Iyo dialect

Iyo dialect
Ehime dialect
Native to Japan
Region Ehime
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog iyob1237[1]

The Iyo dialect (伊予弁 Iyo-ben) of Japanese is spoken by people from Ehime Prefecture in Japan. The name is a remnant of the Ehime area's historical name, Iyo Province.

Accents vary somewhat by geography within the prefecture. The southern area is particularly influenced by the Kyūshū dialect, while the central and eastern districts have accents similar to Kansai dialect.


The Iyo dialect is an old one with many rustic characteristics and modifications of standard Japanese grammar.

  • yaken (やけん) is used instead of dakara (だから)
This leads to two alternate conjugations of the continuative form (~ている -te iru):
  • -toru (~とる) is a contraction of -te oru
  • V-stem + -yoru (~よる) is a slurring of oru
Example: "What are you doing?" (何してるの? nani shiteru no? in standard Japanese) becomes either
  • nani shitoru no? (何しとるの?) or
  • nani shiyoru no? (何しよるの?)
Example: The second "What are you doing?" above, nani shiyoru no? is often contracted to nani shiyon? (何しよん?) or nani shon? (何しょん?)
Example: "Can't do" (できない dekinai in standard Japanese) becomes yō sen (ようせん)
"Can't go" (行けない ikenai in standard Japanese) becomes yō ikan (よう行かん)

Regional variations

These patterns are found mostly in the Nanyo (southern) region:

  • "Explanatory/inquisitive no" — "What are you doing?" (何してるの? nani shiteru no? in standard Japanese) becomes nani shiteru ga? (何してるが?)
In combination with the alternate form of the continuative mentioned above, this is usually rendered as nani shiyoru ga? (何しよるが?)
  • "Although -noni" (~のに) — "But that's what you said!" (そう言ったのに! sō itta noni! in standard Japanese) becomes sō itta gani! (そう言ったがに!)
This is thought to be a contraction along the lines of sō ya to itta yasō yatte yasōteya


Some of the vocabulary in the dialect is readily understandable by speakers of standard Japanese, but many items are so different as to cause significant confusion. An example often proffered by locals is kaku かく, "to move/carry". For instance, it might be used in the context of a classroom—"Move your desk" (机をかいて tsukue o kaite). This would be incomprehensible to a non-local; a speaker of standard Japanese would interpret this as either "draw a desk" or "scratch your desk".

Iyo dialect vocabulary
Iyo dialect Standard Japanese English
いぬ (inu) 去る to go away
かく (kaku) 担ぐ to carry/to shoulder
おらぶ (orabu) 叫ぶ to shout
行きし 行く途中 currently going/en route
帰りし 帰る途中 currently returning
帰ってこーわい 帰ります to go back/go home
行ってこーわい 行ってきます "I'm leaving"
かまん (kaman) 良い/構わない good
もげる(mogeru) はずれる (hazureru) to be disconnected
つい (tsui) 同じ/いっしょ (issho) the same
たいぎぃ (taigii) しんどい/面倒くさい (shindoi) tiring/bothersome
ぬくい (nukui) あたたかい (atatakai) warm, mild
むぐ (mugu) むく (muku) to peel, to skin


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Iyo-ben". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

External links

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