Why learn Kansai-ben?

In Japan, like many places in the world, even though there is one common language, people may speak very differently depending on where they live; sometimes different enough that even native speakers may have trouble understanding each other. In fact, the "standard" Japanese that is usually taught to learners of Japanese is not really used anywhere, and is rarely heard except from news announcers. Many students of Japanese have lost their confidence in their ability because, even though they studied Japanese for years, they could not understand actual conversations where a heavy dialect is spoken. Of course, almost all Japanese can converse and understand a "standard" Japanese dialect, but not being able to fluidly participate in the world around you can be frustrating and limiting.

How to learn using this site...

The materials on this site are interlinked, allowing you to move from one point to another as your needs require and your curiosity takes you. Hopefully the materials and their presentation are self-explanatory, but here is the broad overview of what you'll find.

Kansai-ben is...?
We suggest that you start with this page to learn about the "what", "where", "who", and "when" of Kansai-ben. Among other things, it will touch on the definition of Kansai-ben, Kansai geography, the dialect's relationship with standard Japanese, and when it's appropriate to use Kansai-ben.
Example conversations
The next step is to try some example conversations--realistic fictional conversations created to illustrate certain aspects of Kansai-ben grammar, vocabulary, and usage. Each example conversation includes an audio track in Kansai-ben and the text in Kansai-ben, standard Japanese, and English. These pages also provide a good jumping off point for using this site as the conversations are fully linked to useful information about grammar and vocabulary. We also have a short video explanation:
In this area, we provide explanations for basic Kansai-ben grammar. For easy access to the wide range of grammar, you will find a list of the grammar points and the common uses of the grammar. In addition, you will find backlinks to the grammar point pages everywhere that deals with grammar.
When you want to look up Kansai-ben words, go to the vocabulary page, and find the words on the list (the search box works as well if you know what you're looking for). The words are listed in Japanese alphabetical order and have usage icons when there is a special meaning or purpose. You can go to individual vocabulary pages from the example conversations and various other places.
The sound of Kansai-ben is very different from the sound of standard Japanese, and no matter how well the words and grammar of Kansai-ben are used, it will still sound a little odd if the pronunciation if off. In the area we provide explanations for three major phonology topics and a lot of audio examples.
Real conversations
Real conversations are natural candid conversations by natives of the Kansai area. Hopefully, if you have gone through the material on this site, you should be able to follow along with the conversations and understand them. Real conversations are great for training your ear and getting used to actual Kansai-ben.
Kansai related resources
For users interested in going deeper into the study of the Kansai dialect, we provide useful links for getting a more broad taste of the culture and language.