Why are English words ending with -ing often transcribed with ング? For example, timing = タイミング, morning = モーニング, and diving = ダイビング. My guess is that グ is formally pronounced with 鼻濁音{びだくおん} , i.e. pronounced like /ŋu/. Therefore, is this the case?

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    この回答によると、Use the non-nasal for ガ行 syllables in non-Sino loanwords.「ポイントゲッター」、「オルガン」、「エゴ」, etc.だそうですよ
    – chocolate
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 6:03

1 Answer 1


You're on the right track, but a little off.

When a language borrows a word from another language, it has two choices: drop the sounds that don't exist in their language, or add sounds to preserve the original pronunciation.

Japanese is a language that tends to try to preserve the pronunciation.

So, グ will not be pronounced as /ŋu/. However, /n/ becomes /ŋ/ before /g/. But since /g/ in isolation isn't possible in Japanese, they employ /gu/ (グ), in order to force the /ŋ/ pronunciation of ん.

So the phonemic /n.gu/ is rendered phonetically as /ŋ.gu/.

This sound cluster also exists outside of English borrowings:

天満宮(てんまんぐう) /ten.maŋ.gu/

漫画(まんが) /maŋ.ga/

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    – chocolate
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 6:00
  • え?「まんが」は /maŋ.ŋa/ の発音ですか?鼻濁音の「が」はなくなっている方言の気がしますが…
    – Seralt
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 6:04
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    Possibly the most extreme case is the (common in South-East Asia) surname "Ng". The obvious transliteration is ング, but since ン generally doesn't appear at the start of words some computer systems will throw an error if you try to enter it as a name. My wife was asked if she was ok with her resident card naming her as グさん, or possibly イングさん, neither of which she was particularly happy with.
    – ConMan
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 6:07

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