heisei no otome

Kansai-ben via Music ♪*MINMI Edition*♪

4:50 AM

I like to think a large chunk of my knowledge of Japanese came from music, mostly because it's something I do almost non-stop, twenty-four-seven (and I mean this in the most literal way).

I still remember picking up my Gundam Wing Operation 4 soundtrack from the shopping mall one state over, it was the only spot in a 100 mile radius that sold Japanese goods at the time, and marveling and despairing at the kanji, hiragana, and katakana in the lyric book. And though romaji lyrics could be found on the net, this was before broadband (oh dial-up, you are NOT missed), and I had to get permission to log on. So what other options did I have except to figure out what was written, right?? RIGHT.

Anyway, once broadband came around, that definitely messed with my study method a bit, the unlimited access to romaji and translations and all, but I think listening to it everyday helped me a lot when it came to listening and pronunciation. So what does this have to do with kansai-ben, you might be asking?? Well, I was just thinking I could help you out in a similar way with a little kansai music is all :) Of course, the way the world is now, resources are just about limitless, but an extra method or two never hurts. (I'm actually working on this method with my Russian studies too. Mumiy Troll!! Too bad they just released an English album.. oops)

Today's examples are two songs from MINMI, the first one called 'Shinjyu no Namida' and the second one is 'Heisei no Otome.' Both I think are done with what is probably viewed as an exaggerated kansai accent, but I think it also helps highlight some of the differences in pronunciation that might seem subtle if you don't listen to kansai-ben everyday.

'Shinjyu no Namida'

The video does have the lyrics (in Japanese), but the timing is a bit off, so you can check out this link for the lyrics as well. I won't copy the whole song here because that would take up way too much space, but I will make some comments about a couple phrases.

In this song, a lot of the sentences (which are short for the most part), end with 'wa', which I think is used more emphatically, while 'ya' or 'yan' is used more frequently in daily conversation. I like to think that 'wa' is for sounding cute while 'ya,' still also being quite cute, is the default, serious business kansai-ben.

Some common phrases/verb conjugations:
何言うてん(の) → (nani yuu tenno) What're you saying?
♦ I wonder if I should feel bad about how often I use this phrase. It must be like 20 times a day, but that's mostly because sometimes, I have no idea what Shota is talking about. :)

出て行かんでや→ (dete ikan de ya) Don't leave
♦ Hopefully not a phrase you need to use often, but -kan is used often when using verbs in the negative like 'taben de ee nen' which is you don't need to eat (it).

'Heisei no Otome'

Now this song is much faster than 'shinjyu,' so in that way I think it's closer to the way natural kansai-ben sounds versus the more exaggerated type in the first song. There are no lyrics in the video, so definitely take a look at this link for the lyrics (and download rikaichan if you haven't because really, best add-on ever).

Some examples of common phrases/verb conjugations:
3食"タコセン"なんてありえんやろっ → (micchan toko de kattekita sanshoku takosen nante arien yaro) What's with the 3 (a set for 3 people) takosen you bought from Micchan's place, it's unecessary right?
♦ I had a hard time with this. Actually, I'm almost sure it's not correct, but I figured I should try first, ask Shota tomorrow, and then make appropriate adjustments. 'Toko' is often used in Osaka in place of 'tokoro' and I think 'arien' is a shortened form of 'ariehen' which usually translates as impossible, but based on the situation in the song, it seems like she's saying it's unnecessary (to buy 3 sets instead of 2). Yeah.. that didn't sound any clearer when I was going over it in my head either..

ウチの柄じゃあらへんねん → (uchi no gara jya arahen nen) This isn't my pattern/design (stuff??)
♦ I've been staring at this for.. 40 minutes, I can't figure out what arahen is supposed to mean. My guess is that it's supposed to be arimasen, but I've only heard/used arimahen. It would make sense bcause of 'jya' situated in front, but I'm gonna check with Shota tomorrow lol

ナンナン→ (nan nan) What?? (What the hell or Wtf is probably appropriate too)
♦ I think this phrase is used more often when someone is irritated, but said in the right tone, it's really cute too. In this song, they're both definitely irritated. Side note: I used to say this all the time when I was a super angry person. I decided, right now, after listening to this song a billion times, not to use it so often. Guess that means I'm still gonna be angry person though Lol

なんで で~へんの → (nande de-hen no) Why won't you answer?
♦ The conjugation for the verb 'deru' in kansai-ben. Once you perfect the 'de-hen' accent, you're half-way there. :)

ギャルの声すんねんけど → (gyaru no koe sun nen kedo) I can hear a gyaru's voice though
♦ A nice example of the conjugation of 'suru' to 'sun.' You often hear this often in phrases like 'dou sun no' what will you do or 'nan(i) sun no' what are you doing (though I think 'nani shiten no' is a bit more common).

今日休みちゃうのん → (kyou yasumi chau non) Today isn't your day-off?
♦ The ever present 'chau' used in place of 'jya nai'

昼間どこいっとんねんっ → (hiruma doko itton nen) Where are you in the afternoons?
♦ When 'ittoru', which is kansai-ben for 'imasu', takes the question form, it's often changed to 'itton no' but also used as 'ittoru.' 'Oru' is another common way in kansai to say 'imasu.'

ナンナン このタバコだれのんなん?
ナンナン メンソールにかえてみてん
うそやん だってこれ細すぎやん → What the hell? Who's cigarettes are these? (What the hell) I wanted to try out menthol. (What the hell) No way 'cause these are way to thin!
♦This part of the song makes me laugh every time. The thin, menthol cigarettes are marketed to and primarily consumed by women in Japan (a lot of hostesses and kyaba-jo), so it's obvious he's trying to cover up some side-girls pack. What a jerk Lol

Anyway, there's a couple other parts I wanted to sure, but I'm not feeling so confident about my translations, so I'm gonna check with Shota (he'll have his work cut out for him tomorrow).

Hopefully you learned something, or at the very least, got a couple new songs. I have admit, I had no idea MINMI was from Osaka, but then the only knowledge I had of her was from Samurai Champloo, so I suppose that's not saying a lot for my part. But this really has re-sparked my interest in finding more artists from the kansai area that take advantage of their unique accent. Whether it be fore comedic value or for serious.

Any other things you'd like to know about kansai-ben? I'm back to collecting more words and phrases, though mostly of the Osaka-ben variety, but if you specific questions about other accents like Nara-ben or Kyoto-ben (no questions like 'what's the difference between Osaka-ben and Nara-ben, because I can't even get an answer from most kansai people on that one. Try a phonologist.. or morphologist.. find a linguist! lol), ask away..!

Here's to spring coming soon (PLEEEEASE please please please)..!!


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1 comment:

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