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Japanese Plus: Let’s Speak Kansai Dialect!

Yayakoshii (difficult), chau (different) and akan (no good) were some of the words of Kansai-ben (the dialect of Osaka and the surrounding Kansai region) that participants learned at the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Plus course for advanced learners of Japanese, which ran 11th – 19th November.

The course, attended by 36 participants in total over the course of two weeks, was led by the Japan Foundation’s Assistant Japanese Language Advisor, Mio Tsunematsu – who is also a native speaker of Kansai-ben. First, Tsunematsu-sensei introduced the Kansai region of Japan, and the image that Japanese people have of Kansai’s culture. She then taught participants the characteristic pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary that distinguishes Kansai-ben from standard Japanese. Participants had plenty of opportunities to have fun practising listening, speaking, reading and writing skills using Kansai-ben while learning more about Kansai culture: They listened to songs sung in Kansai-ben, read manga written in Kansai-ben, watched manzai (double-act comedy originating from Osaka) and even had a go at Osakan comedic art of nori-tsukkomi (playing along with a joke) by pretending to use bananas and chopsticks as phones and pens!

The participants had a lot of fun learning Kansai-ben, with many describing the course as “omorokatta” (“fun” in Kansai-ben)

We’d like to thank all participants for taking part in Japanese Plus, and we hope to see more people take part in our next course!

To learn more about Japanese Plus, please click here.

Photos from this event can be found on our Facebook page here.