The major difference between the Osaka dialect, and standard Japanese, in my opinion is intonation, as well as the use of certain original words. One example of an original word in Osaka-ben is, “ookini” (おお きに), which means, “thank you.” Another original word is, “gyosan” (ぎょうさん), which means “many.”

The biggest agency for comedians in Japan, Yoshimoto Kogyo, is located in Osaka. Many of the comedians who appear on TV are from this agency, and speak the Kansai dialect. Since I grew up watching a lot of funny people on TV speaking in the Osaka dialect, I got the impression that people from Osaka are naturally funny.

However, friends of mine living in Tokyo, who have parents from Osaka, told me that their parents are not funny at all. They said it is just a stereotype of mine to believe that people from Osaka are funny. As I have unfortunately never been to Osaka, it was hard to prevent myself from developing such a stereotype in my mind.

Having this conversation made me realize how powerful the media can be in influencing one’s thoughts.

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