Friday, June 3, 2011

Study Tosa-ben with us! ①

People in Kochi speak Tosa-ben, which is different from standard Japanese. Starting in this edition, we plan to introduce you to Tosa-ben one phrase at a time. We will focus on things that are used frequently and are easy to remember. Remember what we teach you, and the locals will love you!

This edition we will talk about the Tosa-ben phrase “se-raren”. “Se-raren” is the equivalent of “suruna” in standard Japanese, which means don’t do it. “Se” is a grammatical form of “suru” which means do. “Raren” represents prohibition in Tosa-ben. “Ya-raren” is a synonym of “se-raren”.

Let us take a look at an example sentence.
Se-raren yuutani doushite shitaga?” (Why did you do it? I told you not to!) In standard Japanese we would say, “Suruna to ittanoni doushite shitano?”

I remember an old-time TV commercial narrating “Se-raren Se-raren Yuutaro” (How many times have I told you not to do that?!) This phrase is used even now as an expression to admonish kids who don’t listen to someone. Why don’t you use it in your school teaching?

Taken from vol.21 (December, 2007 & January, 2008. The Best of Kochi)

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