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15 useful words and phrases to survive in Kansai region


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Hi, everyone. I continue a cycle of topics concern the problem of Kansai dialect. As many of you knows, Kansai dialect is a type of Japanese language that is used in Kansai (or sometimes they call it Kinki)  - south-west region of Japan. So, today I want to talk about 15 words and phrases, which are commonly used in Kansai.

Ok, let`s start with vocabulary:

1. 阿呆 [ahou/aho] - stupid, fool, foolish - this word is considered as a part of standard Japanese, but in fact it is mostly used in Kansai type of Japanese.



[nande kono hon no ichiban saishoni, konna ahounana kotoba iretan? Omaera, ahou yanaa]

Why did you put such a stupid word at the beginning of this book?

You guys are pretty stupid.

2. あかん [akan] - bad, useless, no, impossible - this word is not vulgar, it`s more impolite expression. In fact, あかん is a very distinctive and highly recognizable feature of Kansai language.

Example (no, impossible meaning):

一千万円、貸してくれへん? [issenman en, kasitekurehen?]

あかん! [akan!]

Can you loan me 10 million yen?


Example (bad meaning):

試験どんないやった? [shiken donna iyatta?]

あかんかったわ。 [akankattawa]

How was the test?


Example (don`t do that meaning):

ほな、いて来るわ。 [hona, itekuru wa]

あかんよ。 [akanyo]

I`m going out now.

No, you`re not.

Example (must (double negative) meaning):

仕事せなあかん。 [sigoto senaakan] (as you can see verb suru is used in a negative form - senai, but it is also conjugated, so you can see - senaakan)

I`ve got to work.

3. ちゃう [chau] - a) no, different, wrong; B) isn`t that right? (this form is a reduced version of chigau 違う)

Example (a) meaning)



The train fare is 200 yen, right?

No, it`s 250 yen.

Example (B) meaning)

あれ、望ちゃう? [are, nozomi chau]

Isn`t that Nozomi?

Note: as you can see chau is equivalent to standard janai じゃない

4. ええ [ee] - good, that`s enough (replaced ii いい in standard Japanese)


あの車、かっこええなあ。 [ano kuruma, kakkoeenaa]

That`s a pretty car.

5. ほんま [honma] - really (which is equivalent to hontoo 本当)

Fun thing about this honma is that this feature is used to show that the person is still listening to what the speaker is saying.


ほんまに? [honmani] - Really?

ほんま、ほんま。 [honma, honma] - Really, really.

ほなまや! [honmaya] - Really!

ほんまかいなあ。 [honmakainaa] - You`re joking.

6. 毎度 [maido] - hello

Note: this word also mean thank you, translation depends on a context


毎度、大きに。 [maido, ookini]

Thanks for your patronage.

ああ、まいど、まいど。 [aa, maido, maido]

Hello/Thanks for calling (receiving a phone call)/Thanks for coming

7. めっちゃ、むっちゃ [metcha, mutcha] - very (equivalent of totemo とても, taihen たいへん, sugoku すごく)



Very interesting.

8. なんぼ [nanbo] - how much (equivalent of ikura いくら)


それ、なんぼ? [sore, nanbo]

千円。 [sen en]

How much is that?

1,000 yen.

9. 大きに [ookini] - thank you

10. おる [oru] - is, exists (both, for humans and animals)


明日あられますか? [asita araremasuka]

すまんけど、明日おれへんわ。 [sumankedo, asita orehenwa]

Will you be in tomorrow?

Sorry, I`m going to be out tomorrow.

And grammatical features:

11. はる [haru] - honorific verb conjunction


どこへ行きはるんですか? [doko e ikiharundesuka]

どこへ行きはりますか? [doko e ikiharimasuka]

どこへ行かはるんですか? [doko e ikaharundesuka] (Used in Kyoto)

Where are you going?

12. へん [hen] - negative verb conjugation (equivalent to nai ない)

In Kansai dialect negative conjugation hen is formed in the same way as in standard Japanese:

食べる[taberu] - 食べへん[tabehen] - don`t eat


分かる [wakaru] - 分かれへん [wakarehen] - don`t understand

する [suru] - せえへん [seihen] - しいひん [siihin] - don`t do

13. ねん [nen] - neutral sentence ending


好きやねん [suki ya nen]

I like it.

14. しもた、もた [simoto, moto] - completely


もう電車、行ってしもた。 [mou densha, ittesimota]

The train`s already gone.

15. や [ya] - is


嘘や [uso ya] - you are kidding

Ok, hope this info was useful. Good luck!

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