How words and characters in Japanese sound when spoken aloud.

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8
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1answer
155 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
240 views

How do you geminate ら-line sounds?

This is my current understanding of gemination (促音, /Q/, small っ): in native Japanese words, only the following sounds can be geminated: /k/, /s/, /t/, /p/. Additionally, in loanwords we can geminate ...
7
votes
7answers
8k views

I am looking for an online Japanese dictionary with audio pronunciations

Does anyone know any online Japanese dictionary which provides audio reading?
7
votes
3answers
347 views

Teaching the difference between “see” and “she” in English

I've been teaching ESL for over 30 years, but for the last three I've had almost exclusively Japanese students (I teach mostly 1-on-1 classes over Skype, to students from High School to Business ...
7
votes
2answers
275 views

Why is debug デバッグ but bug is バグ?

I'm interested in why the extra small tsu in included in the word デバッグ but not バグ. Are there any rules governing voicing in words formed via reduplication? Lyman's rule may explain this, but does ...
7
votes
2answers
410 views

Encountered な with ten-ten

I am currently reading a manga for studying Japanese and encountered something strange. A girl exclaims「な゛?!」 The situation is that she has just had water squirted up her nose, so I am guessing it's ...
7
votes
3answers
463 views

[父]{ちち} vs. [乳]{ちち} — father vs. breast

Can one differentiate by pronunciation between [父]{ちち} and [乳]{ちち} (as for 雨 and 飴)? If not, does anyone have a reasonable explanation for why 父 and 乳 have the same pronunciation? It seems unlikely ...
7
votes
2answers
492 views

Are there many words that have the same pronunciation ambiguity as Nihon/Nippon?

Wikipedia says that 日本 can be pronounced either [にっぽん]{nippon} or [にほん]{nihon}. Does this ambiguity in pronunciation happen with other words? If so, does it only happen with words that originated ...
7
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1answer
409 views

Pronunciation of しゃ, し, しゅ, しぇ, and しょ

Now I understand that although all the morae mentioned in the title are written in Hepburn as "sha shi shu she sho", they are actually palatalized and sound quite different (the little や makes it ...
7
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2answers
334 views

Utterance initial [ɾ]

According to The sounds of Japanese (Vance 2008): When /ɾ/ is the first phoneme in an utterance, the tip of the tongue is already resting lightly on the alveolar ridge, and /ɾ/ is produced by ...
7
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2answers
256 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 ...
7
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1answer
158 views

Do the various verbs pronounced つく differ in intonation?

Related: Dissecting つく verbs There are many verbs which are pronounced つく, and I was simply wondering: Do their intonation patterns differ? If so, what are the intonation patterns of the most ...
6
votes
4answers
200 views

Kanji 行 with なみ, なめ, みち and アン pronunciations

I have only found 行 being pronounced as いく, ゆく and おこなう for kun'yomi and as コウ and ギョウ for on'yomi, but my dictionary software also lists down なみ, なめ, みち and アン as the other pronunciations of this ...
6
votes
2answers
292 views

Why is 「この人」 sometimes pronounced like 「このしと」? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why the “H” is pronounced Sh in some cases. I notice native speakers frequently sound as if they are reading 「この人」 as 「このしと」. I am aware of instances where ...
6
votes
4answers
174 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
216 views

Pronunciation of イ列 + う

It is somewhat uncommon, but some words such as 気宇{きう} and the name 霧生{きりう} end with イ列 + う. I thought the pronunciation might be different from a simple concatenation of the two vowels, since 言う{いう} ...
6
votes
1answer
122 views

Reading of 組 as a Counter Word With Numbers

I'm confused about how to pronounce a word such as 一組. Are Japanese or Chinese numbers used when using 組 as a counter, and if the former how does it change phonetically? For example, jisho.org lists ...
6
votes
2answers
163 views

Help translating よなも in a song

This is from a Trigun soundtrack, song called Sound Life (lyrics), 3rd line: 3つ目の夜に ワルツの子は世界面にウエーブを 打つ The 世界面 is translated as "world face", however pronunciation is given as よなも. I can't find ...
6
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

How does one read AxB as in “A by B grid” in Japanese?

Here's the definition of sudoku in Wikipedia: 数独(すうどく)とは、3×3のブロックに区切られた 9×9の正方形の枠内に1〜9までの数字を入れるペンシルパズルの一つである。 How should one read 9×9の or 3×3の out loud?
6
votes
1answer
183 views

Is む sometimes pronounced more like ん?

I'm curious what the relationship is between む and ん. I have the feeling that sometimes, む is pronounced more like ん: むむむ: is this really /mumumu/? Or does it become /mmm/? うむむ: is this really ...
6
votes
1answer
244 views

How do Japanese pronounce microseconds (μ秒)?

From this sentence I read: これらの手法はクリティカルセクションが(例えば100μ秒以内などの)一定時間以内に終わるよう精密にプログラミングすることを要求する。 How am I supposed to pronounce μ秒 ? Should I pronounce it as "mu byou"? or "micro byou"? I also ...
6
votes
2answers
147 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
336 views

How do you pronounce “☓☓” as a placeholder?

I have come across the following in a piece of fiction (「永遠のジャック&ベティ」, by 清水{しみず}義範{よしのり}): 「今日は上着を着ているためには暑すぎます」 ◯◯するには☓☓すぎる。つまり、暑くて上着なんか着ていられない、という意味だった。 As you can see, the bolded ...
5
votes
2answers
363 views

How is アェ pronounced?

A video game I've been playing has the following word in it: アェウクス I'm not familiar with アェ. Does it represent a specific sound? If so, what sound? If it makes sense to do so, please include ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you pronounce を after a subject?

For example :日本語を勉強します. Do you pronounce ni hon go wo or ni hon go---
5
votes
3answers
295 views

What is the difference between the wave dash 〜 and long vowel marker ー when marking long vowels?

I know that the wave dash 〜 can be used in place of the long vowel marker ー sometimes, but I'm not exactly sure what the differences are. Is there any difference in pronunciation? I read once that ...
5
votes
2answers
296 views

I am wondering if someone can shed light on this tweet from Japan?

A friend of mine recently translated a Japanese article from Japan's October issue of An An magazine and sent her a tweet in English telling her that it was completed. The author replied with the ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

クラウド上で - pronunciation?

I've seen 上で quite a few times recently, in contexts like: In the cloud クラウド上で and: On the computer コンピュータ上 In this case, is it pronounced うえ, as in クラウドうえで, or じょう? Silly ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

Pronunciation of 天爾遠波 (てにをは)

Straightforward question. 天爾遠波 (or 弖爾乎波) - written as てにをは - is a term used to refer to the Japanese particles (助詞) or sometimes Japanese grammar as a whole (文法). So how to do pronounce the は at the ...
5
votes
1answer
297 views

Pronunciation of 日 in compound words

I learnt from my teacher that the days of the month from 1 to 10 use kun and irregular pronunciations: 一日: ついたち (irregular) 二日: ふつか (kun) 三日: みっか (kun) ... 十日: とおか (kun) But for words like 一日目, 二日間 ...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

Pronunciation of ううん

The pitch contour of the interjection ううん has been described as high, low, middle. Alternatively, it has been described as a falling-rising tone. In either case, this appears to be unique in ...
5
votes
1answer
444 views

What are the pronunciation differences between speaking and singing Japanese? [closed]

I've noticed that some pronunciation is different in singing than in speaking. For example, I often hear を pronounced as /wo/ rather than /o/. What other pronunciation differences are there?
5
votes
0answers
304 views

Which readings are used for 漢文?

If I am reading a Chinese text to a Japanese audience, how can I know which reading to use for each character? Of the 音読み, there can be 呉音, 漢音, and 唐音 to choose from. Also for pronunciation, would ...
5
votes
0answers
91 views

Why is “there” pronounced あそこ and not just あこ? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Irregularity of あ-series in demonstratives Maybe this is a little hard to answer, but I'm curious why the typical これ/それ/あれ pattern doesn't apply to ここ/そこ/あそこ. Is anyone ...
4
votes
5answers
529 views

How do we tell whether two hiragana should fit in one mora or two?

How do we tell whether 2 hiragana should fit in 1 "mora" or 2? For example, why is it that 四季 and 士気 are pronounced as "Shiki" 1 mora, whereas 式 and 指揮 are pronounced as "Shi Ki" 2 morae? N.B. Links ...
4
votes
2answers
220 views

Pronounciation of the hiragana け and か

I have just started learning hiragana, and am confused about the pronunciation of some of them. I have heard some pronunciation guides for け which say it should sound like kay, and some which say it ...
4
votes
3answers
273 views

Is 門 read as かど or もん?

Is it more common to read 門 as かど or もん? e.g. how would we pronounce the 門 in 彼らは門が開くのを待っていた。
4
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
278 views

Pronunciation of 家

In this sentence: ゆうむら家の3人は、半年前にこの家を購入し、転居してきた。 この家を is pronounced as "kono yo" as opposed to "kono ie o". And this phrase あんたは一人でこの家から学校に通っている。 この家 is pronounced as "kono ye" as opposed ...
4
votes
2answers
271 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
158 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
2answers
125 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
612 views

Should I use On reading or Kun reading for numbers?

I've just started to learn Japanese, and I've been looking at the Joyo Kanji. Most of the words have On reading and Kun reading. I was wondering, which one is most popular and when should I use one ...
4
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?

Why is it that native speakers of Japanese have a hard time pronouncing "l"? Whenever a western word contains "L" I see that they pronounce it "ru", "ra", "ro", "ri", or "re".
3
votes
2answers
1k views

R sound vs L sound

First, I'd like to mention that I've seen this question, which is related but doesn't quite seem to be a duplicate. I've covered some Hiragana lessons and it seems there is no L in Japanese. The ...
3
votes
4answers
226 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
148 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.
3
votes
2answers
221 views

Insertion of “y” sound between vowels

I was watching some anime today, and I heard "y" sounds in places I didn't expect. Here's a sound clip (MP3) and my transcription: 私の世界へようこそ。 今やこの世界をコントロールできる唯一の人間だ。 There are two "y" ...