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Osaka-ben

October 25, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

One interesting feature of Japanese culture is that it is separated into many subcultures existing very close to one another–it is not a large country, but geographical features have divided communities throughout history, causing different traditions and linguistic customs to form. One feature of these unique subcultures is their dialects.

Which brings me to Osaka dialect (Osaka-ben), one of the Kansai/Kinki dialects that has become well-known throughout Japan thanks to its widespread use by comedians, and thanks to Osaka’s cultural influence. While it may seem daunting at first, Osaka-ben is smooth, assertive, and jovial, and if you live here it is worth your while to learn about it, even just for the purpose of understanding others. It sounds quite different from standard Japanese, or hyojungo.

I suggest visiting this site if you are a student of Japanese or new to the Kansai/Osaka area to get familiar with Osaka-ben and Kansai-ben in general. This guide is clear and concise (except for a few odd romanizations), and it really helped me when I first moved here. Please note that this is a personal recommendation, and I have no affiliation with the site.

  1. Jonathan
    October 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    This must have been what my friend’s father in Osaka was speaking on my last visit. Couldn’t understand a single thing he said! hehe

  2. kachan
    October 28, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    “Chow chow, chow chow chown chow.” I got it! That is from the site. So funny:)

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