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From the manga Hunter x Hunter, one of the character's Japanese names is ウボォーギン. It looks like the ボ is getting its お sound elongated twice, with the small ォ and the ー. In English it gets translated as Uvogin, but I would have thought the name would be ウヴォーギン then.

Is ボォー the same as ぼ、お、う? Is that possible?

Or maybe is this a slight pronunciation difference, like か and きゃ?

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  • Did you notice both spellings? I searched and came up with both names!
    – Jack Bosma
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 17:51
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    Yeah I found both too, but the Bo spelling is much more common than the Vo spelling, so it seems that japanese speakers find the first spelling valid...
    – OtheJared
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 17:55
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    did you see ウボーギン too?
    – Jack Bosma
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 18:12
  • do you know the katakana for "volleyball"? :) Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 18:29

1 Answer 1

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This type of combination (adding ァィゥェォ after a katakana of the same vowel) is fairly rare, but I occasionally see it in fictional names. (Sometimes creators want odd-looking names...) Basically ァィゥェォ works like a long vowel marker, but from my experience, the length does not exceed two morae even if another long vowel marker follows.

  • ブゥ, リィ, レェ, ロォ: Pronounced in two morae, like ブー, リー, レー, ロー
  • ブゥケ, リィン, レェラ, ロォト: Usually pronounced in three morae (like ブーケ, リーン, レーラ, ロート), but some people may pronounce them shortly (like ブケ, リン, レラ, ロト).
  • ブゥーケ, リィーン, レェーラ, ロォート: Pronounced in three morae, just like ブーケ, リーン, レーラ, ロート. "Double-elongation" does not happen.

To take another example, ブードゥー (Voodoo) is occasionally spelled as ブゥードゥー, but this ブゥー is pronounced the same way as ブー.

So I think ウボォーギン is pronounced just like ウボーギン. But if it were ウボオーギン (non-small オ), most people would read it with a "double-elongated vowel", as discussed in this question.

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