How to say "hello" in Japanese and Ryukyuan

  1. 10 years ago


    Mar 2012 Administrator
    Edited 8 years ago by Zachary

    The following expressions are used to say "hello" or wish a "good day" to others in various Japanese dialects and Ryukyuan languages. Most notably, Japanese dialects strongly tend to use variants of the standard expression こんにちは konnichiwa, while Ryukyuan varieties will frequently make use of the honorific verb 拝む (w)ugamu(n) (standard ogamu), often coordinated with another verb in its volitional form.

    Note that some spelling differences may exist, and not all speakers of these regions will necessarily use such expressions. Variations in regional intonation also apply.

    Standard Japanese
    こんにちは【今日は】 konnichiwa
    (Informal variants) こにちは konichiwa; こんちわ konchiwa

    あら ara

    こんちは~ konchiwa(a)

    こんにぢわ konnijiwa

    Aichi and Ehime
    こんちゃ koncha

    がまんしょかー gaman shokaa

    こんちわ konchiwa
    ちわ~ chiwa(a)
    まいど maido

    こんちは konchiwa

    ちわ~ chiwaa

    こんちは konchiwa

    こんちゃらごわす konchara gowasu
    こんちゃらござす konchara gozasu
    こんちゃらごあす konchara goasu

    こんちゃらごわした konchara gowashita
    こんちゃらござした konchara gozashita
    こんちゃらごあした konchara goashita

    めっかりもーさん【めっかり申さん】 mekkari moosan

    == Ryukyuan ==

    うがみんせーら ugamin seera

    うがみしょーらん ugami shooran
    うがみしょうら ugami shoura
    うがみんしょうらい ugamin shourai

    きゅーうがめーら【今日拝めーら】 kyuu ugameera
    きゅ(ー)がめーら【今日拝めーら】 kyu(u)gameera

    うがみやぶら(ー) ugami yabura(a)
    うがみゃ(ー)ぶら(ー) ugamya(a)bura(a)
    ふがみやぶらー fugami yaburaa
    ふがみどぅーさ fugami duusa

    うがみやぶら ugami yabura
    うがみしょうらん ugami shouran
    うがみどぅーさ ugami duusa
    ふがみゃ(ー)びらん fugamya(a)biran

    はいさい haisai (used by males) var. へーせー heesee
    はいたい haitai (used by females) var. へーてー heetee

    ちゅーをぅがなびら chuu wuganabira
    ちゅーがなびら chuuganabira

    くよーなーら kuyoonaara
    みしゃろるんねーらー misharorunneeraa

    すーうか゚む【今日拝む】 suu uŋamu

  2. 9 years ago

    Dear Zachary,

    I am a musician from the UK, and my partner and I are big fans of Okinawan singer Ikue Asazaki. My partner, Yash, is a singer, and has recently become very interested in Ryukyuan music- we bought one of Asazaki's CDs and she performed Tokuno Shimasetsu last year.

    Yash wants to sing Itsuki no Komori Uta next but we have found it impossible to find the lyrics online- there are the lyrics for the folk song but Ikue Asazaki's version is different. We do not necessarily need a translation- the important part is the lyrics transliterated into phonetic English or Japanese.

    It would be very greatly appreciated if you would be able to help us, or point us in the direction of someone who could. I can send you the song, and I would be happy to send you a copy of our CD as a thank you if you can translate the lyrics for us yourself, as I know how much Yash wants these lyrics.

    Thank you for your time,


  3. Zachary

    Oct 2012 Administrator

    Hello John,

    Sorry for the delayed response, but I hope you had a good weekend. I would be happy to be able to help, especially as I find Ikue Asazaki to be a phenomenal Ryukyuan singer. If you could manage to send me a copy of the song to, I will do my best to transcribe the lyrics for you.

    Keep me posted and have a great day.

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