Is the difference in pronunciations of Ōsaka in Google Translate different for the same reasons as "Sayaka" ?

I acknowledge this may be a dupe.

  • As an an experiment I put several times the same word (e.g., 東京, 逢坂 etc,) twice in the box of Google Translate. Then the intonation of the first and that of the second were always different. I guess it is simply the specification of the software.
    – eltonjohn
    Jul 6, 2015 at 13:10
  • Agree with @eltonjohn, when considering naturally spoken words, apart from accents, there is really only one accepted way to pronounce it. Jul 6, 2015 at 14:04
  • 1
    – Chocolate
    Jul 6, 2015 at 14:51
  • @eltonjohn So it's really due to Japanese vs American pronunciation just like with 'Sayaka'?
    – BCLC
    Jul 6, 2015 at 14:58
  • 大阪、大阪、あれもこれもあるんでぇ~
    – istrasci
    Jul 6, 2015 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


For the place name: おおさか【LHHH】

Reference: See under category 「近畿{きんき}」 in http://accent.u-biq.org/nihon.html

For the family name: おおさか【HLLL】

Reference: None found. Just trust me if you could.

Pitch accents often differ between family names and place names (hat are written the same way) though it is something not many Japanese-learners seem to be aware of.

「渋谷{しぶや}」 is pronounced 「しぶや【LHH】」 as a place name and 「しぶや【HLL】」 as a family name.

「上野{うえの}」, as a place name, is 「うえの【LHH】」, but as a family name, it is 「うえの【HLL】」.

The name 「さやか」 is pronounced 「さやか{HLL}」 by us native speakers, but quite a few J-learners would pronounce it 「さやか{LHL}」.

NOTE: Needless to say, all pronunciations above are based on Standard Japanese.

  • 1
    I'll assume your answer is 'yes'
    – BCLC
    Jul 9, 2015 at 19:43
  • 1
    I've been searching for a database of pitch-accent for names of people/places for years, but I have not found anything substantive. This is a very elusive area of Japanese. Native speakers have implicit knowledge of this, but for a learner of Japanese it is extremely difficult to know the correct pitch-accent for any given place or name.
    – kandyman
    Mar 18, 2019 at 17:27

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