How words and characters in Japanese sound when spoken aloud.

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3
votes
2answers
93 views

Difference between んい and に

I noticed that the word 単位 is written as たんい in hiragana, not たに. Is there a difference in the way んい and に are pronounced? If so, does the same principle go for んあ and な, んえ and ね, etc.?
1
vote
1answer
129 views

町{ちょう}、町{まち}、街{がい}、街{まち} - how to pick the correct pronunciation?

I've grown accustomed to enunciating both 町 and 街 as まち in my head but it turns out this may have been totally incorrect, as 三省堂{さんせいど} lists two possible pronunciations for 町 and only one (がい) for 街 ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

前 in 十年前の話 - ぜん, まえ, or さき?

十年前の話 I'm not sure how 前 is supposed to be read in constructs like these. Is it safe to assume that because 十年{じゅうねん} is 音読み then I should use the whole thing as じゅうんえんぜん (IME is returning both ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

Is “げえしゃ” a valid pronunciation of “芸者”?

I've read on various web sites that in English, some people pronounce the word "geisha" as "geesha", and that it's a mispronunciation. For example, from Wikipedia: They almost exclusively ...
3
votes
0answers
87 views

Why are Japanese vowels occasionally rhotacised in songs?

This might be a bit weird, but when I listen to Japanese music, sometimes I notice "r"-like sounds in syllable-final positions, or between vowels where there should be no [r]. I know that /r/ is not ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

How do you pronounce the U in mas? [duplicate]

I have been studying Japanese with iStart Japanese. For words like tabemasu (たべます) and nomimasu (のみます), the Japanese speaker pronounces the 'u' quite noticeably. However, I've also been studying ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How do I pronounce these Katakana Onomatopoeia (words that sound like noises)?

こんばんは。 When I have been reading Manga recently I have encountered many onomatopoeia words such as シャカシャカ as in 'Brush Brush' and パタパタ for 'rush rush/flap flap' but I have found some words such as シャッ ...
2
votes
3answers
265 views

How does one keep from being confused about the pronunciation of 地下鉄?

[地下鉄]{ちかてつ} How does one know the "hiragana spelling", i.e. the hiragana representation of the word is ちかてつ but not other forms involving misspelling one or more of the following か vs. が て vs. で ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Effects of あ after other vowel endings

In usages of あ after other syllables such as け or め, is the あ pronounced or does it prolong the previous vowel's sound? Taking the Katakna spelling of "Mary": メアリー is that "Meh-ah-ri" or "Mehhh-ri"
4
votes
1answer
136 views

How is the Iroha poem usually pronounced?

I have read on Wikipedia that the Iroha poem has a modern version with updated hiragana and stuff. However, it seems that most times people recite the poem (as in, every time I've seen/heard someone ...
5
votes
1answer
186 views

How is 家 in [name]家 pronounced?

How would [name]家, for example 田中家, be pronounced when referring to somebody's home in an informal or casual way? I think I've heard it pronounced ち but it could have been うち too. Perhaps both are ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

When would I use ふん instead of ぷん?

What's the difference for using these? Examples: さんじごじゅうぷん ろくじよんじゅうごふん
5
votes
2answers
229 views

Am I the only one who never says “少女{しょうじょ}”?

Only a tiny extension in the first syllable separates the pronunciation of "少女" and "処女{しょじょ}". No matter how skillful one might be, those without the ability to speak with the rhythm and flow of a ...
4
votes
3answers
130 views

Should 「ソウル」 be pronounced as “so u ru” or “so: ru”?

According to the ipadic attached to Mecab, it's "so u ru". According to the bccwj dict attached to Julius, it's "so: ru". Which one is correct? Or are they both OK?
1
vote
0answers
59 views

I have a puzzling question about Japanese pronouncaiton [closed]

The Hepburn rōmaji is more famous than kunrei-shiki rōmaji in spelling around the world because of its close pronunciation to English and the convenience of reading for foreigners. However, Hepburn ...
5
votes
4answers
143 views

Pronunciation of 九

The dictionary I'm using lists two common pronunciations of 「九」: 「きゅう」 and 「く」. I've usually heard it as 「きゅう」 before, but when saying 「9時」, it always seems to be 「くじ」. Is there a rule to this?
2
votes
2answers
125 views

How are 超域 and 学際 different?

As I understand it, the word 学際 is usually used to mean "interdisciplinary" when referring to college courses. However, I recently came across the word "超域文化科学" while browsing college websites. In ...
2
votes
4answers
328 views

Why are し/ち transliterated as 'shi'/'chi', and not 'si'/'ti'?

In Japanese あいうえお are pronounced 'a i u e o', かきくけこ are pronounced 'ka ki ku ke ko'. The spelling is simple and natural. However, when it comes to サ行, さしすせそ, its relevant roman spelling is 'sa shi su ...
1
vote
2answers
206 views

What does Japanese sound like for non-native Japanese speaker? [closed]

Let me know what does Japanese sound like to you. I am a native Japanese speaker and I've been so curious about it since I was a child. There is no exemplary answer for this topic. Please don't ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

Why is Austin spelled with an オ?

Based on the pronunciations here, what I hear in Anime, and the way I hear kana pronounced in Japanese class, it seems to me that Austin should start with ア rather than オ, but it is clearly spelled ...
0
votes
2answers
196 views

How do you write 縮めて in IPA?

How do you write 縮めて in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)?
7
votes
1answer
248 views

Pronouncing + in dictionary definitions

Dictionary definitions often use plus signs when describing what words or phrases are made of. For example, the definition for たところで…ない in 大辞泉 says: ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

What's the reading of 傾げる? かしげる or かたげる?

I was watching http://youtu.be/FiqsDshUSDA?t=6m40s. At the 6th minute, he reads 傾げたく as かしげたく. Jisho.org lists both readings. Goo's dictionary gives a preference for the かしげる reading (insofar as ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Why is “UFO” pronounced as if it were a word?

In English, "UFO" (Unidentified flying object) is generally pronounced with each letter being pronounced. By contrast, I've read in my textbook that in Japanese, "UFO" is pronounced "ユーフォー". Is ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

How to properly pronounce コップ?

How to properly pronounce コップ (meaning: cup)? Should it be コ + short and quick ツ + soundless プ or something different? BTW, is there a good online source where I can look up word with proper Japanese ...
-1
votes
1answer
130 views

Why many words (nouns?) end with つ?

Why many words (nouns?) end with つ? Some examples include 寝室{しんしつ}、万年筆{まんねんひつ}. Is there some underlying patterns or rules that Japanese language learners should be aware of?
6
votes
2answers
382 views

Are katakana names pronounced as they are written?

My name is Laurence. I would write this in Japanese as ロレンス (rorensu). My question is, when I introduce myself, do I pronounce my name as it is in katakana, or as it is in English?: That is, would I ...
3
votes
1answer
276 views

Is /z/ pronounced as [z] or [dz] or both?

I am not sure how these two sounds are used in Japanese. Which one is more common, in terms of frequency? Under what cases is the other one used?
2
votes
1answer
227 views

Is the 'h' in Japanese pronounced the same as the 'f'?

I'm aware that the so-called 'f' in ふ isn't pronounced with the English labiodental fricative [f], but rather the bilabial fricative [ɸ]. I'd like to know if Japanese speakers also use the bilabial ...
6
votes
1answer
185 views

この間 pronunciation

Probably a very simple question for those more familiar with Japanese language. How この間 are usually pronounced? Dictionary gives both このかん and このあいだ, I was wondering which one is most likely to be ...
7
votes
2answers
287 views

Words that have been borrowed twice, with different pronunciations?

We all learn early on that hamburger can be translated into Japanese in two different ways: ハンバーガー meat patty in a bun ハンバーグ just the meat patty (or salisbury steak to be exact) Likewise launder ...
9
votes
2answers
352 views

How to Pronounce 化学 “Chemistry”?

A Japanese teacher on Twitter posted that 化学 is pronounced かがく and means "chemistry". I double-checked it on tangorin.com and it lists that pronunciation but says that it's pronounced ばけがく to avoid ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Pronunciation: W杯?

From Jim Breen's EDICT: ワールドカップ, ダブルはい 【W杯】 What is most commonly used? Is W ever pronounced the same as 'W' in English and not ダブル? Will people ever say: ダブルカップ? ワールドはい? I know ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Why does 背く sound like そむふ in this sentence?

The clip and subtitles: http://clyp.it/fmzowhxt 組織の命令に背くという事は どういう事か お前は わかってない! So why is 背く being pronounced like that? I don't hear a く at all and hear a ふ instead. Also, maybe the following is ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Perceiving Initial r in names likes 隆介(りゅうすけ) and 綾(りょう)

I've chosen the name a bit at random, but for reason I don't understand I have trouble hearing the initial r-sound on several of my male Japanese students' names. Two examples chosen someone at ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Which words can be pronounced as either -aai or -awai?

Some speakers of Japanese pronounce 場合【ばあい】 as ばわい. Do those speakers also pronounce similar /Caai/ words like 他愛【たあい】 and 間合い【まあい】 differently? (I've seen たわいない listed as an alternate reading for ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Looking Up Whether 御 is お or ご

Is there a good was to look up whether a 御 prefix is お or ご for a word? I know there is the Chinese origin versus Japanese origin thing (mentioned here). But is there a way to look up for a certain ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

How do native speakers “read” single-kanji signs when those kanji are not also standalone words?

In my time in Japan I've noticed a few kanji that can be used on their own commonly in various kinds of signs, yet I don't think they are also words in their own right: 押 引 危 開 閉 Since all kanji ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Pronunciation of 七々々 in this name?

In an anime, 龍ヶ嬢七々々 is pronounced as りゅうがじょう ななな. I'm wondering why 七々々 is prounounced as ななな, since 七 is なな, and there are two repeat signs. Is this some sort of special case where 七 is prounounced ...
6
votes
4answers
195 views

ブラウザ or ブラウザー? Words borrowed from English which end with -er

I noticed that some (most? all?) words that were borrowed from English and end with -er in English can have either short or long vowel at the end: browser - can be ブラウザ or ブラウザー driver - can be ドライバ ...
4
votes
4answers
294 views

Does Japanese have a silent ん?

Often, I can't hear ん in words. Most recently I've seen this in 攻殻機動隊. Examples: もう少し詳しい検査をしてみないと何とも言えませんが、おそらく外的な要因は見つかりそうもありません... 要因 sounds like ようい しくじれば、Spring-8の4倍の税金をかけた橋を… Sounds like ぜいき ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

On the two words, several pronunciations, and many spellings for “sake cup”

When I was in Okinawa drinking sake I asked my host what the Japanese word for the sake cup was and was told: お猪口{ちょこ} Then today I went to the Nezu Museum in Tokyo which currently has a ...
7
votes
1answer
194 views

Why does this store named サァラ have a small ァ in the name?

Over on this awesome answer about old and unused katakana forms, I notice that among the examples is the word "valve", written as ヷァルブ. It has a small ァ character in addition to the ヷ that precedes ...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

is “こっかい” a heteronym?

I recently boasted to a native speaker that I can pronounce Japanese with a high degree of precision, while he has trouble with pronouncing the "L" sound in English. Later in the discussion he stopped ...
13
votes
1answer
450 views

How do you pronounce みずうみ? (lake)

I was wondering, I learnt an う lengthens the sound before it. When I learnt the word みずうみ I thought it is a long u and saw it as a whole new word, but I noticed みずうみ exists of 2 words: みず (water) and ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

金 pronunciation

I read that the kanji 金 ("gold") can be pronounced both as kon and as kin. When should it be pronounced kon and when kin? Is there any rule about picking one or the other? Thanks.
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to write the name !xobile in Katakana?

So I have been wondering from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiWiYjW1Xrc How would one write the Katakana for this name that has an exclamation mark? And how would we pronounce it? ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

pronounciation of ひと [duplicate]

I heard today in my Japanese class my sensei pronouncing ひと the "ひ" like し my teacher is not from a Japanese origin he studied there. I want to know is this pronunciation right? Should I pronounce ...
1
vote
0answers
345 views

Japanese dictionary with IPA pronunciations [closed]

Is there a reasonably complete dictionary of Japanese that includes IPA pronouncing keys? I can find plenty of sites with audio files, but I'd like to be sure I'm getting the phonemes exactly right.
27
votes
1answer
1k views

How do parents obscure spoken messages in front of their children in Japanese?

Let's say I'm a very young child and I love dessert. After my family goes out today, my dad is going to buy us ice cream; he needs to tell my mom in front of me, without me finding out. In English, he ...