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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Fri July 24th, 10:38 pm 
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As for Kansai-ben, needless to say the dialect of Kobe is not the same as that of Osaka -- for that matter, Osaka Kita generally speaks a different dialect from the one spoken in Osaka Minami. While this difference may not be as pronounced today as was in the last century, the linguistic differences reflect not only of geographic locations but also of social class. Though part of Kansai, Kyoto (city) has a different speech, and so does Nara.

The rural dialects also differ significantly from urban ones.

However, through televisions and radio broadcasts based in Osaka, a form of "standard Kansai speech" (Kansai hyojungo) has come to emerge over decades and probably this should be what most people think of Kansai-ben.

Unfortunately, outside Kansai area, it has come to be associated with low-brow TV stand-up comedians and their often grotesque antics on the air. This is primarily because Osaka has produced many nationally well-known comedy personalities who became part of the Japan-wide mainstream network television programmes, such as Akashiya Samma.

Another unfortunate problem is that over decades, Japanese film productions often cast Kansai-ben-speaking characters in yakuza movies, often as villains or the top yakuza boss.

Combined, Kansai-ben outside the Keihanshin region would be either intimidating or not taken seriously.

Likewise, stereotypical Tohoku-ben (usually the speech of Miyagi or Aomori) is often associated with uneducated poor peasants who spend winter months in Tokyo as migrant construction workers, and stereotypical, exaggerated Nagoya-ben* (Iryaase! Yattokamedanamo! Omyaa ebifuryaa wayani nattemaudagane...**) is seen as something akin to how New Englanders or Pacific Northwesterners think of Texans.

========
* And actual Nagoya residents make fun of nearby Seto, Toyota and Okazaki residents (who speak the Mikawa-ben) with exaggerated Mikawa-ben (Oiden! Ikandaraa!).
** No one speaks like this anymore. (Welcome! It's been such a long time! Your fried shrimp is going to go stale...)


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Fri July 24th, 10:54 pm 
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Aster Leland wrote:
You are right, of course, Miss Elytis. I'll just have to enjoy listening to it.

(Every time I see the word hanamachi I think the word hamachi, and am for a moment very confused.)


Hana-machi 花街 (lit. flower town) is courtesan district in Kyoto as well as in Tokyo. Hamachi 魬, on the other hand, is popular Japanese fish, Seriola quinqueradiata Temminck et Shlegel, or Japanese Amberjack.

Generally a place name with a suffix -machi means it is a township (e.g. Kanagawa-ken Miura-gun Hayama-machi) or a neighbourhood within an incorporated city (e.g. Tokyo-to Machida-shi Nozuta-machi).


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Sat July 25th, 11:40 am 
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Thank you, Miss Iridia, for supplying the wealth of detail I wanted to but was insufficiently certain of! It's a fascinating digression.

The particular flavour of Kansai-ben that has always tempted me is Kyoto-ben. It just sounds so marvelous, doesn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Sat July 25th, 4:12 pm 
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I will definitely see if I can locate that film, Miss Elytis, and train my ear to notice the difference in dialects. Kimono is lovely enough to observe that even if my ears are tin, I'm certain to enjoy it. (I find the so-called "traditional dress" of many cultures lovely- Hanbok in Korea, takchita in Morocco, and, of course, kimono in Japan. So called because you can't reduce an entire culture and all it's history to a single outfit, but I digress.)

I am familiar with hamachi, Miss Iridia, and therein derives my confusion. There's always a moment where I wonder, why are those sweet girls living in a fish? before I notice the extra syllable.


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Sun July 26th, 12:32 pm 
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To add to your confusion, there is also a neighbourhood in Tokyo called Tamachi 田町.


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Sun July 26th, 2:00 pm 
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Miss Iridia, can you tell me if there is any rule governing when 町 means "street", "road", "block", "neighbourhood", or "town"? Or at the very least, how one is supposed to know whether to pronounce it "machi" or "cho"?

Miss Leland, what lovely pictures. I knew what a hanbok was but not a takchita. It's lovely. But why has the poor girl got her face blurred? She looks as though she must be quite pretty, so it seems a pity.

Speaking of kimono... you are quite right to say a culture cannot be reduced to a single outfit. The word "wafuku" (Japanese clothes) denotes a much broader category of garments, including lots of jackets and aprons and work clothes and things. What we call a "kimono" today is the traditional dress of well-to-do ladies, not peasants. Which suits me well enough, I confess. I adore wearing kimono.


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Sun July 26th, 5:06 pm 
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Am I right in thinking that the "wa" in wafuku, while it is interpreted as meaning "Japanese" has the root-meaning of "harmony".

So, in Aristasian terms, wafuku could mean both "Japanese clothes" and "clothing in thamë" - which certainly in Aristasian terms would not be two separate concepts. To wear the traditional clothing of one's nation - rather than that of revolutionary modernism - would indeed be to dress in thamë.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Sun July 26th, 5:12 pm 
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The word "wafuku" is written with the kanji 和服. When 和 is read "wa", it means "harmony"; when it is read "yawa" it refers to something weak and shoddily made. Take your pick, darling!


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Sun July 26th, 5:19 pm 
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Well it is read "wa" in wafuku - so it is harmony!

Hooray! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese lessons
PostPosted: Sun July 26th, 5:26 pm 
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I was only teasing.


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