Yaeyama is spoken in the Yaeyama Islands, in the Okinawa prefecture of Japan. The language is closely related to Japanese.
There are significant dialectal differences between the islands and the following phrasebook is based on the dialect of Ishigaki, the largest and most populous island. See the separate Yonaguni phrasebook for the version spoken on Yonaguni.
A few examples:
"j" is pronounced like a "y" in English. Some syllables begin with a "ng", and this may be difficult for some English speakers. The triangular colon indicates a long vowel.
- Good morning!
- Sutumudi misharorunneːraː.
- Hello/Good afternoon!
- Good evening!
- Oːritaboːri. (alternatively, oːritoːri)
- Long time no see!
- How are you doing?
- Ganzhuː yarorunsaː?
- How are you feeling?
- I'm sorry.
- Be careful.
- Do you have any?
- Which one is good?
- I'm full
- Nice weather today, isn't it!
- Kyuːya iyi oːsuku yunna!
- Bad weather today, isn't it...
- Kyuːya yana oːsuku yunna!
- Hot day today, isn't it.
- Kyuːya attsaː soːraː.
- It's my first trip to Yaeyama
- Yayimaŋe hazhimyityi kwitayuː.
- I've been to Yaeyama a few times before
- Yayimaŋe ikumusuŋ kyiurun'yuː.
- I've been busy with work...
- Shigutunu haŋtahaːnu.
There is a very, very large dictionary you can get at some bookshops, it comes in two volumes, one Yaeyama->Japanese and the other Japanese->Yaeyama. It also includes a brief grammar.
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