Yamagata dialect

Yamagata dialect
Murayama dialect
Native to Japan
Region Yamagata
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog yama1262[1]

The Yamagata dialect (山形弁 Yamagata-ben) is the local dialect spoken in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. It is a form of Tōhoku-ben, and can be broken down into sub-regional branches that vary from area to area within Yamagata.

Yamagata-ben was used for comic effect in the Japanese film Swing Girls, 2004, to suggest that the film was set in a rural, 'backward' location. However, some Yamagata residents feel that the film used the dialect in an unnatural and patronising way. The dialect has also had Japan-wide exposure through Daniel Kahl, an American who has made a TV career as the gaijin talent who can speak fluent Yamagata-ben.


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

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