4

The latter sounds better, in my opinion. But is that just my opinion?

  • 1
    Why is karaoke pronounced carry-okee in English? – Ciaran Aug 11 '16 at 22:47
  • @Ciaran Good point. – 123fendas Aug 11 '16 at 23:23
  • 1
    definitely jut your opinion. Japanese English' Katakana is not made by English proficient people. As long as the phonetic sound is close enough, it is good. Besides, there are not only one English in this world. – kurakura88 Aug 12 '16 at 1:09
5

ビーチ for beach is regular, but ケーキ for cake needs some explanation.

English //tʃ// and //dʒ// stand as closing consonant are always transcribed as チ and ジ, contrary to //ʃ// in the same position as シュ (with a handful of exception, such as サッシ "sash"). This is perhaps related to rare presence of チュ and ジュ as short syllables in Japanese words. Note that, however, similar consonants in German and French are usually transcribed as チュ and ジュ.

English //-ɪk// ending first had been transcribed -キ, reflecting the fact that the consonant is slightly palatalized because of preceding vowel value. After systematic transcription system was established, all //-k// have been automatically replaced with ク, but old words that have already taken root never changed. As a result:

  • ケーキ "cake" ←→ no counterpart
  • ストライキ "labor strike" ←→ ストライク "(other) strike"
  • ステーキ "steak" ←→ ステイク "stake(-holder)"
  • ブレーキ "brake" ←→ ブレーク/ブレイク "break"
  • レーキ "rake", "lake pigment" ←→ レイク "lake"
  • ミルクセーキ "(traditional) milk shake" ←→ シェーキ (Lotteria) ←→ シェイク (McDonald's)

cf. "makeup": メーキャップ (1M hits) vs メイクアップ (14M hits) vs メークアップ (463k hits)

2

I don't know if this answers your question and not sure which sounds better to me but I guess words that end with ch tend to be pronounced instead of チュ.

For example,

  • teach ティーチ
  • coach コーチ
  • bleach ブリーチ
  • reach リーチ
  • touch タッチ
  • match マッチ

and words that end with ke is pronounced either or  but I see more

For example,

  • lake レイク
  • bake ベイク
  • fake フェイク
  • make メイク
  • take テイク
  • like ライク
  • joke ジョーク
  • cake ケーキ
  • brake ブレーキ
  • Text テキスト is an example where テクストsounds better IMHO – phuclv 劉永福 Aug 12 '16 at 16:39

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