6

I know that ふ is pronounced with a bilabial fricative, which is different from an English "f" or "h". However, in 外来語 there are some words containing things like フィ、ファ、フェ and フォ. e.g. フィクション. Seeing there is a ふ in there, I am wondering whether I should do a bilabial fricative or the English "f". Can Japanese people pronounce English "f"s?

  • 1
    In my experience: it depends. In general, as you probably know, 外来語 have a tendency to be pronounced with a nod to how they sound in the original language (especially in regard to word-ending vowels), but this varies by speaker, word, and context. So I would say I'm more likely to hear something closer to f than ɸ in the syllables you mention, but there's a lot of variation, and as a native English speaker I'm also hearing what I expect to hear. So I'm curious to hear what a native Japanese speaker says! – mamster Dec 15 '17 at 14:37
  • Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/16266/5010 – naruto Dec 15 '17 at 22:34
9

Both sounds are allophone and recognized as the same sound but English "f" sounds a foreign accent. Even if the speaker is familiar to English sound, s/he won't pronounce it with English "f" because 外来語 is Japanese.

  • 2
    In other words, the two sounds are a single phoneme and Japanese people will do a bilabial fricative instead of a labiodental fricative? – Sweeper Dec 15 '17 at 17:29
  • 1
    Yes, and that's how English spoken in Japanese accent sounds. – user4092 Dec 15 '17 at 20:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.