Kansai dialect: Wikis


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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 Osaka-ben. It is characterized as being both more melodic and harsher by speakers of the standard language.[1] 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.



A division of Kansai-ben proposed by Mitsuo Okumura. The orange zone is the Middle Kansai-ben, the blue one is the North Kansai-ben, the brown one is the West Kansai-ben, the yellow one is the East Kansai-ben, the green one is the South Kansai-ben.

Technically, Kansai-ben is not a single dialect, but a group of related dialects in the region. Each major city has a particular dialect, such as Kyoto-ben, Kobe-ben, Nara-ben, and Wakayama-ben. Kansai-ben has over one thousand years of history. Since Osaka is the largest city in the region, and since its speakers gained the most media exposure in the last century, non-Kansai-ben speakers tend to associate the dialect of Osaka with the entire Kansai region. Thus, anyone habitually saying akan or honma to a Tokyo-jin (someone from Tokyo) would probably be labelled as an Osaka-ben speaker and an Osaka-jin (someone from Osaka), regardless of whether the speaker is indeed from Osaka.[citation needed]

Since Kansai-ben is the most widely known non-standard dialect of Japanese, it has become a favorite with Japanese authors, manga and anime artists, as a choice for representing a character somewhat "different" from the norm. Kansai-ben is also used in manzai and other comedies in non-Kansai Japan, because of the large number of comedians from Osaka in Japanese media (thanks in part to the Yoshimoto Kogyo agency based in Osaka), and the willingness of Osaka comedians to use their own dialect while on stage. Because of such association, speakers of Kansai-ben are often viewed as being more humorous or wittier than average Tokyo-jin. Tokyo people even occasionally imitate Kansai-ben to provoke laughter or inject humor.[citation needed]

Historically, nearly every village in the Kansai area had a style of speech that differed somewhat from the speech of its neighbors. It was even possible for well-travelled people to identify the particular area from which a speaker came – as the character Henry Higgins did with English in the play Pygmalion. As the Tokyo and Kantō dialects have gained influence during the last 400 years, intraregional differences in Kansai dialects have diminished. Nevertheless, residents of each major city and prefecture still take some pride in their particular dialectical variations, and this pride has preserved a number of differences between the areas of the region.

The primary dialects of Kansai-ben can be roughly designated by city. There is Osaka-ben, the most famous and well known. Following it in prominence are Kyoto-ben, known for its indirectness and politeness, and Kobe-ben, known for its -tō/-ton verb conjugation.

General differences from standard Japanese

Many words in Kansai-ben are contractions of their classical Japanese equivalents. (It is unusual to contract words in such a way in standard Japanese.) For example, chigau (to be different, wrong) becomes chau, yoku (well) becomes , and omoshiroi (interesting, funny) becomes omoroi. These contractions follow similar inflection rules as their standard forms, so that chau is politely said chaimasu in the same way as chigau is inflected to chigaimasu. Common contractions in Tokyo-ben are replaced by specific Kansai-ben variations. The korya and sorya contractions of kore wa and sore wa heard in relaxed speech in Tokyo are instead kora and sora in Kansai-ben.

Phonological and morphological differences

In phonological terms, Kansai-ben is characterized by strong vowels. In contrast, to Tokyo speech is characterized by strong consonants and frequent vowel reduction. For example, fi̥rɯ̥mɯ̥ desɯ̥ ("It's a film") in Tokyo becomes fuirumu desu in Kansai. Kansai-ben shows a recurring tendency to lengthen vowels at the end of monomoraic nouns. Common examples are for ki ("tree"), and for to ("door").

The geminated consonants found in standard Japanese verbal inflections are usually replaced with long vowels in Kansai-ben. Thus, for the verb iu ("to say"), the past tense in standard Japanese itta or yutta ("said") becomes yūta in Kansai-ben. This particular verb is a dead giveaway of a native Kansai-ben speaker, as most will unconsciously say yūte instead of itte or yutte even when well practiced at speaking in standard Japanese. Other examples of geminate replacement are waratta ("laughed") becoming warōta, and moratta ("received") becoming morōta or even mōta.

The -te shimau verb gerund plus auxiliary form (to finish something, or to do something in unintentional / unfortunate circumstances) found in standard Japanese exists in Kansai-ben, but is contracted to -temau rather than the -chimau or -chau of Tokyo speech. Thus shichimau or shichau becomes shitemau. Furthermore, as the verb shimau is affected by the same sound changes as in other verbs ending in -au, the past tense of this form is rendered as -temōta or -temota rather than -chimatta or -chatta: wasurechimatta or wasurechatta ("I forgot [it]") in Tokyo speech is wasuretemōta or wasuretemota in Kansai-ben.

Oddly, long vowels in inflections of standard Japanese are typically shortened in Kansai-ben. This is particularly noticeable in the volitional conjugation of verbs. For instance, ikō "let's go" is shorter in Kansai-ben as iko; shō, the contracted form of shiyō "let's do" in standard Japanese, is simply sho in Kansai-ben. The common phrase of agreement, sō da "that's it", is said so ya in Kansai-ben.

A frequent occurrence in Kansai-ben is the use of h in place of s in suffixes and inflections. Some palatalization of s is apparent in most Kansai speakers, but it seems to have progressed further in morphological suffixes than in core vocabulary. This process has produced the Kansai -han for standard -san "Mr.-, Ms.-", -mahen for -masen (formal negative form), and -mahyo for -mashō (formal imperative mood), among other examples.


The accent of Kansai-ben is greatly different from standard Tokyo accent, so non-Kansai Japanese can recognize Kansai people easily from their accent alone. Kansai-ben's accent is called the Keihan-shiki accent (京阪式アクセント, Kyoto-Osaka style accent) and spoken in and around most of Kansai, Shikoku and part of Hokuriku region. In Kansai accent, the first mora and second mora are sometimes the same pitch. This is one of the most distinctive features of Kansai accent as opposed to Tokyo accent, in which the first and second morae are always different. Kansai accent has the most pitch patterns, so some Japanese linguists, such as Haruhiko Kindaichi, advocate that Kansai accent keeps some of ancient Japanese accent's patterns.

Kansai Tokyo English
日本 nihon nihon Japan
二本 nihon nihon 2 hon
hashi hashi bridge
hashi hashi chopsticks
koi koi love
koi koi carp
こんにちは Konnichiwa Konnichiwa Good afternoon
ありがとう Arigatou Arigatou Thanks


The stem of adjective forms in Kansai-ben is generally the same as in standard Japanese, excepting regional vocabulary differences. The -i ending can be dropped and the last vowel of the adjective's stem can be stretched out for a second mora, sometimes with a tonal change for emphasis. By this process omoshiroi "interesting, funny" becomes omoshirō, and atsui "hot" becomes atsū. This usage of the adjective's stem, often as an exclamation, is common throughout the entire history of the Japanese language; it is seen in old literature in Classical Japanese, as well as many dialects of modern Japanese. (Some dialects including Kantō are more likely to contract the adjectival ending into the last vowel of the stem, yielding omoshirē and atsī or achī for the above examples)

Furthermore, the same process that reduced the Classical Japanese terminal and attributive endings (-shi and -ki, respectively) to -i, also has reduced the adverbial (連用形 ren'yōkei?)(-masu stem) ending -ku to simply -u, yielding such forms as hayō (contraction of hayau) for hayaku ("quickly"). Dropping of the consonant from the final mora in all forms of adjective endings has been a frequent occurrence in Japanese over the centuries (and is the origin of such forms as arigatō and omedetō), but Kantō speech preserved -ku while reducing -shi and -ki to -i, thus accounting for the discrepancy in the standard language.


The standard Japanese copula da is replaced by the Kansai-ben copula ya. The inflected forms maintain this difference, giving yaro for darō, yatta for datta. It should be noted that ya is only used informally, the same as the standard da, while the standard desu is by and large used for the polite (keigo) copula. Kansai-ben has its own keigo copulas: dosu in Kyoto and dasu in Osaka, but both are now rather archaic because the standard desu became dominant. Dasu was also sometimes shortened to da, not to be confused with the standard non-keigo copula.

The history of ya
Heian Kamakura Muromachi Edo Today
Kansai nite-ari de-aru dea dya (ja)* ya
Kanto da
  • ja is still used slightly in acrid speech. Now ja is commonly used in western Japanese areas like Hiroshima. It is also used for the stereotype of old men in fiction.


Historically, extensive use of keigo was a feature of Kansai-ben, while Kantō-ben, from which standard Japanese developed, formerly lacked it. Keigo in standard Japanese was originally borrowed from Kansai-ben. However keigo is no longer considered a feature of the dialect since the standard Japanese also has it. Even today keigo is used more often in Kansai-ben speech than in the other dialects except for the standard Japanese, to which people switch in formal situations. Traditional Kansai-ben keigo has gone out of use, but haru, a transformation of nasaru, is often used for showing reasonable respect without formality.

do say eat see "-te" form
Kyoto shiharu, shiyaharu iwaharu tabeharu miharu -ta haru
Osaka iwaharu, iiharu -te haru
Tokyo sareru, nasaru o-ii ni naru, ossharu o-tabe ni naru, meshiagaru go-ran ni naru -te irassharu

Sentence final particles

The sentence final particles (終助詞 shūjoshi?) used in Kansai-ben differ widely from those used in standard Japanese. The most prominent to a Tokyo-ben speaker is the use of wa by men. In standard Japanese this is a particle with the same meaning as yo, but used exclusively by women, so it is said to sound softer. In Kansai-ben however it functions in almost the exact same manner as yo does in standard Japanese, and is as such used equally by both men and women in many different levels of conversation.

Another difference in sentence final particles which strikes the ear of the Tokyo-ben speaker is the nen particle. This is much the same as the standard Japanese no da or n'da (no da = no ya > ne ya > nen).

The emphatic particle ze heard so often in the mouths of Tokyo men are nowhere to be heard in the Kansai region. Instead, the particle de is used, especially in the phrase akan de, equivalent to Tokyo's ikenai yo. It probably arose from the same variation which gave rise to the Western Japan replacement of z- with d- in words such as denden for zenzen "never, not at all". However, despite the similarity with ze, the Kansai de does not carry nearly as heavy or rude a connotation, influenced by the lesser stress on formality and distance in the Kansai region.

Negative form

In casual speech, the negative verb ending, which is -nai in standard Japanese, is often expressed with -hen, as in ikahen "not going", which is ikanai in standard Japanese. Etymologically speaking, this is not simply a replacement of standard nai with a different suffix onto the negative stem, but the result of the form ren'yōkei + wa senu, altered by contraction and phonological change (as illustrated below). The conjugation before -hen has some varieties. Most common conjugation is -ahen like ikahen, but -ehen like ikehen is also used in Osaka. -Hen are pronounced -hin when the vowel before -hen is i especially in Kyoto.

The history of hen
Edo Meiji
Kyoto iki-wa-senu iki-ya-sen ikyasen ikahen
Osaka ikahen or ikehen
The difference of hen between Kyoto and Osaka
not doing not seeing not coming
Kyoto shiihin or seehen miihin kiihin*
Osaka seehen miihen or meehen keehen* or ko-hen
Standard shinai minai konai
  • Kōhen, mixed keehen or kiihin with konai, is also used lately by young people.

Imperative form

Kansai-ben has two imperative forms. One is the standard meireikei, inherited from Middle Japanese. The other is a somewhat soft form which uses ren'yōkei. The end of the soft imperative form is often elongated and generally followed by ya or na. The -ro form for monograde verbs in standard Japanese was only used in Kantō by nature, so the -ro form is much rarer in Kansai. In the negative imperative mood, Kansai-ben also has the somewhat soft form which uses ren'yōkei + na, abbreviation of ren'yōkei + nasaruna. Na sometimes changes to naya or naina (naina is archaic now). Ren'yōkei + na is the same as the informal imperative mood in Kantō Japanese, an abbreviation of ren'yōkei + nasai. Kansai speakers can recognize the difference by shades of accent, but Tokyo speakers are sometimes confused by a command not to do something, which they interpret as an order to do it.

The imperative mood of Kansai-ben
Do Not do Go Not go Eat Not eat
Normal sei see suruna sun'na suna ike ikuna tabei tabee taberuna taben'na
Soft shi shii shina iki ikii ikina tabe tabei tabee tabena


In some cases, Kansai-ben uses different words entirely. The verb hokasu corresponds to standard Japanese suteru "to throw away", and metcha corresponds to the standard Japanese slang chō "very". Chō, in Kansai-ben, means "a little", as a contracted form of "chotto." Thus the phrase e.g. 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 aho. Basically equivalent to the standard 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.

Well-known Kansai-ben vocabulary and phrases

Common words and phrases famous as part of the Kansai dialect include

Kansai-ben Standard Japanese English Note Example
akan, akimahen (keigo form) dame, ikemasen, shimatta wrong, no good, must, oh no! abbreviation of "rachi ga akanu" (埒が明かぬ) which means "to get nowhere". -ta(ra) akan means "must not ...", -na akan means "must ...". Tabeta(ra) akan. = "(You) must not eat." : Tabena akan = "(You) must eat."
aho baka silly, idiot, fool often used friendly with a joke Honma aho ya nā. = "(You) are really silly."
chau chigau, dewa nai, janai that isn't it, that isn't good, nope, wrong reduplication chau chau is often used for informal negative phrase Chauchau chau n chau? = "It isn't a Chow Chow, is it?" (a famous pun with Kansai-ben)
dabo baka silly, idiot, fool used in Kobe and Banshu; harder than aho
dekka, makka desu ka, masu ka keigo copula desu, masu + ka (interrogative particle); somewhat archaic Mōkarimakka? = "How's business?"
denna, manna desu ne, masu ne keigo copula desu, masu + na; somewhat archaic Bochi-bochi denna. = "So-so, y'know."
desse, masse desu yo, masu yo keigo copula desu, masu + e (change from yo); somewhat archaic Ee toko oshiemasse! = "I'll show you a nice place!"
dessharo, massharo deshō, darō keigo copula desu, masu + yaro; somewhat archaic Kyō wa haremassharo. = "It may be fine weather today."
donai donna, how (demonstrative) konai means konna (such, like this), sonai means sonna (such, like that), anai means anna (such, like that) Donai deshita? = "How did it go?"
do excessively (prefix) often used with bad meanings do-aho! = "(You are a) complete fool!"
dotsuku naguru to clobber somebody do + tsuku (突く; prick, push) Anta, dotsuku de! = "Man, I'll clobber you!"
donkusai manuke, nibui stupid, clumsy, inefficient, lazy literally "stupid-smelling"
ee yoi, ii good, proper, all right Kakko ee de. = "(You) look cool."
egetsunai akudoi, iyarashii, rokotsu wicked, vicious, obnoxious Egetsunai yarikata = "Vicious way"
gotsui ikatsui, sugoi rough, huge gottsu means "very" or "terribly" as metcha. Gotsui kii = "Huge tree"
gyōsan takusan a lot of, many also yōsan and yōke Gyōsan tabei ya. = "Eat heartily."
hokasu suteru to throw away, to dump also horu Sore hokashitoite. = "Dump it, please."
hannari hanayaka, jōhin elegant, splendid, graceful Hannari shita kimono = "Elegant kimono"
honnara, hona (sore)dewa, (sore)ja, (sore)nara then, in that case, if that's true often used for informal good-by. Hona mata. = "Well then."
honma hontō true, real Sore honma? = "Is that true?"
ikezu ijiwaru spiteful, ill-natured Ikezu sen toitee na. = "Don't be spiteful to me, please."
jibun omae, anta, kimi, etc. you, yourself Means "(my)self" or "(do something) by oneself" in standard Japanese; additional usage as a second-person pronoun is specific to Kansai. Ore, Misudo iko omoten nen. Jibun wa? = "I think I'll go to Mister Donut. What about you?"
kamahen, kamehen kamawanai never mind, it's doesn't matter abbreviation of "kamai wa senu" Kamahen, kamahen. = "It doesn't matter, it's OK."
kanan iya da, tamaranai can't stand, unpleasant, unwelcome abbreviation of "kanawanu"
kashiwa toriniku chicken (food)
kattā shatsu, kattā wai shatsu dress shirt kattā is a pun of "cutter" and "katta" (won, beat, overcame).
kettai-na kimyō-na, hen-na, okashi-na, fushigi-na strange Kettai-na fuku ya na. = "It's strange clothes."
kettakuso warui imaimashii haradatashii damned, stupid, irritating kettai + kuso "shit" + warui "bad"
kii warui kanji ga warui, iyana kanji be not in a good feeling kii is a lengthen vowel form of ki ().
kosobai, koshobai kusuguttai ticklish
maido dōmo commercial greeting original meaning is "thank you always" Maido, irasshai! = "Hello, may I help you?"
makudo makku McDonald's abbreviation of "Makudonarudo" (McDonald's' Japanese pronunciation) Makudo iko. = "Let's go to McDonald's."
metcha, messa, mutcha totemo, chō very mostly used by younger people; abbreviation of "mecha-kucha" and "mucha-kucha" Metcha omoroi mise shitten nen. = "I know a really interesting shop."
sentence final particle meaning varies depending on context and voice inflection. selected to the third of world's most difficult word by 1,000 linguists.[2]
nanbo ikura how much, no matter how Sore nanbo de kōta n? = "How much did you buy it for?"
nen no da, n da, no yo sentence final particle also neya, ne and nya. neya is rather archaic style, ne is short style of nen and nya is sometimes used in Kyoto. Nande ya nen! (stereotype in Manzai) = "You gotta be kidding!", "Why/What the hell?!"
nukui atatakai, attakai warm
ōki ni arigatō thanks abbreviation of "ōki ni arigatō" (thank you very much, ōki ni means "very much"). Of course, arigatō is also used. Sometimes used ironically to mean "No thank you".
oru iru there is/are [humans/animals] more informal or arrogance than iru Doko ni oru n? = "Where are (you)?"
sakai (ni) kara, node because somewhat archaic; also yotte (ni) Ame ya sakai kasa saso. = "Because it's rainy, let's open an umbrella."
shānai shōganai, shikataganai it can't be helped
shibaku naguru, tataku to beat somebody (with hands or rods) Shibaitaroka! ( < shibaite yarō ka) = "Do you want me to give you a beating!?"
shindoi tsukareru, tsurai, kurushii tired, exhausted change from shinrō (辛労; hardship). shindoi has come to be used throughout Japan in recent years. Also erai (somewhat archaic). Aa shindo. = "Ah, I'm tired."
shōmonai tsumaranai, omoshirokunai, kudaranai dull, unimportant, uninteresting
ten ta no da, ta n da, ta no yo sentence final particle the past form of nen Kinō Kita itten. = "I went to Umeda yesterday."
uchi watashi, atashi I (girls) Uchi no koto dō omoteru non? = "How do you think about me?"
wai ore I (men) archaic; washi > wai
ware temee, omae, kisama you (impolite) Means "I" or "me" in archaic standard Japanese; also usage as a second-person pronoun is specific to Kansai. Itemaudo ware! = "I'll finish you off!" (typical fighting words)
wate watashi I archaic; watashi > watai > watee > wate Wate ni makashitoki! = "Leave it to me!"
waya mucha-kucha, dainashi, dame going for nothing, fruitless Sappari waya ya. = "It's no good at all."
yan jan copula abbreviation of yanka; more recent
yan'na dayona, dayone copula yan + na; mostly used by younger people
yanka, yanke dewa naika, janaika copula yanke is used more by men
yaru yaru, ageru to give (informal) used more widely than in standard Japanese, towards equals as well as inferiors
yasu kudasai, nasaimase keigo copula archaic; mostly used in Kyoto Oide yasu/Okoshi yasu. = "Welcome."

Specific dialects

Since Kansai-ben is actually a group of related dialects, not all share the same vocabulary, pronunciation, or grammatical features. However, all have the characteristics described in the discussion of general differences above. Each dialect has its own specific features which are discussed individually here.


A number of terms which are considered by most Japanese to be characteristic of Kansai-ben are actually restricted to Osaka and its environs, not actually used throughout the entire Kansai region. Perhaps the most famous is the term mōkarimakka?, roughly translated as "How's business?", and derived from the verb mōkaru (儲かる), "to be profitable, to yield a profit". This is supposedly said as a greeting from one Osakan to another, and the appropriate answer is another Osaka phrase, mā, bochi bochi denna "Well, so-so, y'know."

The idea behind mōkarimakka is that supposedly Osakans are all engaged in some sort of mercantile activity, since Osaka was historically the center of the merchant culture throughout the Edo era and earlier. Certainly the phrase developed among shopkeepers, and today can be used to greet a business proprietor in a friendly and familiar way, but it was probably never a universal greeting and certainly is not today. It can however be used in a joking manner with any Osakan, and will at least result in a smile and a few laughs, along with the mā, bochi bochi denna response.

The latter phrase is also specific to Osaka, in particular the term bochi bochi. This means essentially "so-so", i.e. getting better little by little or not getting any worse. Unlike mōkarimakka, bochi bochi is used in many situations to indicate gradual improvement or lack of negative change. For the foreigner used to the repetitive question "Can you really understand Japanese?", responding with bochi bochi ya nā is sure to astound and amuse listeners. Also, bochi bochi can be used in place of the standard Japanese soro soro, for instance bochi bochi iko ka "It's about time to be going".

The southern Osaka-ben, Senshū-ben (泉州弁) and Kawachi-ben (河内弁), are famous for their harsh locution, especially Kawachi-ben is recognized as the acrid dialect in Kansai.


Kyoto-ben is characterized by softness and an adherence to politeness and indirectness. The verb inflection -haru is an essential part of casual speech in Kyoto. In other parts of Kansai, -haru has a certain level of politeness above the base (informal) form of the verb, putting it somewhere between the informal and the more polite -masu conjugations. However, in Kyoto, its position is much closer to the informal than it is to the polite mood, perhaps owing to its widespread use. The Osaka phrase "Nani shiten nen?" equivalent to the standard, "Nani shiteru no?", would in Kyoto be said, "Nani shiteharu no?" (and sometimes "Nani shitaharu no?") using the -haru conjugation for an informal question.

In Kyoto-ben, the honorific suffix -san, which in standard Japanese is reserved for people (and other animate objects in children's speech), can be used for well-known inanimate locations as well.


Kōbe-ben is a dialect of Kobe. Kōbe-ben is notable among Kansai dialects for conjugating the present progressive with the verb ending "-ton" or "-" for "-ing". For example, while the phrase "What are you doing?" in standard (and casual) Japanese would be "Nani shiteru no?" in Kōbe-ben it would be "Nani shiton?" or "Nani shitō?". Like Ōsaka-ben, Kōbe-ben uses the inflectional ねん ("nen") to add emphasis, such that "Nani ittendayo" ("What (the heck) are you saying?") of standard Japanese could become "Nani yuuton'nen" in Kōbe-ben.


Banshū-ben is a dialect of Banshū, which is west of Kobe. Banshū-ben is notorious for being an acrid dialect, similar to Kawachi-ben. For example, the famous Kansai-ben phrase nande ya nen becomes nandoi ya in Banshū. Such patterns sometimes sound violent to other Kansai-ben speakers. -tō, a sentence-ending particle in Kobe-ben, is also used in Banshū; in fact, -tō was originally a development of Banshū-ben.


Ise-ben is a dialect of northern Mie Prefecture and also called "Mie-ben". It uses the normal kansai-ben intonation system (Keihanshiki accent) but the vocabulary is largely affected by southern Tokai dialects and especially Nagoya dialect. For example, Kansai-style copula ya and yanka are often used, but instead of mochiageru (to lift up something) for warm they have Nagoya-style tsuru. Similarity to Nagoya-ben becomes more pronounced in the northerly parts of the prefecture; the dialect of Kuwana (northern of Mie), for instance, could be considered far closer to Nagoya-ben than Ise-ben.

In and around the Ise city (midsouth of Mie), some variations on typical Kansai-ben vocabulary can be found, mostly used by older residents. For instance, the typical expression ōkini for "thank-you" is sometimes pronounced ōkina in Ise. Near the Isuzugawa River and Naikū shrine, some old men use the word otai in place of the first-person personal pronoun washi.


Wakayama-ben is a dialect of Wakayama Prefecture and also called "Kishū-ben". The most famous feature of Wakayama-ben is that the consonant sound z changes to d. For example, zenzen (at all) becomes denden and zōkin (dustcloth) becomes dōkin. This feature is especially used in Tanabe (southern of Wakayama) and its perimeter.

Another famous feature of the dialect is the negative verb ending -yan, which is used instead of Kansai-ben's standard -hen. For example, dekehen or dekihen in Osaka becomes dekiyan in Wakayama.


Shiga-ben is a dialect of Shiga Prefecture and is also called "Ōmi-ben" or "Gōshū-ben". Being that Shiga is the eastern neighbor of Kyoto, Shiga-ben is similar in many ways to Kyoto-ben. For example, Kyoto-ben's characteristic -haru is also commonly used in Shiga.

Of course, there are differences between Kyoto and Shiga. In Nagahama, people often use the friendly-sounding copula -yansu. For example, "Nani shite yansu n?" means "What are you doing?". In Hikone, the emphatic final particle hon can be heard. For example, "Ashita wa hareru hon" means, "Maybe tomorrow('s weather) will be fine".

See also


  • Palter, DC and Slotsve, Kaoru Horiuchi (1995). Colloquial Kansai Japanese: The Dialects And Culture of the Kansai Region. Boston: Charles E. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3723-6.
  • Tse, Peter (1993). Kansai Japanese: The language of Osaka, Kyoto, and western Japan. Boston: Charles E. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-1868-1.
  • Shinji Sanada, Makiko Okamoto, Yoko Ujihara (2006). Kiite oboeru Kansai Ōsaka-ben nyūmon. Tokyo: Hituzi Syobo Publishing. ISBN 978-4894762961.
  • Isamu Maeda (1965). Kamigata Gogen Jiten (The dictionary of etymology in Kamigata). Tokyo: Tokyodo Publishing.
  • Takahashi, Hiroshi and Kyoko (1995). How to speak Osaka Dialect. Kobe: Taiseido Shobo Co. Ltd. ISBN 978-4-88463-076-9
  • Kazuki Aida (2009). Kesenai Kioku -Rotwelsch-. Levook Co.,Ltd. ISBN 978-4-434-13282-7

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