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36

In Old Japanese (probably before 800 BC), the pronunciation of 「は」 (and indeed the entire ハ行) was PA, but it later changed to FA (more accurately, [ɸa], with a bilabial fricative), and this was the common pronunciation at least up to the 16th century (we know this since early Portuguese transliteration of Japanese words use the letter F where we would use H ...


26

I have a book in my university library that has a 100-odd page article dedicated to these mute vowels, and it still doesn't seem to give a complete picture. So unfortunately, this feature of Japanese phonology is quite complex. Still, there's a rather simple rule of thumb that can point you to most of the places where muting may occur (and in most of them ...


26

In modern Japanese these pairs are pronounced exactly the same: ず, づ are pronounced either [dzu] or [zu]. じ, ぢ are pronounced either [dʑi] or [ʑi]. (the first sounding like the English J and the second like the French J, but both are with the middle of the tongue raised to the hard palate, producing what seems like a softer pronunciation). So in short, ...


22

It's mojibake, not a valid character. Looking at the character code I suppose it's this emoji sent from a mobile phone: http://code.iamcal.com/php/emoji/


21

The sound you hear in HI is not really a "sh" (as the English "sh"), but neither is the sound SHI an "sh". While it's very easy to learn to pronounce Japanese sufficiently, Japanese pronunciation does have its quirks, and you have to get used to it. The "sh" situation (or fricative situation, as we'd call it in linguistics lingo) is one of them. Let's first ...


20

It is worth pointing out that in Japanese, different dialects use different accent patterns for the same word. The Japanese language taught as a foreign language is most likely to be 標準語 (ひょうじゅんご), which is based on the Tokyo dialect. Therefore, probably the “correct” accent pattern to use should be that of the Tokyo dialect (as in your examples of はし). ...


20

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 ...


20

Each family would use its own method and all I know for certain is how mine handled the matter. We used on-reading words, meaning kanji compounds, which small kids generally are not familiar with. We also "created" our own on-reading words in cases where the generic words were already on-reading ones. Our final weapon was to say the words in English (we ...


18

It's a repetition kanji or "ideographic iteration mark", it means that the kanji just before should be repeated. The pronunciation changes according to the kanji being repeated, but a lot of the time, the second kanji will be pronounced like the first one, but with a dakuten (hi->bi, to->do, ha->ba). It often makes a word mean "more than one of that thing". ...


18

“アェ” is not a valid spelling of any sound in the standard usage of kana letters. If it is used to describe any sound (in a nonstandard way), I agree with AHelps that it probably describes “æ” sound. However, according to web search, アェウクス is a password which appears in a video game “時空の覇者 Sa・Ga3.” As it is a video game, the password used in it does not ...


17

The reading ゆうべ comes from the still-in-use word 夕べ(ゆうべ), which apparently came from an old reading for 夕方(ゆうへ)(today usually read ゆうがた). The kanji are just "gikun" (義訓), that is, they're used for their meaning only and their reading is ignored. The word 今日 was originally read けふ, which anybody who has read the iroha-uta probably knows. You can also still ...


17

If you ask a Japanese person to say a word like renraku fast, and then gradually ask them to say it more and more slowly, you will notice that what initially sounded like an r becomes an l as they slow down (usually earlier on for women). So the claim that l and r don't exist is simply wrong -- they both do, but as variants (allophones) of the same sound ...


16

とっても is a spoken variant of とても, just like すんごい is a spoken variant of すごい and あんまり is a spoken variant of あまり. If you're writing a paper or speaking in a formal setting, it's better to use とても.


16

I know very little about Aikido and can only explain general facts about the Japanese language. “Tori” and “dori” in these example are the noun form of the verb toru (取る; take, grab). In isolation, this noun form is read as “tori.” Both Katate Tori and Katate Dori are compound words made of katate (片手; one hand) and tori. However, in Japanese, the first ...


16

Other examples of intentionally altered readings to avoid confusion: 私立【しりつ】 (private) & 市立【しりつ】 (city-run) → 私立【わたくしりつ】 & 市立【いちりつ】 売春【ばいしゅん】 (selling sex) & 買春【ばいしゅん】 (buying sex) → 買春【かいしゅん】 波線【はせん】 (wavy line) & 破線【はせん】 (dashed line) → 波線【なみせん】 & 破線【やぶれせん】 市長【しちょう】 (city mayor) & 首長【しゅちょう】 (mayor in general) → 首長【くびちょう】 ...


15

It comes from the Greek word xylon, which means wood. The Greek word xylon is pronounced "ksilon", so the Japanese transcription is faithful to the original Greek pronunciation, rather than the English corruption of the word. See the answer to this question for the reason why "x" is pronounced "z" at the beginning of English words. As for the origin of ...


14

The phenomenon that the beginning of the first consonant of the latter component of a compound word is often altered as k→g, s→z, t→d, and h→b (sometimes h→p) is called rendaku (連濁). I explained it a little in another answer, but here is a more detailed explanation. There are no firm rules to tell when it happens completely. However, as the Wikipedia ...


14

The character you presented is U+E4FB. According to the Unicode standard, it is in the "private use area", which means a software or hardware vendor can define what the character means on their own system. Such a character has no universally accepted meaning. Reference: Wikipedia - Mapping of Unicode characters - Private use characters "The Basic ...


14

Why is it pronounced "yen"? I was actually wondering this a month or so ago, but found the answer on the Wikipedia article for yen/en. The spelling and pronunciation "yen" is standard in English. This is because mainly English speakers who visited Japan at the end of the Edo period to the early Meiji period spelled words this way. ... In the 16th ...


13

I'll give you the same one I gave to the other question: Yes, the sounds of these words has changed since their spelling was set down. In general, no matter the language, whenever you see a discrepancy between spelling and pronunciation that is not entirely regular, this is the result of sound changes. And while there are some counter-examples of words that ...


13

It is actually very much the same as homonyms in English. Consider the difference between refuse |riˈfyoōz| and refuse |ˈrefˌyoōs; -ˌyoōz|. It sounds weird if you mix up the pronunciation: I |ˈrefˌyoōs| to accept this. It's bad English and identifies you as a non-native speaker. If the context doesn't give enough hints as to which refuse you meant, it ...


13

If I talk about the letters ゐ/ヰ and ゑ/ヱ, I would call them ワ行の「ゐ」 (pronounced as わぎょうのい) and ワ行の「ゑ」 (わぎょうのえ), or explain the letters in some way (昔の仮名の「ゐ」 and so on). I may or may not pronounce them as ウィ and ウェ, but I will probably try to avoid relying solely on pronunciation. The same also applies to を/ヲ. As David M. R. writes, 和文通話表 (the Japanese ...


13

According to gogen-allguide, こんにちは originated from the 今日{こんにち}は ("today") in 今日{こんにち}はご機嫌{きげん}いかがですか? ("how are you today") and similar expressions.


13

Dono has a point in his comment where he mentions that even if there were a way to transcribe it, the sound [wu] does not exist in Japanese. Let me first explain why it doesn't exist. The Japanese phoneme /w/ as in /wa/,/wi/,/we/ and /wo/ (transcribed as ワ,ウィ,ウェ and ウォ) is not the same as the phoneme /w/ in English. /w/ in Japanese is the approximant ...


12

よん is a 訓読み(kunyomi) reading of 4 and し is a 音読み(onyomi). なな is a kunyomi reading of 7 and しち is a onyomi. To make a long story short kunyomi is a native Japanese pronunciation and onyomi are pronunciation that were derived from classical Chinese. In the case of numbers shi and shichi (onyomi) is used when you are counting things. For example, ichi ni ...


12

It's a glottal stop, similar to the usage you mentioned (あっ,もうっ). It signifies that the last mora is cut off abruptly. This can imply irritation (なんだよっ "What!") or excitement (大変だっ "It's terrible!"). In print, it's a little like adding an exclamation point to the end of the sentence.


12

I'm fairly certain that this has to do with pitch in Japanese and accentuation in English. The natural pitch for デバグ【HLL】 is HLL, whereas デバッグ【LHLL】 would naturally be LHL (and バグ【HL】 is HL). To mimic accentuation by pitch (i.e. accented syllables get a high pitch after transliteration), the ッ is necessary to give the バ a (natural) high pitch. バグ already ...


11

I think the basic word is かがく, but the other reading is possible. Here's what 明鏡国語辞典 says at the bottom of its entry for 化学{かがく}: ►「科学」と区別して「ばけがく」ともいう。 If you pronounce it this way, you're deliberately using the other reading of the first kanji to make sure the person you're talking to knows which word you mean. I would definitely learn the reading ...


11

Both the OO and XX are pronounced なになに。 (なになに)するには(なになに)すぎる。 Source: I just asked my partner who is from Japan.



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