Of all Japan’s dialects, the Kansai dialect, or Kansai-ben, is most well-known and likely the one you’ll hear of most often. Spoken often within comedy TV shows, it is an interesting, casual and intimate-sounding dialect.

That said, even within Kansai-ben there are variations in words, sentence endings, and accents among the Kansai area of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. This article will introduce mainly Kansai-ben words and phrases you are likely to encounter on a trip to Kansai around town and at stores and restaurants.

Kansai-ben Phrases for Daily Conversation

あかん(akan)→ ɑːkɑːn
This word is used in the same way the words like “bad” or “don’t” are used in standard Japanese.
Usage Examples: “Sonna koto shitara akan yan” (You can’t do that), “Nande akan no?” (Why not?), “Kono mise akan wa” (This shop is no good)

ええ(ee)→
This word is used with the same meaning as “ii”, meaning “good”, in standard Japanese.
Usage Examples: “Ee yo” (Okay/Sure), “Sono fuku ee yan” (Those are nice clothes), “Ano hito ee kanji ya ne” (That guy/girl seems nic)

おもろい(omoroi)→ oʊ.moʊ.ɾɔɪ
This word means the same thing as “omoshiroi”, or “interesting”, in standard Japanese.
Usage Examples: “Kono manga omoroi naa” (This manga is interesting), “Omoroi hito ya naa” (What an interesting/unique person)

ほんま(honma)→ hoʊn.mɑː
This word is used in the same way the words for “really” and “very” are used for emphasis in standard Japanese.
Usage Examples: “Honma honma” (Yeah/I agree/You’re right), “Honma ni oishii wa” (This is really delicious)

ちゃう(chau)→ tʃaʊ
This word means the same thing as “chigau” in standard Japanese, and in conversation it is often doubled.
Example Conversations: “Kore?” “Sore chau” (This? No, not that.), “Kore de ee?” “Chau chau” (Is this okay? No way, that’s all wrong.)

めっちゃ(meccha)→ metʃ. ɑː
This word is used to express emphasis of degree, size, etc.
Usage Examples: “Meccha oishii” (This is super delicious), “Meccha niau” (That looks really great on you), “Meccha ookii” (It’s so huge)

せや(seya)→ seɪ.jɑː
This is used the same way “Sou da”, or “Yes/That’s right” is used in standard Japanese. It is often used in conjuction with the sentence ending particle “~nen&quo…

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