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What Lyle said is true―you'll want to practice a lot. It's much easier to recognize words and phrases you're used to hearing, not just used to reading. That means ear training, and there's no way around it! Still, we can look at some facts about Japanese pronunciation. I'm a non-native speaker, and one of the trickiest things for a non-native speaker to ...


6

snailboat has already provided an excellent response, but I'd like to share an online resource that's pretty useful when trying to figure out the pitch accents of any given text. Just stick your Japanese text into Prosody Tutor Suzuki-kun, tweak the settings as you see fit, hit "analyze", and you'll see a rather accurate pitch analysis of the input text. ...


1

Finding some method in this madness was actually part of eminent linguist Haruhiko Kindaichi's 1951 Ph.D. thesis. Kindaichi found a perfect correspondence between Chinese tones and pitch accent of Japanese kango. However, it was not with the Tokyo accent that is now standard and taught in textbooks, but the Heian period court accent. Kindaichi found that ...



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