Okinawan language

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Okinawan
沖縄口
Uchinaaguchi
Native to Japan
Region Okinawa Islands
Native speakers 984,000  (2000)
Language family
Japonic
Writing system Okinawan, Japanese, Rōmaji
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ryu
Linguasphere 45-CAC-ai
45-CAC-aj
45-CAC-ak[1]
Boundaries of the Okinawan Languages.svg
     (South–Central) Okinawan, AKA Shuri–Naha

Okinawan language (沖縄語 おきなわご Okinawago, 琉球語 りゅうきゅうご Ryuukyuugo 沖縄口 うちなーぐち Uchinaaguchi) is a Ryukyuan language. It is spoken in the Okinawa and Amami regions of Japan. Some linguists believe it branched off from ancient Japanese. In Japan, it is believed to be a dialect of Japanese, however this is not true.

Sample Vocabulary of Okinawan[change | change source]

  • Mensōre (めんそーれ) - Welcome, Hello (when receiving)
  • Haisai (はいさい) - Hello (when visiting)
  • Ganjyuu (がんじゅー) - Fine health (in greeting)
  • Uchinaanchu (沖縄人/うちなーんちゅ) - Okinawan people
  • Yamatonchu ( 大和人/やまとんちゅ) - Japanese mainlander
  • Warabaa, Warabi (わらばー、わらび) - Children
  • Yuntaku (ゆんたく) - Talking
  • Wan, Wah (我ん/わん、わー) - Me or I
  • Iyah (いやー) - informal You
  • Unjyu (うんじゅ) - polite form of you
  • Yinagu (女/よぃなぐ) - woman
  • Yikiga (男/よぃきが) - man
  • Uya (うや) - parents
  • Kwa (きゎ) - a child ( as opposed to Parents)
  • Niiseh (にーせ) - a young man
  • Boujya (ぼういや) - a baby
  • Inne (いんね) - a dog
  • Inne-gwa (いんねぎゎ) - little doggie
  • Mayah (まや) - a cat
  • Mayah-gwa (まやぎゎ) - a little kitten
  • Heejya (へーじゃ) - a goat

References[change | change source]

  1. Mimizun.com 2005, Comment #658 – 45-CAC-ai comprises most of Central Okinawa, including Shuri (Naha), Ginowan and Nishihara; 45-CAC-aj comprises the southern tip of Okinawa Island, including Itoman, Mabuni and Takamine; 45-CAC-ak encompasses the region west of Okinawa Island, including the Kerama Islands, Kumejima and Aguni.