Pronunciation and the Importance of Sound

The sound characteristics of languages and dialects are critical when you want to master them. Of special importance to us, the sounds of Kansai-ben can be very different from the sounds of standard Japanese, and no matter how much you use words and grammar from Kansai-ben, it will still sound odd if the pronunciation is off.

If you've only studied standard Japanese, you may have a hard time understanding Kansai-ben when you first hear it—some people really have to get used to the sound and rhythm of Kansai-ben to understand it. If you plan to live in Kansai in the future, it's highly beneficial to listen to Kansai-ben conversations ahead of time to adjust. Fortunately, without visiting Kansai, real Kansai-ben is easily accessible through the media such as Japanese TV programs and video clips that you can find on the internet (as well as this site). The more you hear Kansai-ben, the easier it will be to understand. In addition, the people of Kansai will be very happy to find that you actually understand Kansai-ben.

On this site, three major phonology (pronunciation) areas for Kansai-ben are introduced:

Accent Patterns
The intonation differences between standard Japanese and Kansai-ben. Examples are given for common phrases and general sentences
There a number of ways that Kansai-ben vowels differ from those of standard Japanese, including palatalization, vowel extension, and dropping "う".
Sound Switching
Sometimes, depending on speaker and region, certain sounds that usually appear in standard Japanese may change to something a little different.