Amami (シマユムタ)

Amami is a Ryukuan language spoken mainly in the Amami Islands (奄美群島 [Amami-guntō]), part of Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan. There are two varities of Amami: Southern Amami, which had about 1,800 speakers in 2004, and Northern Amami, which had about 9,900 speakers in 2013.

Amami is not official recognized as a language in Japan and is referred to as the Amami dialect (奄美方言 [Amami Hōgen]). Amami is also known as Amami-Osima, Amami Ōshima or Ōshima. The native name for the language, シマユムタ (shimayumuta), means "island language".

Southern Amami is spoken on the islands of Amami Ōshima (奄美大島), Kakeromajima (加計呂麻島), Ukejima (請島), Yoronjima (与論島) and in northern Okinawa (沖縄島).

Northern Amami is spoken in the north of Amami Ōshima, and in the northwest of Okinawa Island.

Written Amami

Amami can be written with a version of the Japanese Katakana script.

Amami alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Amami (Excel)

Information about written Amami supplied by Wolfram Siegel (PDF)

Videos in and about Amami


Information about AmamiŌshima_language奄美大島方言

Japonic / Japanese-Ryukyuan languages

Amami, Japanese, Kikai, Miyakoan, Okinawan, Okinoerabu, Yaeyama, Yonaguni

Languages written with Japanese scripts

Ainu, Amami, Japanese, Kikai, Miyakoan, Okinawan, Okinoerabu, Yaeyama, Yonaguni

Page created: 20.05.21. Last modified: 06.11.22


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