2021 Update: RIP :'(

In this video, Idina Menzel says "My friend, Sayaka." (referring to Sayaka Kanda, Japanese voice of Anna from Frozen)

She gives emphasis to the YA which seems to be similar to this review of the anime School Days wherein the reviewer says "MaKOto" and "KaTSUra".

So, what is the correct pronunciation of "Sayaka" ? Google Translate gives 2 different pronunciations. The Japanese one is the one I'm thinking and the American one is the one Idina said.

1 Answer 1


The pitch for Sayaka is さやか【HLL】 (or in your notation SAyaka).

Also Makoto has pitch まこと【LHH】 and Katsura has pitch かつら【HLL】.

Stressing the penultimate syllable is a frequent pronunciation mistake that especially native speakers of English seem to be prone to (but of course not only native English speakers).

Stressing the penultimate syllable is one of the main ingredients for speakers of Japanese to emulate an American accent. (Other ingredients would be wrongly lengthened vowels and an American R, as in [SOO]{寿}-[shi]{司} and [ten]{天}-[POO]{ぷ}-[rah]{ら}.)

  • 2
    Is LLL really possible?
    – Zhen Lin
    May 31, 2015 at 20:45
  • 3
    Hm... That's what you get for checking with native speakers =) I wrote まこと【LHH】 first and got corrected to まこと【LLL】. Sorry for the confusion.
    – Earthliŋ
    May 31, 2015 at 22:39
  • 1
    Another example is the dreaded めんが(漫画{まんが}) May 31, 2015 at 23:57
  • 2
    In the kansai dialect, I believe まこと[HHH] is quite common, by the way.
    – Yosh
    Jun 1, 2015 at 1:06
  • 3
    @TheWanderingCoder, isn't めんが just the plural for まんが? </ba-dum_tish> Jan 22, 2021 at 0:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .