no ば.


As luck would have it, I wound up helping to build out the ば entry at Wiktionary. Here is the relevant section.

@sundowner has the right of it in their answer post.

I'd like to add to that post a bit.

Where does this ば particle come from?

This was ultimately the same thing as the topic particle は. This was used, and can still be used, to introduce a contrastive or emphasizing sense. Compare:

  • 店【みせ】に行【い】く → [I] go to the store.
  • 店【みせ】に[は]{●}行【い】く → It's the store that I go to (as opposed to somewhere else).

Historically, this usage of は could also happen after the object particle を. This particular combination would cause rendaku or "sequential voicing", shifting the は (wa) to ば (ba). We first see this usage all the way back in the Man'yōshū compilation of poetry, completed in about 759. (For more about why wa voices to ba, see this other post.) Some modern dialects of Japanese still use this をば as an emphatic form of を.

Other modern dialects of Japanese used this をば so much that it replaced just plain を, and due to a phonological (sound) shift, をば shortened or abbreviated to just ば. The big 日本国語大辞典【にほんこくごだいじてん】, similar to the Oxford English Dictionary only for Japanese, cites this first to a text in the early 1800s.


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