The Kyoto and Osaka dialect - Kansai-ben

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Kansai-ben [関西弁] is a group of Japanese dialects from the Kansai region that covers Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Shiga and other provinces. This region has the second most popular dialect in Japan, second only to Kanto.

Nowadays it is common to see and associate the Kansai dialect (especially Osaka) with comedy, being used as something funny in many animes, games, dramas, etc.

Although most associate the Osaka dialect with the Kansai dialect of the entire region, technically, each province in the region has a particular dialect, and residents are proud of their particular small differences. In this article, we’ll look especially at Osaka and the one from Kyoto.

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Examples of changes in the Kansai dialect

Below is a list of changes that take place between traditional Japanese and the Kansai dialect.

Traditional JapaneseJapanese RomajiKansai-benKansai-ben romaji
ありがとうございますarigatou (gozaimasu)おおきに
ありがとうさん
ookini / arigatousan
おはようございますohayou (gozaimasu)おはようさんohayousan
本当hontouほんまhonma
よ!yoで!in!
本当だよ!hontoudayo!ほんまやで!honmayade!
そうだI'm ofせやseya
いくらikuraなんぼnanbo
じゃあjyaaほなhona
いいiiええand is
だめladyあかんakan
ということはtoiukotowaっちゅうことはttchyuukotowa
ということだtoiukotodaちゅうこっちゃChuukotcha
だろうgaveやろうyarou
huhat
知ってるShitteru知っとるShittoru
京都へ行きますKyōto and ikimasu京都へ行ってはるKyōto and itte haru
KansaiTokyoPortuguese
Chau
Akan
Meccha
wakarahen
Aho
Chigau
Dame
Tottemo
wakaranai
baka
Different / Wrong
Not good / Can't
Very
Do not understand
Moron
 impoliteinformalPolished - desuPolished - gozaimasuFormal
Osakaalreadyyadasufrom omasufrom gozaimasu
Kyotodosufrom osu
TerminationuseTo seeEatDoCome overShape -te
Original verbtsukaumirutaberusurukuru-have-u
-naharutsukainaharuminaharutabenaharushinaharukinaharu-tenaharu
-haru in Kyototsukawaharumiharutabeharushiharukiharu-taharu
-haru in Osakatsukaiharu-teharu
-yaharu miyaharutabeyaharushiyaharukiyaharu-teyaharu
-te yatsukoote yamite yatabete yashite yakite ya-totte ya

Curiosities about kansai-ben

  • In Kyoto, the word です can become どす
  • The verb: tsukau (use) becomes tsukawan,  tsukawahen and tsukaehen.
  • The verb: miru (see) becomes minmiyahen, meehen and miihin

Researching and writing about the Kansai dialect is complex and complicated, there is much more information about the Kansai dialect than Fukuoka dialect. Really explaining all the details and curiosities of a dialect is kind of complicated, there is a website specialized only in the Kansai dialect, you you can access it by clicking here.

If you watch the anime Detective Conan surely you will notice the difference between dialects and the Kansai dialect, one of the important characters in the Hattori Heiji series is from Kansai and we can immediately notice the language difference. If you can read some kanji, notice the strip below showing Hattori's friend Kazuha speaking in Kansai dialect.

Hattori

What did you think of the kansai-ben dialect? Did you like the article? If you liked leave your comments and share with friends. Thank you and see you in the next article.

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