Is the word separated out at all (as in ふう + う)? Or is that extra う simply drawn out longer?

  • If you break it down into 2 parts, it becomes 風(ふう)wind and 雨(う)rain. – user25382 Aug 29 '17 at 23:29
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    Words that rhyme with 「風雨」 include 「夫婦(ふうふ)」、「ブーム」、「ルール」、「ルーム」、「プール」、「スープ」, etc. This means that 「ふう」 is only 2/3 of the total length in pronunciation of those words. That difference is huge for us native speakers. – l'électeur Aug 30 '17 at 1:26
  • After running an hour and you are exhaling a lot of air from your lung, it might be hard for you to distinguish "ふうう” from ”ふううう”. – user25382 Aug 30 '17 at 3:08

Although it's hard to understand what "ふう+う" means, I guess that your idea is correct.

You have: 風雨{ふうう} = 風{ふう}+雨{う}

So, pronunciation-wise, the double う is not a "very long, continuous う" but rather you pronounce two distinct うs as in ふう-う (where the dash indicates a sort of pause. In practice, there isn't really a pause but that might help to get an idea). What actually helps here is the listening to the accent.

You can hear it here (I cannot paste the link of the search directly, so you will have to insert the word 風雨 and hit search by yourself). If you listen to the recording, you can clearly hear that the うs are pronounced distinctively.

Let me add a graphical interpretation for people with a basic musical education:

enter image description here

Anyway, in general, this isn't the only example of words ending with two vowels in Japanese. For example, 推移{すいい} is pretty much the same thing and it isn't such an uncommon word either (for me this one is even harder by the way).

EDIT: According to the comments, the い in 推 is not a vowel hence, if this is true, what I said above may be imprecise. However, my only point here was to provide an example of a word with a difficult pronunciation for similar reasons. Anyway you can completely forget about it and ignore the huge mental masturbation in the comments. The answer really ends with the link to the audio file that should solve any doubt you had.

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