Cool 方言 – よう知っとるな

As I’ve written before, I’m not a big believer in good pronunciation = fluency or excellent command of dialect = fluency, but I have come to realize that learning dialects gives you more variations to help reinforce your understanding of 標準語 patterns. And it’s also nice to know what people on TV are saying.

One of my favorites originates in Nagoya. My former roommate, Nagoya born and raised, used to say it all the time, often when I dropped some obscure Murakami fact that no one should ever know. (Murakami’s first use of the name “May Kasahara” wasn’t in The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – it was in the 夜のくもざる series of super-shorts in the story “Eel”. Either that or the short story “The Twins and the Sunken Continent.” Can’t remember.)

よう知っとるな, when you convert it back into unslurred words, is よく知っておるな. And then further into 標準語, よく知っているね.

おる and おります are often used as humble keigo, and this article claims that it is also used to deprecate and insult (much like the phrase してやる rather than してあげる), but I think in this case it’s just dialect common in areas West of Tokyo. This phrase might actually be Kansai-ben. I always associate it with my roommate and assumed it was from Nagoya. Either way, a cool little phrase to bust out every now and then when somebody impresses with some wicked truth – “Damn yo, how you get so knowledgeable and shit?”

6 thoughts on “Cool 方言 – よう知っとるな

  1. Yo(k), I say if you’re leaving おる in the unslurred version, よう should stay as it is too. It’s the same sort of western thing — actually the same western variation as the one that gave Tokyo standard set phrases like おはようございます and ありがとうございます.

  2. Yeah man, I don’t know what sort of phrasing they use in Aichi (it may be different from around here) but in Kansai っておる is used frequently, and you’re right about the putting down of the person you’re talking to/about. 何しとんねん? Is a common angry/strong inquisition I even use myself on occasion if someone does something really rude or whatever.

    In case you’re interested, on the other side of the spectrum (in terms of politeness) the verb はる is attached to stems to slightly elevate the person you’re speaking with. 「大阪に行かはったとき、何か京都と違うこと気づいたん?」is a simple example, but shows it clearly.

    Personally I still feel a bit self-conscious using the dialect myself, largely because the intonation is so critical, and naturally that’s tough to master. So it’s typically only when I’m drinking that I try to bring it out full swing. *Very* useful to understand though here (Kyoto), even if you don’t use it at all.

  3. When I worked at Denso (many, many years ago), one of the guys asked me, 「結婚してみえるの?」, and I had no idea how to answer the question. At first I thought he was asking if I was thinking about getting married someday. He changed it to 「結婚していらっしゃるの?」 and then I figured it out. They always used おる. I have some funny stories about Aichi dialect.

  4. Folks out here in Hyogo use っておる all the time, and no seems to find it particularly rude…not polite, obviously, but on the same level as っている elsewhere Depends on the the area, I guess.

  5. -toru instead of -teiru form is typical Kobe dialect, one of variations of Kansai dialect group. Kobe ben is different Osaka ben, which became very popular in Japan due to comedy actors and rakugo performances. Everything is -toru here in Kobe.
    Somehow, using dialect in 80% of cases in public broadcasting refers to Kansai dialect group used by comics in TV shows to entertain people. Therefore when normal people from Kansai start speaking their home dialect in central Japan area they are believed to entertain people by doing so. However this is just normal language here in the West and locals become quite angry when others start laughing at them.
    Well, I think i said too much. Anyway, I just like the topic.

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