Thursday, January 8, 2009


The Kansai dialect (関西弁, Kansai-ben?) is a distinct group of related Japanese dialects found in the Kansai region of Japan. They are typified by the speech of Osaka, which is referred to specifically as 大阪弁" OSAKA-BEN". It is characterized as being both more melodic and harsher by speakers of the standard language.Until the mid-Edo period, when the dialect of Edo (now Tokyo) came to exert a stronger influence on literature and learning, an old form of Kansai-ben had been the de facto standard Japanese.

Kansai Ben ToKyo Ben

日本 ( KB: ni↘hon) ( TB: ni↗ho↘n )

二本 (KB: niho↗n) ( TB: ni↘hon )

( KB: ha↘shi ) ( TB:ha↗shi )

(KB: ha↗shi ) ( TB: ha↘shi )

( KB:ko↘i) ( TB: ko↘i )

( KB:ko↗i ) ( TB:ko↘i )

こんにちは ( KB:Ko↗n↘nichi↗wa ) ( TB: Ko↗nnichiwa)

ありがとう ( KB:Ariga↗to↘u ) ( TB:A↗riga↘tou )

In some cases, Kansai-ben uses different words entirely. The verb ほかす(hokasu) corresponds to Standard Japanese 捨てる (suteru) "to throw away", and metcha corresponds to the Standard Japanese slang ”ちょう” chō "very". chō, in Kansai-ben, means "a little", as a contracted form of ちょっと "chotto." Thus the phrase e.g. ちょう まって (chō matte), "wait a minute" in Kansai-ben, sounds very strange to a person from Tokyo.
Some Japanese words gain entirely different meaning or are used in different ways when used in Kansai-ben. One such usage is of the word erai (usually used to mean "great" or "high-status" in the standard language) in the sense of "terrible," e.g. erai kotcha (< *koto ya), "it is a terrible/difficult thing/matter". The Standard equivalent would be taihen na koto da. Another widely recognized Kansai-specific usage is of あほ (Aho). Basically equivalent to the Standard ばか (baka )"idiot, fool", aho is both a term of reproach and a term of endearment to the Kansai speaker. Baka, which is used as "idiot" in most regions, becomes "complete fool" and a stronger insult than aho. Where a Tokyo citizen would almost certainly object to being called baka, being called aho by a Kansai person is not necessarily much of an insult. Being called baka by a Kansai speaker is however a much more severe criticism than it would be by a Tokyo speaker. Most Kansai-ben speakers cannot stand being called Baka but don't mind being called aho.

Here are some Well-known Kansai-ben vocabulary and phrases:

KB: Akan, akimahen (あかん・あきまへん) 

TB: Dame, Ikemasen, Shimatta (だめ・いけません・しまった) 
E: Wrong, no good, must, oh no!
Tabeta(ra) akan. = "(You) must not eat."

KB:Aho (亜保)TB: Baka (ばか)
E: Silly, Idiot, Fool
Honma aho ya nā. = "(You) are really silly."

KB: Dabo (だぼ)TB: Baka (ばか)
E: Silly, Idiot, Fool
Used in Kobe and Banshu....Status: Worst than "Aho"

KB: Chau (ちゃう)TB: Chigau(ちがう・ではない・じゃない), Dewa nai, Janai
E: that isn't it, that isn't good, nope, wrong
Chauchau chau n chau? = "It isn't a Chow Chow, is it?"

KB: .....Dekka(でっか), .....Makka(まっか) TB: ....desu ka, .....masu ka
E: Ending your sentence with......
Mōkarimakka? = "How's business?"

KB: Denna(でんな), Manna(まんな) TB: ....desu ne, ....masu ne
Bochi-bochi denna. = "So-so, y'know."

KB:Desse(でっせ・まっせ), Masse TB: ....desu yo, ......masu yo
E: Ee ,toko oshiemasse! = "I'll show you a nice place!"

KB: Dessharo(でっしゃろう・ましゃろう), Massharo TB: ....deshō, .....darō
Kyō wa haremassharo. = "It may be fine weather today."

KB: Donai (どない)TB: Donna, Dō (どんな・どう)
Donai deshita? = "How did it go?"

KB: Do (ど)
Do-Aho! = "(You are a) complete fool!"

KB: Dotsuku(どつく) TB:Naguru (なぐる)
Anta, dotsuku de! = "Man, I'll clobber you!"

KB: Donkusai (どんくさい)TB: Manuke, Nibui (まぬけ・にぶい)
literally "stupid-smelling" stupid, clumsy, inefficient, lazy

KB: ee (ええ)  TB: yoi, ii (よい・いい)
Kakko ee de. = "(You) look cool."

KB: Egetsunai (えげつない)TB: Akudoi, Iyarashii, Rokotsu (あくどい・いやらしい)
Egetsunai yarikata = "Vicious way"( wicked )

KB: Gyōsan (ぎょうさん)TB: Takusan (たくさん)
Gyōsan tabei ya. = "Eat heartily."

KB: Honnara, Hona (ほんなら・ほな)

TB: (sore)dewa, (sore)ja, (sore)nara (それでは・(それ)じゃ・なら)
Hona mata. = "Well then."

KB:Honma (ほんま)・TB:Hontō (ほんとう)
Sore honma? = "Is that true?"

KB: ikezu(いけず) TB: ijiwaru (いじわる)
Ikezu sen toitee na. = "Don't be spiteful to me, please."

KB: kamahen, kamehen (かまへん)TB: kamawanai (かまわない)
Kamahen, kamahen. = "It doesn't matter, it's OK."

KB: Maido (まいど)TB:Dōmo (どうも)
Maido, irasshai! = "Hello, may I help you?" ( Thank you always )

KB: Makudo(まくど) TB: Makku (まっく)
Makudo iko. = "Let's go to McDonald's."

KB: Nanbo (なんぼ)TB: ikura (いくら)
Sore nanbo de kōta n? = "How much did you buy it for?"

KB: nen (ねん)TB: da,(のだ) .....n da,(んだ).... no yo (のよ)
Nande ya nen! (stereotype in Manzai) = "You gotta be kidding!", "Why/What the hell?!"

KB: ōki ni (おきに)TB: Arigatou (ありがとう)

KB: Oru (おる)TB: Iru (いる)
Doko ni oru n? = "Where are (you)?"

KB: Shānai (しゃあない)TB: Shōganai, Shikataganai (しょうがない・しかたがない)
E: it can't be helped

KB: Shibaku(しばく) TB: naguru, tataku (なぐる・たたく)
Shibaitaroka! ( しばいたろか)

KB: uchi (うち) TB: Watashi; Atashi(わたし・あたし)

Uchi no koto dō omoteru non? = "How do you think about me?"

KB: yasu (やす)TB: kudasai, nasaimase(ください・なさいませ)

Oide yasu/Okoshi yasu. = "Welcome."

相槌 or あいづち - Ai-zu-chi How Japanese Listen

In today's lesson : Japanese believe, in most cases unconsciously, that a flow of speech is made up not only by the speaker but also by the listener who participates by giving " AIZUCHI". ( 相槌 or あいづち)

Sometimes the listener goes so far as to finish up what the speaker is going to say.

Two people, A and B, for example, join together in making up one flow of speech. It is quite different from the western notion of what a conversation should be like. The Angmoh's consider it as a form of good manners to keep silent without interrupting the speaker, while the speaker is speaking. But the Japanese way is the reverse part of it.

Keeping silent make the speaker felt as if the listener is not interested in his speech. Hence, Japanese speaker feel uneasy when the listener remains silent without giving " AIZUCHI".

Hence, for an Angmoh, " AIZUCHI", can cause confusion when he/she is speaking. The speaker may misconstrue the expressions by his/her Japanese audience as a sign of agreement where none is intended. Ironically, a lack of " AIZUCHI" by an Angmoh can lead a Japanese speaker to feel that he/she is not being understood.

So, what exactly is " AIZUCHI"?

Summary: Giving short answers or returning word of expession in short from the listener to the speaker such as " はい” ”ええ” ”そうですか” ”そうですね” ”そうでしょうね””そうね” ”そうか” ”そうおもう”’そうだ” these short phrases are called " AIZUCHI" which are used as a signal to the show to the speaker that the listener is "not kunning "(sleeping) but as a matter of fact, the listener is listening attentively and wants the speaker to carry on.( speaking )

That is why as I said above, Japanese speaker would feel uneasy when the listener remains silent without response by giving " AIZUCHI" to his speech.

In short, I am referring to two ways communication expression.