Tsugaru dialect

Tsugaru dialect
Aomori dialect
Native to Japan
Region Aomori
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog tsug1237[1]

The Tsugaru dialect (津軽弁 Tsugaru-ben) is a Japanese dialect spoken in western Aomori Prefecture.

Tsugaru-ben is reputed to be too divergent from standard Japanese for those who are not native speakers, to the point that even people living in the same prefecture may have trouble understanding it. In 1988, fans of the Tsugaru dialect proclaimed October 23 to be Tsugaru Dialect Day (津軽弁の日 Tsugaru-ben no hi). October 23 is the anniversary of the death of Kyōzō Takagi (ja:高木恭造), a famous poet who wrote in the Tsugaru dialect.

In Tsuruta, there is an annual summer Tsugaru-ben competition (津軽弁大会 Tsugaru-ben taikai) in which teams of foreigners create short skits or performances, usually humorous, using Tsugaru-ben. In June 2009, a short segment featuring the competition was broadcast nationally on NHK.


The words are sometimes very different from those of standard Japanese.

English standard Japanese Tsugaru dialect
I watashi wa
you anata na
cute kawaii megoi
friend tomodachi keyagu
countryside inaka jago
but keredo dabatte
same onaji futozu
very totemo tage/gappa
cold tsumetai shakkoi
warm atatakai nuge
noisy urusai sashine
irritating ira-irasuru kacha-kuchane
money (o-)kane jenko
forehead hitai, (o-)deko nazugi
home ie i
cooked rice/meal gohan mama
to freeze (verb) kooraseru shimiragasu
frozen (adjective) kooru shimiru
to eat (verb) taberu, kuu (colloquial) ku


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Tsugaru". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

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