How words and characters in Japanese sound when spoken aloud.

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46 views

燻る{いぶる}、燻る{くすぶる}、燻る{くゆる} - difference?

Is there any semantic difference between the three? Which is used more often? Is there any nuance to picking one over another (formality, sounding more literary etc.)?
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1answer
167 views

Pronunciation of the Japanese ん and nasalized vowels

I've been trying to grasp how ん sounds when placed after a vowel. Apparently the vowel becomes nasalized (and extended?) but does it get rid of the n sound completely then? If so wouldn't ほん have its ...
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1answer
100 views

Why are 兄(あに) and 姉(あね) pronounced differently in お兄さん and お姉さん?

姉 is pronounced ane, but お姉さん is pronounced oneesan. What happened to the initial a? Likewise, 兄 is pronounced ani, but お兄さん is pronounced oniisan. What is the rule governing the change in the ...
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1answer
82 views

Pronouncing abbreviations, acronyms, letters? (NHK, CM, JR, A…)

I've been noticing that Latin letters in abbreviations and acronyms are (obviously) common in Japan. For instance: JR becomes ジェイアール CM becomes シーエム N3 becomes エヌさん NHK becomes エヌエイチケイ (I think) ...
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53 views

Does the pronunciation of ん also change with another word within a sentence?

For example, the word かばん (bag) is pronounced kabaN when it's alone but what if another word like と (and) comes after it? Would it be still pronounced kabaNto, or should you consider the following と ...
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49 views

How do you tell the sound of と from ど like in 男(おとこ)? [duplicate]

I found that the と in おとこ sounds very similar to ど, how do you tell which one is said if you hear the word for the first time?
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2answers
102 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.?
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146 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 ...
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2answers
103 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 ...
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146 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 ...
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0answers
109 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
122 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 ...
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3answers
312 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 ...
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88 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"
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1answer
149 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 ...
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1answer
197 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 ...
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1answer
86 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
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2answers
241 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 ...
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3answers
132 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?
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60 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 ...
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4answers
147 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?
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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 ...
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4answers
399 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 ...
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2answers
266 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 ...
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2answers
200 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 ...
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199 views

How do you write 縮めて in IPA?

How do you write 縮めて in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)?
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249 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: ...
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113 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 ...
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1answer
185 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 ...
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2answers
228 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 ...
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1answer
133 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?
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403 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 ...
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1answer
295 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?
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1answer
257 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 ...
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1answer
187 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 ...
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2answers
294 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 ...
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365 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 ...
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2answers
191 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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1answer
122 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 ...
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1answer
100 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 ...
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2answers
198 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 ...
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1answer
89 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 ...
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4answers
198 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 ...
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4answers
309 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 ...
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2answers
139 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 ...
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1answer
197 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 ...
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1answer
189 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 ...