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Short answer: The allowed pronunciations depends somewhat on the word origin. For Sino-Japanese words (漢語), such as 英語<えいご> or 先生<せんせい>, the underlying vowel sequence is always ええ, but can be pronounced as either えい or ええ (despite its native orthography being <えい>). Most Yamato (和語) words are the same as the Sino-Japanese words, but in some cases ...


The only real difference between what you call vocal noises and regular interjections (such as "Well well", "Wow!" or "Ouch!") is that these vocal noises do not fit into the phonology of their language, usually for one of two reasons: They use sounds that are not inside the phoneme inventory of the language, such as "tsk tsk" which is actually a dental ...


The せい of 先生 is a good example of 長音{ちょうおん} (a long vowel). While it is written as せい , in reality it is pronounced as セー with a エー sound (not a エイ sound). Other examples include: Kanji hiragana prononciation ----- -------- ------------- 映画  えいが エーガ 英語  えいご  エーゴ 時計  とけい  トケー 丁寧  ていねい テーネー Another example of a 長音 that is ...


There is no semantic difference. The pronunciation varies with local dialects, and with the level of politeness. As for politeness, [sei] is a pronunciation sometimes used by people to emphasise formality (e.g. in conjunction with 敬語), but this is nowhere near a necessity. I would say that [see] is the common pronunciation. Try sticking in an almost silent [...


According to this: It is a word that is used when you are surprised or astonished. Perhaps like the English "woah"?


A few friends of mine say it quite often, to express some kind of slight compassion. If someone said "I have to work on Sunday", they would say "arara, what a pity" (あらら、大変です) in return. I would consider it a real word/interjection.

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