Harmony language in Manchukuo
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 協和語
Simplified Chinese 协和语
Japanese name
Hiragana きょうわご
Katakana キョウワゴ
Kyūjitai 協和語
Shinjitai 協和語

Kyowa-go (協和語, Kyōwa-go, "Commonwealth language" or "Concordia language") or Xieheyu (Chinese: 協和語/协和语; literally: "Harmony language") is either of two pidginized languages, one Japanese-based and one Chinese-based, that were spoken in Manchukuo in the 1930s and 1940s. They are also known as Kōa-go (興亜語, "Asia development language"), Nichiman-go (日満語, "Japanese-Manchurian language"), and Daitōa-go (大東亜語, "Greater East Asia language").


The term Kyowa-go/Xieheyu is derived from the Manchukuo state motto "Concord of Nationalities" (民族協和 mínzú xiéhe) promoted by the Pan-Asian Movement. The pidgin language resulted from the need of Japanese officials and soldiers and the Han and Manchu population that spoke mainly Chinese to communicate with each other. Manchukuo officials later dubbed the pidgin language "Kyowa-go" or "Xieheyu", meaning "Concord language". However, the Japanese also wanted to implement their own language in Manchukuo, saying that Japanese is a language which has a soul, so the language must be spoken correctly.

Kyowa-go/Xieheyu died out when Manchukuo fell to the Soviet Red Army in the last days of World War II. Documentation of the pidgin language is rare today.

It was also believed that many of the expressions of Chinese characters in manga (e.g. aru) are derived from Japanese-based Kyowa-go. Hence, it is typical of Chinese characters in anime shows to speak in that manner.

It was also believed that many of the expressions of Japanese characters in movies set in the Second Sino-Japanese War (e.g. 悄悄地进村,打枪的不要) are derived from Chinese-based Xieheyu. Hence, it is typical of Japanese characters in movies shows to speak in that manner.

The Japanese were also known to use pidgin languages in Japan itself during the 19th and 20th centuries like Yokohama Pidgin Japanese.

Examples of Japanese-based Kyowa-go

Region Manchukuo
Extinct ca. 1930–1945
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog None

Kyowa-go is characterized by a particle aru, omission of some particles, and many loan-words from Chinese language. 

  • 私日本人アルヨ "Watashi nipponjin aru yo"
    • Original Japanese: 私は日本人です "Watashi wa nipponjin desu" meaning "I am a Japanese".
  • 姑娘(グーニャン)きれいアルネ "Kūnyan (gūnyan) kirei aru ne"
    • Original Japanese: お嬢さんはきれいですね "Ojōsan wa kirei desu ne" meaning "Your daughter is beautiful"
  • あなた座るの椅子ないアルヨ "Anata suwaru no isu nai aru yo"
    • Original Japanese: あなたが座る椅子はありません "Anata ga suwaru isu wa arimasen" meaning "There is no chair for you"
  • アイヤー(哎呀) "Aiyaa!"
    • Exclamation of surprise from the Chinese.

Examples of Chinese-based Xieheyu

Region Manchukuo
Extinct ca. 1930–1945
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog None

Xieheyu sometimes uses subject–object–verb, the normal Japanese word order, which is different from Standard Chinese.

  • 你的帮我,我的钱的大大的给。 nǐde bāngwǒ, wǒde qiánde dàdàde gěi.
    • Original Chinese: 你帮我,我给你很多钱。 nǐ bāngwǒ, wǒ gěinǐ hěnduō qián. (If you help me, I'll give you a lot of money.)
  • 高桥欧库桑,猪的看见没有?那边的跑了的有。 gāoqiáo okusan, zhūde kànjiàn méiyǒu? nàbiānde pǎolede yǒu. ("欧库桑", pronounced okusan, is a phonetic translation of Japanese 奥さん, which means "one's wife")
    • Original Chinese: 高桥太太,看见那只猪了吗?已经跑到那边去啦。 gāoqiáo tàitai, kànjiàn nàzhī zhū le mā? yǐjīng pǎodaò nàbiān qùla.(Mrs. Takahashi, did you see that pig? It ran that way.)

See also


[1] [2] [3]

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