1. 4 years ago

    Hi. I came across a lovely phrase, reported to be Okinawan, but cannot find verification regarding the translation or the spelling in hiragana.

    Ichariba choode
    Which various blogs say is translated as
    "Now that we have met and talked, we're siblings"

    I would like confirmation of this expression and its true spellings please.

    Much appreciated!

  2. Zachary

    Jan 2017 Administrator
    Edited 4 years ago by Zachary

    Hi Hollervee!

    "ichariba choodee" is indeed an Okinawan expression that can be variously translated in English as "When we meet, we are brothers/sisters", "From the moment we meet, we become family", "If we met before, then we're family", "Once together, friends forever", etc. The idea behind it is that every chance meeting has meaning and every interaction is valuable. Some relate the expression back to the warmth of the Okinawan people and their willingness to welcome others.

    The exact expression can be written as follows, depending on the script:

    Kanji: 行逢りば兄弟
    Hiragana: いちゃりばちょーでー
    Katakana: イチャリバチョーデー
    Romaji: ichariba choodee

    To deconstruct this, "ichariba" (more literally, "if we meet/met [by chance]") comes from the verb "ichain (行逢ん)" which means "to meet by chance" and "choodee (兄弟)" is the word for "siblings" or "brothers and sisters". Note that the sentence literally reads "If we meet/met, siblings" and that it has no verb. This is because the verb is implied, something you also see in Japanese (e.g. "良いお年を" which means "happy (new) year" is one such case, where the implied verb is "お迎えください" "have a/spend a").

    For reference, here's the entry on the expression in Ajima Okinawa, a fairly well-known Japanese-Okinawan online dictionary: https://hougen.ajima.jp/e462

    I hope this helps!

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