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Advanced Japanese Lesson: ちゃうちゃう (Chau chau)








Two people in Kansai were pointing at a dog and talking like this.

A: Are chauchau chau? “Isn’t that a chowchow?”
B: Ee, chauchau chaun chau? “I don’t think that’s a chowchow, right?”
A: Nan-ya, chauchau chaunkatta n kaa. Oh, it wasn’t a chowchow.

Now, can you understand what person A and B are saying to each other?

The first chauchau by A is about the chowchow dog that comes from China. It is a cute dog with puffy brown or cream colored hair, have you all seen one before?  The third chau is a dialect from Kansai, and it means “to differ”. In other words, “Is that different to a chowchow?”, “Isn’t that a chowchow” is what is being asked.

In continuation, the chauchau said by B at the beginning also refers to the chowchow dog. The next chauchau? is “no, right?”. Specifically, it can be interpreted to “I don’t think that is a chowchow dog, right?”, “No, that’s not a chowchow dog.”

On top of that, A is saying, “Oh! It was different from a chowchow!”, “Oh, it wasn’t a chowchow”.

Generally, people in Kansai speak fast, therefore, people originally from other places cannot immediately understand and are puzzled when they hear such a conversation.  With that said, when you say B’s line out loud, the sounds of the words are funny.