City dwellers often switch from standard Japanese to dialect when they head back to their hometowns or talk to old friends from the area. “Thank you” is arigatō in standard Japanese, but go to Osaka and you may hear ōkini instead. Finally Japan opens its mouth. Hokkaido : Imagawa-yaki, Oyaki, Oobanyaki, Home-run-yaki, Amatarou-yaki, Kaiten-yaki, Enban-yaki and two others. It was amazing. Japanese has many local dialects. Page V EDITOR'S FOREWORD ON THE … However, Kansai-ben is a general classification that can be subdivided into smaller dialects like Kyō-kotoba and Kawachi-ben, spoken in Kyoto and Osaka, respectively. As mentioned earlier, there is the Ainu language in Japan spoken by the Ainu people who are from this region (which is an entirely separate language, not a dialect), and some Ainu influence can be observed in the Hokkaido dialect, especially in location names. The relative power of different regions helped shape the form of Japanese spoken in each area. When I was in the university, I had met for the first time people from different part of Japan. There are four major dialects in the whole of Japan (Iwasaki, S. 1). The process of standardization began following the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when the new government sought to build a strong and centralized nation state. I found it very exotic. However, each prefecture has its own dialect. You just stumbled into a Japanese speaker of a particular dialect (Hakata Ben). Standard Japanese has five vowel phonemes, i.e., sounds that make a difference in word meaning. It is also possible to change language settings on Facebook to use it in Kansai-ben as well as standard Japanese. ), たいがたい(iTaigatai/Hiroshima), ありがとがんすた(iArigatogannsuta/Iwate), あんとう(iAntou/Nagano). Imagine, there are 47 prefectures in Japan and it´s possible that there are 47 way of calling one thing inside Japan. To the outside observer they may seem like different people. Thinking of how small the land (islands) we have is, the colorfulness in the language is unique, amazing and for those learners of it as a second language, confusing! At times, television can put the spotlight on dialects, as with the large number of comedians who speak Kansai-ben. It´s quite impressive. The increased reach of television and the Internet have fueled the spread of the mainstream form of the language, sapping the strength of local dialects, so that children may speak entirely differently from their parents and grandparents. It’s estimated that there are still around 1,000 to 2,000 speakers of the language. Here is the comparison between Tokyo-ben and Osaka-ben in terms of the accent and the sound. Even this simple word, it can be said in at least eight different ways in Japanese. I am in my 50s, and the very first Westerner I can remeber who spoke perfect Japanese is the late “Roy James” who hosted a TV program in 1960s. Included in the list of 2,500 endangered languages are eight languages spoken in Japan: Ainu, Hachijō, Amami, Kunigami, Okinawan, Miyako, Yaeyama, and Yonaguni. So this is where that whole "kansai dialect" thing comes from. Similarly dame, which can mean that something is not allowed, is akan in Japan’s second biggest city, and toriniku (chicken meat) is kashiwa. American-born celebrity Daniel Kahl is also known for his fluency in the dialect of Yamagata Prefecture. The eastern dialect is called "Tokyo ben" which is equivalent to standard Japanese and the western dialect is called "Kansai ben" which is spoken in western Japan such as Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. Page III A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF JAPANESE DIALECTS -Robert H. Brower ANN ARBOR. Shizuoka : Chapporo-yaki, Garou-manju and seven others. Dialects are usually different in pitch, accent, vocabulary, and in some cases pronunciation. The most well known dialect is Osaka-ben (大阪弁), spoken in Osaka. Thank you for the comment, Noboritate san. 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