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Kansai-ben is the most powerful regional dialect in Japan nowadays, spoken by over twenty million people including those in Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Kyoto. Though the Kansai dialect has linguistically distinctive features from Standard Tokyo dialect, native speakers of Japanese are used to hearing it and usually have little problem...
Kansai-ben is the most powerful regional dialect in Japan nowadays, spoken by over twenty million people including those in Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Kyoto. Though the Kansai dialect has linguistically distinctive features from Standard Tokyo dialect, native speakers of Japanese are used to hearing it and usually have little problem understanding it because the dialect is widely used in the entertainment industry and in the media (by Kansai comedians, for example). However, it is a challenge for foreign learners of Japanese to comprehend it since only "standard" Japanese is taught in the U.S. Most students never have a chance to realize the fact that there are big regional differences in how the Japanese language is spoken; they tend to find out only after they go to Japan and experience difficulty understanding what the local people are saying.
This site is designed for those who are in or are going to the Kansai area for work, study or travel as well as for those who are simply interested in the cultural, linguistic diversity in Japan. The site will help you to gain basic knowledge of structure and intonation patterns of the Kansai dialect, and to build up basic aural (and a touch of oral) communication skills with Kansai native speakers. By including video clips of interviews to various Kansai local people, this site can also be a helpful resource to examine how this local dialect relates to their local identity.