Whaddaya doin'?

One of the first things I ask students at the beginning of a semester is where they are from. If they hail from a prefecture outside of Fukuoka, and particularly from one outside of the Kyūshū region, I then ask them to say something in their local dialect. Japanese can be frustratingly shy at times and unwilling to stand out so it often takes some pleading on my knees to get the kids to speak up.

Coaching them helps. I’ll say, “In Fukuoka when someone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ they often say, ‘Nan sh’yotto?’ or ‘Namba shiyottoka?’” Having lived in Fukuoka for nearly two decades, the Hakata dialect (Hakata ben) is almost second nature to me and hearing me speak it allows the students to laugh, to let their hair down a bit and volunteer a phrase or two of their own dialect.

“What are you doing?” is one of those very basic, daily, and utterly necessary phrases. It still amazes me how much variation in it can be found throughout Japan.



6. Yamagata


   Nani Shitta?



10. Gunma


   Nani yatterun?

11. Saitama

   なにしてんのー? Or, なん(い)してん?

   Nani shiten noh?  Or, Nan(i) shiten?



15. Niigata


   Nan shiteran?

16. Toyama

   なんしとんが?  Or, 何しとんがけ?

   Nan shitonga?  Or, Nan shiton gake?

17. Ishikawa

   なんしとるん?  Or, なにしとるがん?

   Nan Shitorun?  Or, Nani shitoru gan?


   Nan shiton?

18. Fukui

   なにしてんにゃー Or, なにやってんのー?

   Nani shiten nya?  Or, Nani Yatten noh?

20. Nagano


   Nani shiteru dah?

21. Gifu

   なにしとるの? Or, なにしとんの?

   Nani Shitoru no? Or, Nani shiton no?

22. Shizuoka

   何してんの?  Or, 何しちょん?

   Nani shiten no?  Or, Nani shichon?

23. Aichi

   なにしとんの?  Or, 何やっとんの?

   Nani shiton no? Or, Nani yatton no?



24. Mie


   Nani shi-yon?

26. Kyōto

   何してんの? Or, 何してるん?

   Nani shiten no? Or, Nani shiterun?


   Nani shiton nen?

27. Ōsaka

   何してるん? Or, 何してん?

   Nani shiterun?  Or, Nani shiten?

   なんしよん  Or, なにしよん

   Nan shiyon? Or, Nani shiyon?

28. Hyōgo

   In Kôbe, 何しとぉ~?

   Nani shitoh?

   なにしとん? Or, 何しよんねん?

   Nani shiton?  Or, Nan shiyon nen?



31. Tottori

   何しとるだ~? Or, なんしょ-るぅ?

   Nan shitoru dah?  Or, Nan shyohruu?

32. Shimane

   何しちょ―?  Or, 何しよん?

   Nani shichoh? Or, Nani shiyon?

33. Okayama

   なにしとん?  Or, なんしょん?

   Nan shiton?  Or, Nan shon?

34. Hiroshima

   なんしよん? Or, なにしとん?

   Nan shiyon? Or, Nani shiton?

   なにしとるん? Or, 何しちょるん?

   Nani shitorun? Or, Nani shichorun?

35. Yamaguchi

   何しとるん?  Or, 何しとん?

   Nan shitorun? Or, Nan shiton?



36. Tokushima

   Awa-ben, なんしょん?

   Nan shon?

37. Kagawa


   Nani Shiyon no?


   Nan Shon?


   Nani Shiterun?

38. Ehime

   なんしとん?  Or, なんしよん?

   Nan shiton?  Or, Nan shiyon?

39. Kōchi

   何しゆうが?   Or, 何やりゆうが?

   Nani shiyuu ga? Or, Nani yariyuu ga?



40. Fukuoka

   なんしよ-と~??  Or, なんしよん?

   Nan Shiyoh toh?  Or, Nan shiyon?

   なんばしよっと?  Or, なんしよるー?

   Nanba shiyotto? Or, Nan shiyoruu?

   なんばしとっと? Or, なんばしとると?

   Nanba shitoto? Or, Nanba shitoruto?

41. Saga

   なんしよると-? Or, なんしよーと?

   Nan shiyorutoh? Or, Nan shiyoh to?

42. Nagasaki

   なんしよっと?  Or, なんしよっとー?

   Nan shiyotto?  Or, Nan shiyottoh?


   Nanba shiyotto?

43. Kumamoto


   Namba shiyottoh?

44. Oita


   Nani Shiyon no?

45. Miyazaki


   Nan shichotto?

46. Kagoshima



47. Okinawa

   ぬーやってるばア?  Or, ヌーソーガー?

   Nuu yatteru bah?  Or, Nuu sohgah?