So 運 is spelled うん, but I seem to hear most of my friends pronounce it as あん. My friends and family are 20-60 years of age and come from mostly Tokyo and Ibaraki area. I am living in the US now and so am not speaking much Japanese, but I remember trying to pronounce it as うん and being misunderstood till I pronounced it as あん (or maybe more like a nasal ahn). Is this a regional dialect? Does anyone pronounce it as うん? Which way should I pronounce it to be understood by most Japanese?

  • 1
    Can you describe the geographical location and the context?
    – user458
    Feb 18, 2012 at 3:08
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    I pronounce it as うん.
    – istrasci
    Feb 18, 2012 at 3:29
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    Just to clarify, are you quite sure that it was あん (with a vowel at the front) and not just ん or んー?
    – Matt
    Feb 18, 2012 at 4:32
  • Yeah. the weird thing is i didnt remember this until i saw a japanese speaker write a journal entry in english where she wrote it with the romaji spelling An. I thought to myself why didnt she write Un, but then i remember the few times i had encountered it myself. I guess I'll ask my friends.
    – yadokari
    Feb 18, 2012 at 4:54
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    I can just about imagine [ɯɯ̃] being misheard as [ʌn] by an English speaker...
    – Zhen Lin
    Feb 18, 2012 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


I'm sure it is pronounced as Un~

I lived in ibaraki and they used "un" when we discussed it in benkyoukai. Haven't heard "an" used before.

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