Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Here in Kansai I hear せや, せやねん, and せやな everywhere. I was wondering if anyone could clarify the meaning and usage of these, as well as their equivalent in more standard Japanese?

Additionally, are there any other variations based on せや that are used commonly?

share|improve this question
youtube.com/… (sorry, I couldn't resist :D I think it's pretty relevant though, as SO.YO.NA was the Kansai-ben version of DA.YO.NE, that was also localized into various other dialects.) –  cypher Jul 3 '12 at 3:20
Good site for looking up dialects, here's the Osaka-ben index. –  Louis Jul 3 '12 at 4:40
(typo: SO.YO.NA -> SO.YA.NA) just thought I'd add: there's not really much difference between そやな and せやな in meaning, but there's an image of せやな tending to be used more by people over 40 and そやな used by comparatively younger people according to this article. –  cypher Jul 3 '12 at 4:46
Yes... my friend also says she thinks せや~ is more used by older people and そや~ by younger people. I've always thought せや~ is used more in Osaka and そや~ is more used in Kyoto. –  user1016 Jul 3 '12 at 5:11

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think I say
●せや(or そうや) for そうよ/そうだ/Yes./You're right./Oh,(I just remember)... etc.
●せやねん(or そうやねん) for そうなのよ/そうなんだよ/Exactly./Yes,(actually you're right)...
●せやな(or そうやな) for そうね/そうだな/You're right./You may be right./Let me see...etc.

I also say
●せやで(or そうやで) for そうなのよ/そうなんだよ(Compared with せやねん, I think せやねん is more subjective and せやで sounds a bit more objective)
●せやて/せやって(or そうやて・そうやって) for そうだって/そうだってば/Right,(trust me, that's the truth...)/(sounds like you're trying to persuade or repeating what you've just said)
●せやかて(or そやかて)/せやけど(orそやけど) for そうだけど/それでも/そうだとしても/You're right, but.../You may be right, but.../You say so, but...
●せやし(or そやし) for だから/そうだから/so.../therefore...
●せやった(or そやった) for そうだった(the past tense of そうだ)

share|improve this answer
I often say せんな as a 略 for せやな. Ryakuception? –  istrasci Jul 3 '12 at 14:40
@istrascisan, Oh, we don't say せんな in Kyoto... –  user1016 Jul 3 '12 at 15:50
Never heard せんな either. –  oldergod Jul 4 '12 at 1:02
@istrascisan, I just googled the word Ryakuception and got 0 result~~! (>▽<) 新語? –  user1016 Jul 4 '12 at 13:03
@snailboat: Like the movie Inception - a 略 of a 略. –  istrasci Aug 4 '13 at 2:46

You have already received several answers. Rather than repeat them, let me give you the resources so that you can answer this and similar questions on your own. Look for a book titled 『大阪ことば辞典』 by 牧村史陽 (Makimura Shiyō) and published by Kōdansha, 1984. The ISBN is 4-06-158658-0. Below are a few short excerpts.

  • (page 376) セヤ: そうやの訛。そうだ。例:セヤセヤ(そうだそうだ)。セヤよって(そうだから)。
  • (page 543) ネン(助): の。のだ。(ネ・ネヤの項参照)例:そやネン(そうなのだ)。行ったるネン(行ってやるんだ)。行ったんやネン(行ったのだ)。何しててやんネン(何をしていらっしゃるの。これが下品になると、何してけっかるネン)。
  • (page 508) ナァ(助): ね。原語はそやノォ・ええノォののう(喃)である。例:あのナァ。そやナァ。ええナァ。知らんナァ。西鶴の『好色一代男』(天和)巻六に「うまいなあと云はせしことも」

This reference also indicates the accent for all terms. I am not able to replicate the notation here, though.

share|improve this answer
Is it not け「つ」かるねん(the little っ?)/何し「て」やんねん?(is it 「てて」?) –  user1016 Jul 3 '12 at 12:54
1) It is not a typo. If you are interested, there is a rather lengthy entry for ケッカル on page 226-227. 2) Also not a typo. –  Dono Jul 3 '12 at 13:03
@Dono-san: Wow. –  user1016 Jul 3 '12 at 13:05
The entry is too long to include in a comment, but it does state the following: ケツカルと、詰めずに発音する場合もあるが、この方が古い。 –  Dono Jul 3 '12 at 13:08
The「この方」refers to ケ「ツ」カル...? –  user1016 Jul 3 '12 at 13:10

せ is like そう。

せや = そうだ

せやねん ~ そうだよ

や is the famous copula that generally means だ。

share|improve this answer
や is not a particle. Neither is だ. –  user458 Jul 3 '12 at 3:35
@sawa would be then more nicer to just say what it is and edit me :) –  oldergod Jul 3 '12 at 3:44
Maybe だ is a copula??? Like.. です?? –  user1016 Jul 3 '12 at 3:50

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.