Kansai Dialect Dictionary

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When I was in Japan during the summer of 2010 and 2012, I got to travel to multiple cities all over the country. As much as I liked the famous city of Tokyo, what really captured my heart was the Kansai area. Not only is it home to ancient landmarks of Japan and delicious food, its dialect is what makes this western region stand out. Kansai dialect (known as "Kansai-ben" in Japanese) is a Japanese dialect mostly used in Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Mie, Wakayama, and Shiga. This dialect ...


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WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations. I was in Japan on business for most of September, and while there I caught up on dramas, variety shows and news programs.  One special feature I saw talked about recent trends in 打ち言葉 (uchi kotoba) or ...

Travel Japanese - Taking a Taxi in Japan

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You might know how to travel across Japan in the bullet-train (shinkansen しんかんせん 新幹線)… but what about when you need to get somewhere FAST? Sometimes public transportation just isn’t what you need. This article is designed to show you the basics on how to hail a Japanese taxi (takushi タクシー) and get where you need to go when you need to be there. Step 1 – Hailing the Taxi: Hailing a taxi is the same as in the USA. You raise an arm out to signal the driver. There will be some Japanese ...

How to say “Do you understand English?” in Japanese and Basic Travel Language

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To enhance your trip to Japan its important to learn some key phrases before you go. At Hills Learning we refer to these phrases as “Travel” phrases, and this set of Japanese as “Travel Japanese.” The first article in regards to travel Japanese taught our readers the golden word, “Sumimasen,” or excuse me. This article will focus on how to ask people “Do you understand”, a key phrase to learn when traveling to Japan. The vocabulary used for this portion of travel Japanese is...

Vocabulary for Traveling to Japan and The Golden Word "Sumimasen"

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When traveling to Japan, it’s important to learn some basic phrases to help you get around in the country. Although Japan is highly developed, with an extremely efficient train system and electronics and gadgets that rival any other country, English is not widely spoken. Furthermore Japan is a very homogeneous country, with upwards of around 95 to 96% of the population with Japanese as their native language. For all these reasons and more it helps to learn the basics of Japanese, what we ...