Also, bari ≠ "very"

A friend recently made the claim in passing that the Fukuoka-dialect conjunction batten, meaning "but" or "even so" was from English "but then". I found it a bit difficult to believe. Sure, Kyūshū has had contact with European nations on and off for almost half a millennium, but I don't think all that much of that contact was in English (at least until relatively recently), and why would they would have borrowed a conjunction when they had perfectly servicable ones of their own?

This page's explanation is more believable: -ba + to te mo, which, being a sequence of particles with no context, is difficult to translate meaningfully, but if you speak Japanese you will note the similarity to -te mo, demo, etc., along the same lines. "Sakata" here claims that they have related forms battemo in Hakata and battemu in Tsushima. "Dr. Unibon" says that Toribia no Izumi specifically debunked it using Edo-period evidence. So, I hereby declare the intra-Japanese explanation the winner, Occam's Razor-style. (I know, I know... Don't all rush to call your editors at once.)

For those who've caught Kyūshū-ben fever, for which the only cure is more sentences ending in bai, I quite liked this introduction (apart from the strange insinuation that "Rāmen wa bari umaka! would be more "grammatically correct" if it had a desu on the end.)

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