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How to Speak Osaka Ben

How to speak Osaka Ben

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In this episode, Ami and Alex teach you how to speak Osaka dialect which is called Osaka Ben in Japanese. And for this lesson Ami sensei is our secret weapon as she is a native of Osaka city. 

Sometimes this is referred to as Kansai Ben however, Kansai is the larger region located in central Japanese that includes Osaka city, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Shiga, Mie and Hyogo. And in turn, each of those areas have their own dialects. However, Ami sensei is from Osaka, and Osaka Ben is the dominant dialect that influences all the surrounding areas. Therefore we decided to go with Osaka Ben. 

Of course this lesson is not a comprehensive guide to Osaka Ben as that would fill a few books. However, this lesson will teach you the most common phrases, speech patterns and intonation that you will hear on the streets of Osaka. 

The main dialog is recorded by natives from Osaka including Ami so you’ll learn the authentic accent. We also included a dialog in standard Japanese so you can compare. Enjoy! 

Main Dialog – Osaka Ben (Japanese)

A: めっちゃ久しぶりやん。最近どないしてんの?

B: 相変わらずやで。そっちは?

A: ぼちぼちやな。、頑張ってるで。
B: そうなんや。うちなんか全然あかんわ。

A: なんでなん? 

B: 彼氏と別れてん。

A: 、そうなん?知らんかった。俺やって全然彼女できへんで。 

B: 付き合おか。 A: なんでやねん!

Main Dialog – Osaka Dialect (English and pronunciation)

A:  Meccha hisashiburi yan. Saikin donain shiten no? –It’s been ages. How have you been recently?

B:  Aikawarazu ya de. Socchi wa? –Same as usual. About about you?

A:  Bochi bochi ya na. Ma, gannbatteru de. – So so I guess. Well, doing my best.

B:  Sō nan ya. Uchi nanka zenzen akan wa. – Really? I’m not good at all.

A:  Nande nan? – Why?

B:  Kareshi to wakareten. –I split up with my boyfriend.

A:  E? Sō nan? Shirankatta. Boku yatte, zenzen kanojo dekihen de. – Eh? Really? I didn’t know. I can never get a girlfriend.

B:  Tsuki aoka? –Wanna date?

A: Nande yanen! – What the heck!


Main Dialog – Standard Dialect Version

Here is the same dialog written in standard Japanese. Can you spot the differences?

A:  めちゃめちゃ久しぶりじゃん。最近どうしてるの?

Meccha hisashiburi jan. Saikin dō shiteru no.
It’s been ages. How have you been recently?

B:  相変わらずだよ。そっちは?

Aikawarazu da yo. Socchi wa?Same as usual.

About about you?

A:  普通かな。、頑張ってるよ。

Futsuu ka na. Ma gambatteru yo.

Same as usual. About about you?

B:  そうなんだ。私なんか全然だめだよ。
Sō nan da. Watashi nanka zenzen dame da yo.

Really? I’m not good at all.

A:  どうして?

Dō shite?

Why?

B:  彼氏と別れたの。

Kareshi to wakareta no.

I split up with my boyfriend.

A:  、そうなの?知らなかった。俺だって全然彼女できないよ。

E sō na no? Shiranakatta. Boku datte, zenzen kanojo dekinai yo.

Eh? Really? I didn’t know. I can never get a girlfriend.

B:  付き合おっか。

Tsuki aokka?

Wanna date?

A: なんでだよ!

Nande da yo!

What the heck!

Extra Osaka Ben Phrases

ちゃう – Chau – No / That’s not right

ええ – Ee – Good / OK (ええやん、ええで、ええよ)
アホ – Aho – Stupid

なおす – Naosu – Put something away (Standard Japanese = to fix something)

Random Phrase of the Week

This week’s random phrase of the week is:

ちゃうちゃう、チャウチャウちゃうんちゃう?

Chau chau, chau chau chaun chau.

No no, that’s not a Chow chow is it?! Let’s break it down like this…

ちゃうちゃう 、 チャウチャウ ちゃうん ちゃう?

No no, a chow chow dog , it is not , is it?

Or in more natural English “No no, it’s not a Chow chow is it?!”

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