Saga dialect

Saga dialect
Native to Japan
Region Saga Prefecture
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog saga1265[1]

The Saga dialect (佐賀弁 Saga-ben) is a dialect of the Japanese language widely spoken in Saga prefecture and some other areas, such as Isahaya. It is influenced by Kyushu dialect and Hichiku dialect. Saga-ben is further divided by accents centered on individual towns.

The Saga dialect, like most dialects of rural Kyushu, can be nearly unintelligible to people who are accustomed to standard Japanese. A popular urban legend has it that two Saga-ben speakers met up in Tokyo and bystanders mistook their dialect for Chinese.


Many of Saga's dialectical properties are variants, in particles or conjugations, of standard Japanese.

これ, それ, あれ, どれ (kore, sore, are, dore) Series

The Demonstrative series is uniquely pronounced in Saga-dialect.


Saga-ben contains lots of characteristic vocabulary. Examples are included (with standard Japanese, where applicable) in the following table:

Saga-ben vocabulary
Saga-ben Standard Japanese English gloss
おばっちゃん (o-batchan) おば-ちゃん (o-bachan) granny
いわじいにゃ (iwajiinya) 言わないのよ I'm not saying
きんしゃ (kinsha) 来る Come
あばかん (abakan) / Too small, and cannot be fit into
がばい (gabai) すごく(sugoku) Terribly; extremely
~ごた (gota) のようだ (noyooda) It's that way
うーか (uuka) 多い Many
うすか (usuka) 怖い Scary
くさい (kusai) だ!;だよ!(da! ; dayo) (copula; affirmative particle)
しぎーのする (shigiinosuru) しびれる (shibireru) Fall asleep (of a limb)
じゃーた (Shaata) 出した came out
すらごと (suragoto) ぞらごと (zoragoto) Falsehood
とっとっと (tottotto) 取っているの taken/reserved (w/explanation particle)
~とけ (toke) なのに (nanoni) despite~
ふうけもん (fuukemon) バカ idiot
みたんなか (mitannaka) みっともない (mittomonai) shameful; extremely
きゃーないた (kyaanaita) 疲れた tired
ぎゃーけした (gyaakeshita) 風邪をひった caught a cold
~やろー (yaroo) 〜なんでしょう;〜だろ (tandeshoo; daro) I guess; probably (rhetorical)
~やん (yan) 〜じゃん (jan) isn't it (affirmative).
えいくろった (eikurotta) 酔っ払った inebriated
ひやがいーめし (hiyagaiimeshi) 昼食 lunch
いっちょん (itchan) 全く completely
やぐらしい (yagurashii) うるさい (urusaii) annoying
あちゃこちゃ (achakocha) あちこち (achikochi) here and there

Cultural references

Saga-ben was heavily spoken in the 2006 film, and now television series, "Gabai bā-chan" (lit. fantastic grandma). The title itself is in Saga-ben.

See also


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Saga-ben". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 6/27/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.