In this video, Idina Menzel says "My friend, Sayaka."

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.


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}.)

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  • 2
    Is LLL really possible? – Zhen Lin May 31 '15 at 20:45
  • Yeah, my non-native intuition makes me want to pronounce it as まこと【LHH】. – Sjiveru May 31 '15 at 21:18
  • 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 '15 at 22:39
  • 1
    Another example is the dreaded めんが(漫画{まんが}) – The Wandering Coder May 31 '15 at 23:57
  • 2
    In the kansai dialect, I believe まこと[HHH] is quite common, by the way. – Yosh Jun 1 '15 at 1:06

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