Babigo: A Fun Japanese Language Game! The Japanese version of Ubbi Dubbi.

    There are a lot of small things about a language that you might not even recognize until you're studying another one. I've known Pig Latin since I was a kid, but it never really occurred to me that other languages also had weird language games.

    That's why when commenter Heogw showed us a Japanese language game called Babigo, I was really interested. I'd never heard of a language game in another language, and I guess I'd never really thought about it before. Heogw posted this video (with sound and a still image) of actress Kiritani Mirei demonstrating Babigo on a Japanese variety show:

    …wait, what? Let's back up a little bit and talk about how Babigo works.

    Babigo (babigo バビ ) revolves around the Japanese characters ba, bi, bu, be, and bo (babibubebo バビブベボ). You slip these b characters in between other characters in a word to mix it up. So for instance, konnichiwa would turn into kobonnibichibiwaba, Tofugu becomes Tobofubugubu, and Hashi becomes Habashibi.

    Confusing? Absolutely. Babigo can confuse even a native Japanese speaker. But it can also be a lot of fun to try out and use on unsuspecting friends.

    If you want a better idea of how Babigo works, maybe retro pop group Triangle can help you out:

    Will playing Babigo make you fluent in Japanese, a kanji master, and the most popular kid on your block? Probably not, but it's still a fun tongue-twisting game to try out.