Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Study Tosa-ben with us! ③

You will hear “bar” frequently in daily tosa-ben conversation. This basically means “only” or “about”. Don’t confuse it with BAR, as in “bar counter” or “bar exam”! Deciding which meaning applies depends on the context. Let us give you two simple example sentences.

"Kore bar naga desuka?" - "Kore dake nan desuka?" (Standard Japanese)
"Go ji bar desu." – "Go ji kurai desu." (Standard Japanese)

The upper sentence means, “Is that all?”, and the lower means “It’s about five o’clock”.

“Bar” in tosa-ben represents dake or kurai (gurai) in standard Japanese. You must ascertain from context which meaning applies.

Some of you may have noticed another meaning. Here is one example sentence.

"Are bar yuu tani." - "Are dake (hodo) itta noni." (Standard Japanese)

This means, “How many times do I have to tell you?” Sometimes it represents degree or frequency rather than the basic meanings above. But don’t hesitate to use bar when you talk with a tosa-ben native speaker!

Taken from vol.24 (June & July, 2008. Old and New Cultures in Kochi)

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