42 What is Kansai-ben? (All About the Kansai Dialect)

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On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is Kansai-ben?

Topics Discussed
  • What the Kansai dilaect is
  • The different that are found within the Kansai region of Japan
  • Osaka-ben vs other dialects within the Kansai-ben umbrella
  • The stereotype of the Ōsaka no obachan (older lady from Osaka)
  • Leopard print clothing
  • Who uses ōkini and where it is typically used
  • The characteristic intonation of the Kansai dialect
  • Switching back and forth between the "standard" Japanese dialect and the Kansai dialect
  • Vowel elongation in the Kansai dialect
  • "S" sounds being switched out for "h" sounds in the Kansai dialect
  • The Keihan train line
  • The Keihan train line's Okeihan mascot character
  • The -hen suffix
  • How dialects from regions close in proximity to one another tend to share more similarities than dialects from regions far apart.
  • About nandeyanen
  • About aho and its usage
  • Hard to believe theories about the etymology of aho
  • About meccha
  • The etymology of ōkini
  • About shānai
  • About akan
  • The origin of akan
  • What rachi ga akanai means
  • About chau and the famous chow chow chau pun
  • What bokobokoegui means
  • What dabo means
  • How many people perceive the Osaka and Kyoto dialects
  • Usage of the Kansai dialect by yakuza
  • Learning the Kansai dialect
  • And much more!
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And it goes without saying that if you sign up, you'll also get my undying gratitude. Thanks in advance!

Sources, Links, Videos, Etc.

Here are some of the English-language sources used for this episode.

Here are some of the Japanese-language sources used for this episode.

Check out the latest episode of Japan Station via the link below.

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Japanese Vocabulary List

Most episodes feature at least one or two interesting Japanese words or phrases. Here’s some of the ones that came up on this episode. All information is from Jim Breen's WWWJDIC.

  • Yaoya
    • 八百屋 【やおや】 (n) greengrocer; fruit and vegetable shop
  • Nandedyanen
    • なんでやねん (exp,int) (ksb:) what the hell?; what are you going on about?; what the hell are you doing?; you've got to be kidding
  • Meccha
    • めっちゃ (ateji) (adv) (sl) (ksb:) very; extremely; excessively
  • Akan
    • あかん (exp) (ksb:) useless; no good; hopeless
  • Rachi ga akanai
  • Shaanai
    • しゃあない (exp) (ksb:) it can't be helped; so it goes; c'est la vie
  • Chau
    • ちゃう (int) (1) (ksb:) no; that's wrong; it's not like that; (exp) (2) (ksb:) isn't it?; wasn't it?
  • Chigau
    • 違う 【ちがう】 (v5u,vi) (1) to differ (from); to vary; (v5u,vi) (2) to not be in the usual condition; (v5u,vi) (3) to not match the correct (answer, etc.); (v5u,vi) (4) (See 話が違う) to be different from promised; (exp) (5) (ksb:) (at sentence-end; oft. as 〜のと違うか) isn't it?; wasn't it?; (P); 【たがう】 ; (v5u,vi) (1) to differ; to be different; (v5u,vi) (2) to run counter to; (v5u,vi) (3) to change (into something out of the ordinary)
We Want Your Questions

Is there something about Japan that confuses you? Is there something about Japanese culture that you would like to learn more about? Is there something in Japanese history that you would like us to explain? We're always looking for new questions about Japan to answer, so if you have one, please send it to ichimon@japankyo.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing Theme: Produced by Apol (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Fiverr)

Ichimon Japan cover art: Produced by Erik R.

Illustration in featured image: By Rhama based on concept by Tony Vega

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