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3

ん assimilates to the consonantal sounds that follow. If it is followed by 't' or 'd', then it is pronounced like an 'n'. If it is followed by 'p' or 'b', it is pronounced like 'm'. If followed by 'k' or 'g', then like 'ng' from 'sing'. If ん is not followed by a consonant, then there isn't really a true English equivalent; it's more or less its own ...


2

As pointed out above, the issue here lies in devoicing. In Japanese, high vowels (i and u) undergo devoicing when they are surrounded by other unvoiced sounds. This is extremely common, but it does vary somewhat by region, and to a lesser extent, by person. In standard Japanese, though, it's most common to devoice them.



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