Okinawa has its own dialects, referred to as Uchina-guchi. All other Japanese dialects are referred to by the Okinawans as Yamato-guchi. Okinawan dialects can vary considerably from island to island. For example, on the main island of Okinawa, the word for "thank you" is nife-de-biru. On Ishigaki Island, "thank you" is nifaiyu; on Miyako, tandei-gatandei; and on Yonaguni, it is fugarassa.

The unique intonations and accents found in other regions of Japan are known as ben, such as Osaka-ben, Tohoku-ben, and Hakata-ben.


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