I’ve just been reading about the differences between the Kanto and Kansai regions and I’ve noticed that one of the main differences was dialect. After what I’ve read Im going to go ahead and guess that what TextFugu is teaching us is in Kanto dialect. Can someone please just confirm that for me. Is there really a big difference between the two?
Aye, “standard” Japanese is Kanto dialect. Tokyo dialect, to be specific.
There’s a reasonable difference between the two, but speakers of either will probably be able to understand the other. Biggest differences are the copula だ in standard Japanese becomes や in Kansai, and S sounds often become H sounds. So for example, そうだ becomes ほうや. Google-sensei can probably furnish you with a more extensive explanation. One of the fun differences is a variation in the pitch accent, so while in one dialect, “HA-shi” is “chopsticks” and “ha-SHI” is “bridge”, in the other dialect, it’s precisely the other way around. Never can remember which is which, sadly.
Pretty much every prefecture has its own dialect – most would be able to understand standard Japanese just fine, though. When you get into the furthest reaches of Okinawa or Hokkaido, though, the dialectical differences start to get pretty significant (both used to have their own languages until comparatively recently). I’ve been learning Osaka dialect myself. And Hiroshima dialect, in which だ becomes じゃ, and から becomes け, so だから becomes じゃけ, which sounds like something else altogether…