Kikai (シマユミタ)

Kikai is a Ryukuan language spoken on Kikaijima (喜界島 / キャー), or Kikai Island, one of the Amami Islands in Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan. In 2013 there were about 13,000 speakers of Kikai, most of whom were over 20 years old. Most younger people on Kikai Island speak only Japanese.

There are two groups of Kikai dialects: Northern Kikai and Southern Kikai. The northern dialects tend to be more phonologically conservative. Some linguists classify Kikai as a cluster of Amami dialects. In Japanese Kikai is known as 喜界島方言 (Kikaijima Hōgen) or Kikai Island Dialect. In Kikai it is known as シマユミタ (shimayumita), or "island language", and Kikai Island is known as キャー (Kyā).

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

Kikai alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Kikai (Excel)

Information about written Kikai supplied by Wolfram Siegel (PDF)


Information about Kikai喜界島方言

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: 21.05.21. Last modified: 21.05.21


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:

Learn languages for free on Duolingo


Learn a Language with gymglish

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.