Colloquial Kansai Japanese: The Dialects and Culture of the Kansai Region (Tuttle Language Library) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2006/2/15
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This is a compact and convenient guide to learning the Kansai dialect of the Japanese language
Maido, maido and welcome to the Kansai region of western Japan. Whether visiting or living in this area, you will quickly notice the locals aren't speaking standard Japanese taught in textbooks and classrooms. The language on the streets is Kansai-ben: a dialect said to be earthier and more direct, but with its own polite language.
With clear explanations of grammar, a Kansai-ben dictionary, and a helpful index, Colloquial Kansai Japanese is an indispensable guide to the rich speech of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. Hundreds of sample phrases, sentences and conversations show how the dialect works in everyday situations, ranging from shopping to dealing with the boss. And while you're leaning about the nuances of Kansai–ben, you will have fun reading about Kansai cuisine, sports and specialities.
So open your mouth when you speak, roll your r's, and try out this colorful dialect. With your copy of Colloquial Kansai Japanese, you will soon be among friends in Kansai.
D.C. Palter resided in Kobe and Tokyo working as a fiction editor for the Abiko Quarterly before moving to Los Angeles.
Kaoru Slotsve lived in Kansai most of her life before recently moving to the United States.
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I highly recommend this book to:
* anyone who will spend more than two weeks in the Kansai area, especially homestay students and company workers that will need to converse with homestay family members, colleagues, local merchants, and others.
* anime otaku who watch subs rather than dubs.
* Japanese students interested in dialects.
Since I can't seem to locate my battered copy of "Kinki Japanese" after moving, I'm going to pick up a copy of "Colloquial Kansai Japanese". It's that good.
*Don't laugh, "Kinki" has nothing to do with love hotels or hostess bars. "Kinki" refers to the time when the Kansai area was the political center of Japan, and "kinki" means "the neighborhood of the capital". For many years, Kyoto was the capital of Japan. I suggest you read The Tale of Genji or Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book to capture the flavor of that era's history.
Why the title change? At one time, Tuttle published two books on this subject, the other being Peter Tse's "Kansai Japanese". Tse's book is no longer in print.
In addition to people who intend to interact with Kansai area speakers, I suggest this book to those who are interested in the dialects of Japan in general. Language is an ever-changing organism, and much of the original flavor of local dialects is forever being lost in many areas. This book goes beyond being practical in that sense, because even if Kansai-ben has been greatly eroded by Tokyo Japanese in the future, this book will be a surviving record of what used to be.
A good find.
There needs to be more of these textbooks for all languages focusing on a regional dialogs.
When I lived in Japan, not only did this help me understand lots of comedy on TV (comedians tend to use kansai-ben),
but also using this book allowed me to speak enough kansai-ben to at least make it looked like I had lived down south.
Since the intonation of the dialect is so different from standard Japanese, if there was a CD to go with the text, it would be perfect.
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