I often hear 全員 pronounced as ”ぜいいん”. I also read online that 雰囲気 can sometimes be heard as "ふいんき” although I have personally never heard that. I have a few questions about this phenomenon:

  1. Is there a name for this?
  2. Are there any more common examples of this that I should look out for in speech?
  3. Does it carry some nuance(e.g. street talk, old man, etc), possibly similar to what ないー>ねえ carries?
  4. And finally, where am I most likely going to hear this(if at all)? Or in other words - is this a regional thing?
  • 2
    I'm quite sure the second example (ふいんき) was a mispronunciation and became net slung later because it's funny.
    – zakyggaps
    Apr 29, 2016 at 1:01
  • I think it's mostly due to the japanese nasal sound pronounced uvular when at the end of a sentence or before other vowels. It's the same when somebody says 山田さん〜, and it sounds more like Yamada-saa- to an untrained indo-european ear.
    – hgiesel
    May 9, 2016 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


全員 surely sounds like ぜいいん [ z ẽ ĩ ] but it's still different from pure ぜいいん [ z e: ĩ ]. It's a normal phenomenon called assimilation and a natural consequence when you pronounce it without being particularly enunciated as [ z e ɴ i ɴ ]. [ e ɴ ] turning into [ ẽ ] is parallel to [ t j ] as in "hit you" turning into [ tʃ ]

It's not considered accent or slur, and not unique to a certain region.

  • 2
    A note for readers: [ẽ] is the nasal version of [e], and [ĩ] is the nasal version of [i], and so on.
    – user1478
    Apr 29, 2016 at 17:14

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