How the Kansai dialect has been treated in Japan. Ep1

Have you ever played any Japanese games in the original language? I’d say some Japanese game fanatics have. So then you should be at home with it to some extent, if not for the most part. While playing, you’ll come across unfamiliar words and manners of talking more often than not that does not seem to be the standard language.

The Japanese language has a lot of dialects, one of which is called the Kansai dialect. The dialect is in common use in the Kinki region mainly comprised of Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo((my birthplace btw)).

Japanese creators often put it in their games to make a particular character have a sense of humor. Let me take a few Nintendo characters for instance. In JPN ver, Whitney and Bill((Both of them are from Goldenrod City, which is considered Osaka.)) from Pokemon, and Zeke((and his blade Pandoria as well))from Xenoblade Chronicles 2; they are all Kansai dialect speakers. As you are no doubt aware, there’s something funny about Bill and Zeke; they have some hilarious scenes at every turn though Whitney seems like a high-spirited chick rather than one with humor.

Representative Kansai dialect speakers of Nintendo?


So why do the rest of the people associate the dialect with something comical? Here’s why. It’s because the Kinki region, especially Osaka is the birthplace of the comedy culture in Japan. You’d be amazed by the number of people whose dream is to be a comedian. After years of experiences in their local areas, one after another is moving on to Tokyo and appearing in TV shows. That’s why Kansai-related things remind them of comedies.

The Kansai dialect, however, was not as popular a few decades ago as it is today. Back then, it was just one dialect among many.

So I’m going to mention on the next post what’s going on behind the scenes.