Learn Kansai-ben

By Michael Gakuran | | Japan | 31 Comments |

A recent interview saw me exploring some of the wonders of Kansai-ben with a native speaker. If you’re like me, you might have an interest in this wacky dialect from Southern Japan, so come and learn a few phrases with us!

mike-ryousuke-kansai-ben

Ryousuke is a resident of Kansai, living in Hyogo-ken and is currently studying abroad here in the U.K. The Kansai dialect is well-known for it’s use by Japanese comedians, television shows and also by ‘ruffians’; the yakuza-like types who are all lip and loudmouth. Of course, it’s also used by the native residents of Kansai, and particularly strong forms by older generations. It’s still quite popular among young people though, in my experience!

One thing to remember when learning Kanasai-ben is that the accents and intonation used is very different from hyoujyungo (the standard Tokyo dialect that is usually taught in textbooks), so pay attention not to pick up bad habits if you are a beginning student of Japanese. It may be hard to correct your pronunciation later! And yes, hyoujyungo is required when working in business environments and cities outside Kansai – you can’t get away with speaking polite Kansai-ben in Tokyo, lest you want stick out like a sore thumb!

With that in mind, let’s watch the 2-part pub interview:

Learn Kansai-ben with the Gakuranman! Part 1


Phrases learnt:

どないやねん – (どういうことだ) What does it mean?

ね changes to な – Isn’t it?

やかましいわ! – (うるさいよ!) Shut-up! / Noisy

ほんまに?- (本当に?) Really?

いい changes to ええ – Good / Yes

なんでやねん – (なんでだ?) Why? / What?

どついたろか?! – (殴ろうか?!) Shall I hit you? / Wanna knuckle sandwich?

ほないこうか? – (今、いこうか?) Shall we go then?

Part 2


Phrases learnt:

しんどい – (疲れた) It’s tiring / I’m tired

ちゃう – (違う) That’s wrong / It’s different

ちゃう、ちゃう。ちゃうちゃうちゃうんちゃう? – No, no. It’s not a chihuahua is it?

どや顔 – Stuck-up face / Being full of oneself

うっとうしい – (むかつく) Annoying / Irritating

ひくわ – That’s gross / That’s unpleasant / Pull away from (you)

何してんねん? – What are you doing?? (Rhetorical question)

Sorry about the poor video quality. I’m having to use a digital camera’s video settings and it sucks in low light. At least this time the audio is good though – I’m using my new podcasting mic, the Samson C03U! (Look out for a secret, upcoming podcast hosted by myself, Koichi from Tofugu and Deas from Rocking in Hakata. It’s gonna be swell!) (爆笑)

31 comments on “Learn Kansai-ben
  1. esaka boy says:

    lot of my friend was foreigner and i like use romaji for japan language especially for kansai hougen… so thanks for introducing kansai hougen to other people… arigatouna… chanto oshietenaa… machigattara akande… thanks alot

  2. Tayla says:

    I could not view the videos… Is there a way to watch them? I am really interested in learning Kansai-ben, but you have made the video private… I suppose that this was a long time ago, though.

  3. Matt Katch says:

    I live in Kagawa-ken, so the Sanuki-ben area, but we get a lot of Kansai-ben filtered in. I know I hear おもろい for 面白い, and やがら is occasionally substituted for です. So これはペンやがら。 Also the local 何してんねん, for Sanuki-ben is 何しおん? but you can actually use it as a question — not necessarily rhetorical. Works for できる too: 何できおん?

  4. Pham Thuy ANh says:

    Maido./.
    Ookini
    Thanks alot, i love KansaiBen.

  5. Pham Thuy ANh says:

    Maido./.
    Ookini
    Thanks alot, i love KansaiBen.

  6. Takaezu Daniel says:

    Greetings!

    Very cool blog and nice interview, it was pretty fun.

    As for the last phrase 何してんねん?it felt like it wasn’t too clear for you. It’s like saying… “Yo, what’s up?”, a rhetorical question as you mentioned. Usually you want to answer it with “bochi-bochi denna” (“not much/just hanging”). Also, it’s a common answer to “mokarimakka”, pretty much the same as 何してんねん

    Good luck!

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your comment Daniel! I think you’re a little confused about 何してんねん. Generally it is used when you are angry with someone, want to feign anger in a comedic fashion or are just talking very informally with friends. It is not a polite phrase. You are right that it could be translated as ‘Yo, what’s up’ in a few situations. もうかりまっか means ‘are you earning a lot’ (lit.) or ‘how are you doing’ and is usually replied to with ‘ぼちぼちでんな’ which means ‘okay I guess’ or ‘so-so’. I have not heard ぼちぼちでんな being used as a reply to 何してんねん before, so I can’t comment on that.

  7. Takaezu Daniel says:

    Greetings!

    Very cool blog and nice interview, it was pretty fun.

    As for the last phrase 何してんねん?it felt like it wasn’t too clear for you. It’s like saying… “Yo, what’s up?”, a rhetorical question as you mentioned. Usually you want to answer it with “bochi-bochi denna” (“not much/just hanging”). Also, it’s a common answer to “mokarimakka”, pretty much the same as 何してんねん

    Good luck!

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your comment Daniel! I think you’re a little confused about 何してんねん. Generally it is used when you are angry with someone, want to feign anger in a comedic fashion or are just talking very informally with friends. It is not a polite phrase. You are right that it could be translated as ‘Yo, what’s up’ in a few situations. もうかりまっか means ‘are you earning a lot’ (lit.) or ‘how are you doing’ and is usually replied to with ‘ぼちぼちでんな’ which means ‘okay I guess’ or ‘so-so’. I have not heard ぼちぼちでんな being used as a reply to 何してんねん before, so I can’t comment on that.

  8. Pooka0712 says:

    haha.Nice vids!ちゃうちゃうちゃうんちゃう?w
    I’m a Kansai-jin too, so I use these phrases quite often.
    Oops I’ve been browsing your site for almost an hour!Very interesting website!!!!!!!I’ll tell my 留学生friends about this website!★★★★★

  9. Pooka0712 says:

    haha.Nice vids!ちゃうちゃうちゃうんちゃう?w
    I’m a Kansai-jin too, so I use these phrases quite often.
    Oops I’ve been browsing your site for almost an hour!Very interesting website!!!!!!!I’ll tell my 留学生friends about this website!★★★★★

  10. I think ほんまに is one of the coolest words for kansaiben. It just sounds so smooth. Especially when said by women.

  11. I think ほんまに is one of the coolest words for kansaiben. It just sounds so smooth. Especially when said by women.

  12. Marisa says:

    ありがとうございます

    「めちゃめちゃ」面白いかったです ^_^

    I also thought the chihuahua one sounded like how most people would impersonate Chinese!!

    Also how about “smug” as a better translation than “stuck up face” ;p

  13. Marisa says:

    ありがとうございます

    「めちゃめちゃ」面白いかったです ^_^

    I also thought the chihuahua one sounded like how most people would impersonate Chinese!!

    Also how about “smug” as a better translation than “stuck up face” ;p

  14. WOTDsctoo says:

    Hahahaha, I love the ちゃう、ちゃう one.
    Thanks! And thank you to ryousuke too!

  15. WOTDsctoo says:

    Hahahaha, I love the ちゃう、ちゃう one.
    Thanks! And thank you to ryousuke too!

  16. Darlo says:

    Nice vids, living in Osaka (studying in Kobe) without a host family means I don’t get to learn Kansai-ben too easily.

  17. Darlo says:

    Nice vids, living in Osaka (studying in Kobe) without a host family means I don’t get to learn Kansai-ben too easily.

  18. nanamucha says:

    I enjoyed your lesson sooooo much !!
    I learned them as well…. and was able to compare the difference of my dialect.
    How interesting Japanese dialects are, especially Kansai-ben…
    I wanna be a students… looking forward to next time.

  19. nanamucha says:

    I enjoyed your lesson sooooo much !!
    I learned them as well…. and was able to compare the difference of my dialect.
    How interesting Japanese dialects are, especially Kansai-ben…
    I wanna be a students… looking forward to next time.

  20. Deas says:

    At first I thought you were trying to pull one over on your viewers, by uploading 2 videos in the same clothes, with the same drink in your hand. But then I realized if you were, you wouldn’t upload them in such rapid succession. And then I started to actually watch the second video (having enjoyed the first so thoroughly), and all my conspiratorial thoughts were laid to waste…it seems you were just concerned about battery life or video capacity after all. Ha ha. Anyway, I left a few broken Japanese comments on the videos, since they’re primarily in Japanese. Well done, all around! And the audio did sound really crisp, by the way. Ha ha. (爆笑)

    • Mike says:

      Hey. Thanks for your comments. I had to re-upload the first video, so your comment about 叩く got deleted. :(

      What sort of prank did you think I was trying to pull..? :p I used my camera, so could only record 6 1/2 minutes of video…

  21. Deas says:

    At first I thought you were trying to pull one over on your viewers, by uploading 2 videos in the same clothes, with the same drink in your hand. But then I realized if you were, you wouldn’t upload them in such rapid succession. And then I started to actually watch the second video (having enjoyed the first so thoroughly), and all my conspiratorial thoughts were laid to waste…it seems you were just concerned about battery life or video capacity after all. Ha ha. Anyway, I left a few broken Japanese comments on the videos, since they’re primarily in Japanese. Well done, all around! And the audio did sound really crisp, by the way. Ha ha. (爆笑)

    • Mike says:

      Hey. Thanks for your comments. I had to re-upload the first video, so your comment about 叩く got deleted. :(

      What sort of prank did you think I was trying to pull..? :p I used my camera, so could only record 6 1/2 minutes of video…

  22. Eleonora says:

    The chihuahua one is a WIN. Maybe an epic one.
    I knew about the “ちゃ overuse”, but not to that extent lol
    Interesting entry as usual…
    Thanks, Michael! ^-^

  23. Eleonora says:

    The chihuahua one is a WIN. Maybe an epic one.
    I knew about the “ちゃ overuse”, but not to that extent lol
    Interesting entry as usual…
    Thanks, Michael! ^-^

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Get the Gakuranman Newsletter!

Greetings, fellow Adventurer!

For a limited time, subscribe free and get:

Just enter your name and email below:

Subscribe!