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?

  • 2
    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
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 3:20
  • Good site for looking up dialects, here's the Osaka-ben index. Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 4:40
  • 1
    (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
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 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
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 5:11

3 Answers 3


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)
  • I often say せんな as a 略 for せやな. Ryakuception?
    – istrasci
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 14:40
  • @istrascisan, Oh, we don't say せんな in Kyoto...
    – user1016
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 15:50
  • Never heard せんな either.
    – oldergod
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 1:02
  • @istrascisan, I just googled the word Ryakuception and got 0 result~~! (>▽<) 新語?
    – user1016
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 13:03
  • @snailboat: Like the movie Inception - a 略 of a 略.
    – istrasci
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 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.

  • Is it not け「つ」かるねん(the little っ?)/何し「て」やんねん?(is it 「てて」?)
    – user1016
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 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
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 13:03
  • @Dono-san: Wow.
    – user1016
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 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
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 13:08
  • The「この方」refers to ケ「ツ」カル...?
    – user1016
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 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。

  • や is not a particle. Neither is だ.
    – user458
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 3:35
  • 1
    @sawa would be then more nicer to just say what it is and edit me :)
    – oldergod
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 3:44
  • 3
    Maybe だ is a copula??? Like.. です??
    – user1016
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 3:50

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