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. Okinawan was the official language of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Sample Vocabulary of Okinawan[change | change source]

  • Mensooree (めんそーれー) - Welcome, Hello (when receiving)
  • Haisai (はいさい) - Hello (male only)
  • Haitai (はいたい) - Hello (female only)
  • Ganjyuu (がんじゅー) - Fine health (in greeting)
  • Uchinaaguchi (沖縄口/うちなーぐち) - Okinawan language
  • Yamatunchu ( 大和人/やまとぅんちゅ) - Japanese person
  • Yuntaku (ゆんたく) - Talking
  • Waa (わー) - Informal me or I
  • Wan (我ん/わん) - Formal me or I
  • Iyaa (いやー) - Informal You
  • Unjyoo (御所/うんじょー) - Formal you
  • Un, uu (うん、うー) - Yes
  • Aibiran (あいびらん) - No
  • Furaa (ふらー) - Foolish
  • Yinagu (女/よぃなぐ) - Woman
  • Yikiga (男/よぃきが) - Man
  • Warabaa, Warabi (わらばー、わらび) - Children
  • Uya (うや) - Parents
  • Kwa (きゎ) - A child ( as opposed to Parents)
  • Niisee (にーせー) - A young man
  • Boujya (ぼうじゃ) - A baby
  • In (犬/いん) - A dog
  • In-gwa (犬小/いんぎゎ) - Puppy
  • Mayaa (猫/まやー) - A cat
  • Mayaa-gwa (猫小/まやーぎゎ) - Kitty
  • 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.