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Japanese Roommate Rivalry Part 2 - What the Heck Were You Thinking?
By:Peter Galante

Yasu and Momo are at it again. This time, their hilarious bickering teaches you the Okayama dialect for incredibly common sentences. This is the article for you if you've ever said, "this situation is hopeless!" And, you've got to check this out if you've ever asked someone, "what the heck are you thinking?" We packed this Japanese Culture Class with common words in the Okayama dialect. We present each word in both the standard Japanese and Okayama form, so it's like two articles in one! And, you'll discover how to say numerous bonus words such as "we," "us," "hey," "quickly," and much, much, more in Japanese.

Vocabulary: In this article, you'll learn the following words and phrases:

kakutei shinkoku - "final income tax return"

raishuu ippai - "until the end of next week"

zeikin - "tax"

kongo - "hereafter, from now on"

shiyakusho - "city municipal office"

enkai - "party, banquet"

hana-gara - "flower patterned"

(kasa o) sasu - "to open an umbrella"

mashi - "to be slightly better"

Grammar: In this article, you'll learn the following words and phrases:

Grammar point 1:

Okayama Dialect / Standard Japanese / "English"

oeryaasenaa / dameda na / "something is desperate or hopeless"


Oen is the negative form of oeru, which means "doesn't exist." However, adding another emphatic and the negative word ryaasen to oeru makes a perfect negative utterance. When you feel desperate, such as when you get an "F" on your exam, just say this word with a hopeless look on your face.


Okayama Dialect:

Mata tesuto ni ochita. Oerayaasenaa.

Standard Japanese:

Mata tesuto ni ochita. Moo dameda naa.


"I failed the test again. It's hopeless."

Grammar point 2:

Okayama Dialect / Standard Japanese / "English"

Nanshon naa! / Nani o shiteirunda! / "What (the heck) are you doing?"


This is very simple. Nan is equivalent to Nani. Shon is the short form of shoorun, which means shiteiru in standard Japanese. When we use the informal copula (linking verb) da in a question sentence, it changes to na in the Okayama dialect. Put these three syllables together and say, Nanshon naa? ("What the heck are you doing?"). You are a perfect Okayaman!


Okayama Dialect:

Aitsu, kaigi ni sanjuppun mo okurete, nanshonnaa.

Standard Japanese:

Aitsu, kaigi ni sanjuppun mo okurete, nani shiteirunda?


"That guy is thirty minutes late for the conference. What the heck is he doing?"

Okayama Dialect / Standard Japanese / "English"

hayoo / hayaku / "quickly, early"

kamawan / kamawanai / "too much, overwhelming"

honma / hontoo / "really, true"

oe / oi / "hey"

watashi-ra / watashi-tachi / "we, us"

To instantly access the complete 10-15 minute audio lesson (a native Japanese teacher and additional hosts explain in detail the lesson dialogue, vocabulary, phrases, and grammar), PDF lesson notes (detailed explanation of dialogue, vocabulary, phrases, and grammar), and to interact with other Japanese language learners, visit the link below:


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