1

皆さん、こんばんは!

Just a quick question. Is かぐや姫's name pronounced "Kaguya" or "Kag'ya"? aka. Is the う dropped or not?

Just curious as I haven't found a definitive answer for this yet.

2

My Japanese teacher taught me a trick which now I use as a rule of thumb (there may be exceptions but it works most of the time). Just say it both ways and look at the phonics of the following consonant.

Kag-ya, or Ka-gya (when dropping the vowel, is more like かっぎゃ/カッギャ)

has a very different pronunciation to

ka-gu-ya

Specifically, -ya leads from a e (the shape you mouth makes when it starts to say e). Therefore it shouldn't (cannot) be dropped.

In my experience, one never has to drop the vowel in proper nouns (e.g. names) unless it's a nuance of the name. Japanese names, in particular, tend to favour enunciation of each syllable.

One last thing to remember is that, in a particular dialect, contraction may happen but more often than not, there is nothing wrong with enunciating each syllable.

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