Looking for a great travel destination for the new year? Well, this one will at least ensure you never understand what anyone’s saying!
To make sense of the video you’re about to see, there are really only two things you need to know: 1) This guy is obviously lost in the forest somewhere in Miyazaki Prefecture and desperately in need of help. 2) He gets the help he needs in the form of a local deity who offers directions, which are, sadly, spoken in the near-incomprehensible local dialect.
Aside from the deity’s hilarious facial expression and baffling attempt at English, there are a few more gems in the video. For one, the slogan that appears around the 26-second mark can be translated as “There’s no loss in learning Nishimoro-ben.” While this is probably true, we can’t really imagine there’s much to be gained from learning it either.
The other bit that tickled us pink was the lost hiker’s comment at seeing the deity reappear. It can be hard to catch, but his disappointed quip is “また？”, which means “Again?”
If you’re thinking this dialect seems strangely familiar, then you’re probably remembering the Miyazaki tourism commercial that appeared last year presenting the dialect, Nishimoro-ben, as French. Thanks to the video’s surprise twist—and lovely scenery—it spread through the Internet in Japan like wildfire, drastically increasing people’s awareness of Kobayashi City and Miyazaki Prefecture. They’ve even made posters to teach people some Nishimoro-ben vocabulary, like the two below. On the left, you can see that “binta” (びんた) is the word for “head” (“atama” 頭 in standard Japanese) and “ndamoshitan!” (んだもしたん！) is what people exclaim when surprised (“bikkurishita” びっくりした is more commonly used in standard Japanese).
▼ “Ndamoshitan! That binta is so bald!”
As funny as the first video was, we have to say we enjoyed this one even more. We’re pretty sure part of its success lies with the back-story of how the video was made. Apparently, the production company got some very local input—the concept was developed by local high school students. In fact, the 47 students of Kobayashi Shuhokoto High School’s business and management information courses broke into smaller groups, each group proposing different ideas and voting for their favorites. We have to say that whoever came up with the final idea should definitely consider a career in marketing, because the newest video is one of our favorite videos of the year (so far)!
If you’re interested in seeing some of the ideas the other student groups came up with, we particularly enjoyed this video, in which the world’s oldest woman, apparently a speaker of Nishimoro-ben, explains the secret to her longevity. You can find more on their website.
So, does this incomprehensible dialect make you want to visit Miyazaki Prefecture more…or less?