Kyushu is the 3rd largest island of Japan, and located where KYUSHU is spelled out on most maps. Put your finger on the map and show your friends!
Kyushu is also home to a wide array of local dialects, which to the average Tokyoite (or to anyone from outta town) can range from ‘mostly understandable’ to ‘Can I see your passport and visa? How long do you intend to stay in Japan?’
I live wayeee up in the north of Kyushu, in a place known as Kita (North) Kyushu (Fukuoka Prefecture). I’ve noticed that even within this one single prefecture, the dialects run rampant and change depending on where you are, from the Hakata Bijin speak in Fukuoka City to the Kita Kyushu slang influenced by more easternly located prefectures. And all the dialects seem mixed together geographically to me: with everyone commuting from here to there for work, I suppose dialects leaking and mixing into one another is only unavoidable. But there are some common threads:
Fukuoka’s place in Kyushu and the yankii and ganguro mascots of its baseball team. ;)
A lotta people know that the word ‘suki‘ (好き) is the Japanese word used to express like or love towards a person or thing,
and that ‘suki jyanai‘ (好きじゃない) is the negative.
‘Round these parts if you wanna express the same feelings the respective words are ‘suitou‘ (すいとう) and ‘sukan‘ (すかん).
These days I hear the negative ‘sukan‘ about a billion times more than I hear the positive ‘suitou,’ but let’s try out some of these great examples! As I mentioned before, depending on where you are in Fukuoka Pref, the speaking is a little different. Let’s mark each usage with an (H) for Hakata Dialect and a (K) for Kitakyushu Dialect.
NOTE: Dialects are extremely tough to pin down and there’ll be people who disagree with what I say here. If you have a suggestion, help me out! Leave a comment! :)
LIKE – SUITOU
(H) “Mentaiko suitou to~?” (明太子すいとうと～？) “Do you like mentaiko*?” *(A Fukuoka delicacy!)
(H) “Suitou bai!” (すいとうばい！) “Of course I do!”
(K) (This word isn’t used much in Kita Kyushu and eastern Fukuoka.)
DISLIKE – SUKAN
(H) “Sore, sukan tai!” (それ、すかんたい！) “I told you, I don’t like that shit!”
(K) “Sore, sukan cha!” (それ、すかんちゃ！) ”I told you, I don’t like that shit!”
(H/K) “Mou, shigoto ga sukan.” (もう、仕事がすかん。。。) ”Crap, I hate my work.”
How about you? How do you express to other people what you like and dislike where you live?
p.s. Happy New Year, everyone! ( ^ _ ^)∠☆PAN！あけおめ！