Intro to Kansai-ben and Japanese Dialects (What is Hougen?)
方言 (ほうげん/hougen) is a linguistic term that means “dialect.” Similar to how English is spoken differently depending on where you are regionally, the Japanese language sounds varied depending on the background of the speaker. The most general division of language and culture for Japanese would be between Eastern Japanese and Western Japanese. Eastern Japanese is broadly represented by Tokyo-type Japanese, otherwise known as standard Japanese, e.g. that which is taught in formal education, used in media, etc. As for Western Japanese, a lot of different dialects attribute to it, but perhaps the most well-known is Kansai-ben/Osaka-ben (弁/べん/ben here is the suffix that means “dialect, speech”).
While the dialects of the United States for the most part showcase minor discrepancies, the dialects of the Japanese language are distinct not only in terms of peculiar vocabulary (such as set words, phrases, and slang) and pronunciation stlye (particular intonation, emphasis, etc.) but also notably different grammar rules.
To date, all of the formal grammar videos posted on this channel have been in accordance to Eastern, Tokyo-type Japanese, due to it being the standard Japanese.
Here is a brief demonstration of the Kansai dialect and how its grammar, specifically conjugation of verbs, differs from standard Japanese.
Intro to Kansai-ben:
3 Common Kansai-ben Phrases:
Standard Japanese: だめ (dame)
Meaning: “no good”
Kansai-ben: あかん (akan)
Standard Japanese: とても (totemo)
Kansai-ben: めっちゃ (meccha)
Example: めっちゃかわいい (meccha kawaii) as opposed to とてもかわいい (totemo kawaii), both of which mean “very cute”
Standard Japanese: (baka)
Kansai-ben: あほ (aho)
Grammar Differences between Kansai-ben and Standard Japanese:
The ない in the Negative-ない Form becomes へん (and sometimes even just ん)
知らない (しらない/shiranai) becomes しらへん (shirahen) or しらん (shiran)
分からない (わからない/wakaranai) becomes わからへん (wakarahen) or わからん (wakaran)
The ません in the Negative Polite Form becomes まへん
食べません (たべません/tabemasen) becomes たべまへん (tabemahen)
飲まへん (のみません/nomimasen) becomes のみまへん (nomimahen)
Plain-Form だ becomes や
大変だった (taihen datta) becomes 大変やった (taihen yatta)
大変だから (taihen dakara) becomes 大変やから (taihen yakara)
Sentence-ending particle よ becomes で
楽しかったよ (tanoshikattayo) becomes 楽しかったで (tanoshikattade)
Sentence-ending particle ね becomes な
いいね becomes ええな
*Additionally, ええ is used in lieu of いい to mean “good”
The いる in て-Form Verb + いる becomes ねん
何をしている becomes 何してねん