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.
Examples of changes in the Kansai dialect
Below is a list of changes that take place between traditional Japanese and the Kansai dialect.
|Traditional Japanese||Japanese Romaji||Kansai-ben||Kansai-ben romaji|
|ookini / arigatousan|
|京都へ行きます||Kyōto and ikimasu||京都へ行ってはる||Kyōto and itte haru|
|Different / Wrong|
Not good / Can't
Do not understand
|impolite||informal||Polished - desu||Polished - gozaimasu||Formal|
|Osaka||already||ya||dasu||from omasu||from gozaimasu|
|Termination||use||To see||Eat||Do||Come over||Shape -te|
|-haru in Kyoto||tsukawaharu||miharu||tabeharu||shiharu||kiharu||-taharu|
|-haru in Osaka||tsukaiharu||-teharu|
|-te ya||tsukoote ya||mite ya||tabete ya||shite ya||kite 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 min, miyahen, 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.
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