Kyoto-Ben/Kyoto Dialect

Asked 7 years ago

So, yesterday I discovered that in Japan there are so many dialects and it was surprisingly to find out that in Kyoto they speak another dialect from Tokio dialect. 

My question are:

1. It is so different from the Tokio one that I should reconsider moving there? Because on this site it is taught the standart Japanese/Tokio dialect. And of course, many of online courses/books teach you the standard Japanese.

2. Where is the Tokio dialect spoken? Because I also plan in my 2nd/3rd year of University to study in Japan. And it also would be good to know if I plan moving in Japan later. 

Thanks. ^^

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

1 Answer


Good question!

Japanese dialects (especially "Kansai dialect," which is spoken in the area of Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe) may sound very different from the Tokyo dialect for sure.  But I would say that they're still Japanese language, too.  As long as you learn how to write (and read) the standard Japanese, I would say that it is totally fine to speak a dialect. 

Tokyo dialect is spoken in the Kanto area (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba etc).  But, many Japanese native speakers can switch from their own dialect to standard Japanese when they need to do so.  So, I think that many of the Japanese people you meet will try to speak the standard Japanese to you especially in a formal setting.  Also, what you hear from the TV is usually the standard Japanese.

So, if you really hope to learn "the standard Japanese" not only to write but also to speak in both casual and formal conversations, you may want to live in the Kanto area.  But I would say that you'll be able to learn the standard Japanese, especially in formal conversations and writing, even if you choose to live in Kyoto.  Personally, I think speaking a dialect is "cute." 


Hope this helps!

Answered 7 years ago

Yes, this really helps. And, I'm really happy now to know that Tokyo-ben is also spoken in much more places. :3 The sad part is that Kyoto don't use that dialect, because I really like it. It's more traditional, and I really like the traditional part of the Japanese culture rather than the modern part. But, to be honest, I wouldn't complain to live around Tokyo. :D

Commented 7 years ago