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I've heard it a few times that some Japanese speakers seem to pronounce もちろん as "mochirong", i.e., with more nasal voice than "mochiron".

Is this true, or just my aging ears are fooling me?

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  • Japanese usually don't differentiate the two sound.
    – fefe
    Aug 4, 2015 at 4:23
  • mochirong sounds more natural.
    – oldergod
    Aug 4, 2015 at 5:44

1 Answer 1

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Your ears aren't fooling you, but it's not 'mochirong' (with a velar sound as in the English sing). When ん comes on the end of a phrase, it can either be pronounced as nasalization and elongation of the previous vowel, or as a uvular nasal (pronounced in the back of the throat).

You use an alveolar nasal before た、な、ざ(but not さ) column kana. Take care that when it comes before a ざ column kana, the z is pronounced dz (which is also used when it comes at the beginning of a word).

You use a bilabial nasal before ぱ、ば、ま column kana (but not は).

You use a velar nasal before か column kana. Notably, が column kana are sometimes pronounced as a velar nasal, and in that case you get a geminated velar nasal.

You nasalize the previous vowel before anything else, including another vowel.

On the end of a phrase, you can have the nasalization, or a uvular nasal.

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