Noun. Person or language of Okinawa prefecture Japan.

Adjective. Of or relating to Okinawa.

Example usage: Awamori is an Okinawan liqour. Namie Amuro is Okinawan.

In Japanese we sometimes call people Okinawa jin for shits and giggles.

The Ryukyuan language of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands is closely related to Japanese. Okinawans call themselves Uchinanchu and call mainland Japanese Yamatunchu, from the old kingdom of Yamato. They call their language Uchinaa-guchi. The Japanese-Ryukyuan family has no identifiable affiliation with any other languages (though some connect it with Altaic or with Austronesian).

The Shuri dialect of Okinawan was established as the literary and courtly form by King Sho Shin (1477-1526) of the Ryukyus. The complex honorific system has levels for class, sex, and age.

Some of the sound differences between Japanese and Shuri Okinawan are:

Jap.  Oki.  meaning     Japanese    Okinawan

e     i     rain        ame         ami
o     u     cloud       kumo        kumu
k     ch    snow        yuki        yuchi
chi   tsi   road        michi       mitsi
mi    n     port        minato      nnato
ri    i     dance       odori       udui
wa    a     river       kawa        kaa
Uchinai-guchi wakai miseemi = Do you understand Okinawan?
Uu, ufee wakai biin = Yes, I understand a little
Nifee deebiru = Thank you Njichabira = Goodbye

Update. For more details see http://www.livejournal.com/community/linguaphiles/801964.html
-- I might incorporate some of that here later

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