How words and characters in Japanese sound when spoken aloud.

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13
votes
5answers
613 views

Except for pitch, what are the differences in pronunciation between Kansaiben and Tokyoben?

I have tried to ask people this type of question on many occasions and the answer is always the same, but people are notoriously bad at evaluating their own language, so I ask here: Apart for pitch, ...
2
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
216 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
5answers
525 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
254 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
283 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
155 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
341 views

Repeating the vowel sound of the mora that precedes gemination in songs

I noticed that in songs, the vowel sounds of the morae that come before geminations are sometimes repeated. For example, the first lyric line of “マジカルちょーだいっ” is sung as しらんぷりをしたあって where the line is ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

What does the little っ (tsu) signify when at the end of a word?

The small っ (tsu) is usually used before a consonant to indicate gemination, less technically known as doubled consonants, which is how they are transliterated in romaji. I have seen it at the end of ...
3
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
235 views

字幕:一ヶ月前⇒発音:いっかすまえ?

In the finale of a drama called お天気お姉さん, around 8:26 in, I saw this subtitle: 一ヶ月前の僕のアリバイかい But the pronunciation of 一ヶ月前 sounded either like いっかつまえ or いっかすまえ to me, with no sign whatsoever of ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are the particles “は” (ha⇒wa), “へ” (he⇒e), and “を” (wo⇒o) not spelled phonetically?

As far as I know only three words (or particles) have irregular, non-phonetic spelling in Japanese: "は" - The topic particle is pronounced "wa" but the kana is otherwise pronounced "ha" "へ" - The ...
2
votes
1answer
97 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
80 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
88 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
142 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
76 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
171 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
222 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
594 views

Rules for emphasizing by lengthening sounds

Sometimes, sounds are lengthened for emphasis. For example, see "とっても versus とても". What are the rules governing this process? Are there restrictions on where lengthening can be inserted? とっても or ...
4
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
269 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

浴びる vs 浴びりゃ-Hikawa Kiyoshi [duplicate]

I was listening to Hikawa Kiyoshi's ソーラン節 and instead of 浴びる he said 浴びりゃ, is there a normal pattern for this kind of pronunciation? Is it regional?
0
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
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?
2
votes
1answer
676 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? ...
4
votes
2answers
577 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
410 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
290 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
435 views

things that look like long vowels but aren't

Are there words written with "ei" or "ou" that are pronounced with both vowels instead of as a long vowel? I think this is true in cases like 拾う and している, but are there cases of it happening where ...
3
votes
2answers
146 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.
11
votes
4answers
1k views

When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading?

In their comment to an answer on the question "Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana rather than Romaji?", user sawa says: ... Chinese names should be written in kanji rather than ...
1
vote
2answers
103 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
163 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.
23
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

Distinguishing between んな/な, んの/の, etc

I'm learning Japanese, but I'm still very early on in my education (Rosetta Stone, some books and a Japanese-speaking friend). I'm pretty sure I'm grasping the basic concepts okay, but I'm having ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Twenty-two points of attack

How do I say "Twenty-two points of attack" in Japanese? Rather new at Japanese so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! ~ Mark ...and since it was put on hold, I will edit in my ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

How to correctly analyse kanji from jisho

I am newly learning Japanese , so I whenever I encounter a new Kanji I search for it on jisho.org , but then I find that there are given Japanese Kun Japanese on andJapanese names . How do I know ...
1
vote
2answers
174 views

How do the pronunciation of Japanese characters and words differ

I have been trying to teach myself Japanese. I learned the basic hiragana (あ,い,う,お), but I am confused on how to pronounce words like あう. I was trying to combine the sounds あ and う, but when I checked ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Why the “H” is pronounced Sh in some cases.

I came from Stack Overflow and new to Japanese language. Happy I found out about this great place. My first question is about the rules of pronunciation of the letter "H". Like "Hijutsu" or "Hiyori". ...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

Are there rules of thumb for counter sound changes?

I'm wondering if there are consistent (or at least fairly reliable) rules for how to read numbers next to irregular counters, i.e. counters where you can't just put together the number and counter ...
13
votes
1answer
234 views

Does 連声【れんじょう】 still happen in the modern language?

I remember reading that there's a historical process called 連声【れんじょう】 which explains words like 天皇:   天皇    てん+おう = てんのう   云々    うん+うん = うんぬん   銀杏    ぎん+あん = ぎんなん Does this ever happen in modern ...
6
votes
1answer
148 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?
3
votes
1answer
104 views

How do Japanese people read the pH (measure of acidity or basicity) of a solution?

I read an article (http://www.gizmodo.jp/2013/10/post_13267.html, in case anyone is interested), and it got me thinking how a Japanese person would read this passage: ここの水は水素イオン指数pH 9~10.5。 Do ...
13
votes
3answers
621 views

Why is “Xy” pronounced as “Ki Shi” in Xylitol「キシリトール」?

Why is "Xy" pronounced as "[Ki Shi]{キ シ}" in [Xylitol]{キシリトール}? I believe "Xy" can pronounced as "Zai", which is probably a valid sound in Japanese. I would like to know its etymology too, if there ...
3
votes
2answers
185 views

How is the name “河内” pronounced, コーチ or コウチ?

How is the name 河内 pronounced, is it コーチ like 講師 = コーシ, or コウチ, like 子牛 = コウシ? I have checked this word in the 三省堂明解アクセント辞典 but cannot find it.
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Is the i in kakikonde silent?

Here's the sentence that I was listening to: Kono shorui ni Yan-san no juusho, shimei, seinengappi nado o kakikonde kudasai. When I was listening to it, it sounded like the word was being pronounced ...