Following on from Tosa-ben Card Game (龍馬・土佐弁かるた) I thought it may be interesting for some people if I were to do a series of short posts relating to the vocabulary that I learn from the game.

Even if not, I’m learning that maintaining a Gaelic blog is helping me learn the language so hopefully this will help me with Tosa-ben.

First up is あっぽろけ which is pronounced apporoke**, the meaning is ‘to be surprised’ though the card game uses it to mean ‘very surprised’ as their common Japanese equivalent is 大変驚いた (たいへんおどろいたtaihen odoroita).

** the っ signifies a short pause in the pronunciation generally protrayed in English for pronunciation purposes as a double consonant.

The example sentence on the card is:

あっぽろけ シケでおらんなった万次郎が 海の向こうから もんてきた

あっぽろけ シケおらんなったまんじろうが うみこうから もんてきた

apporoke shike orannatta manjirou ga umi no mukou kara montekita

共通語:大変驚いた 暴風雨でいなくなった万次郎が 外国から 帰ってきた

たいへんおどろいた ぼうふううでいなくなたまんじろうが がいこくから かえってきた

taihen odoroita boufuuu de inakunatta manjirou ga gaikoku kara kaettekita

Now for the part of the post which is likely to go through various transformations as I’m corrected by my はちきん (hachikin) wife or family and friends from Kochi!

English : (John) Manjiro was very surprised that the storm had disappeared when he returned from overseas.

Regardless of whether that is an accurate translation into English or not I’m curious as to which of the other components of the Tosa-ben sentence are actually Tosa-ben and which are just common slang.

  • おらんなった would appear to be Tosa-ben as おらん means ‘doesn’t exist’ or ‘isn’t there’ hence why I translated おらんなった as ‘had disappeared’.
  • シケ comes up on google translate as ‘storm’ so it’s clearly not Tosa-ben.
  • 海の向こう seems to be pretty standard Japanese but possibly in a form more commonly used in Kochi than 外国? It certainly is closer to ‘overseas’ and more pleasing than 外国’s literal translation as ‘outside country’, more commonly ‘foreign country’ or ‘abroad’.
  • もんてきた feels Tosa-ben-like (土佐弁ぽい) and after a wee internet search I found it on this list of Tosa-ben words so that’ll be a tick.