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I am a Japanese beginner, and a lot of times I find it hard to distinguish the pronunciations betweenた/だ, と/ど, ちじ etc. For example, わたし, the pre-record pronunciation online sounds like “wadashi” to me; 友達 (ともだち)sounds like “domodaji”. For the first example, I asked a Japanese friend, he told me “watashi” and “wadashi” sound the same to Japanese native speakers, ie. both pronunciations are acceptable. It’s not I don’t believe my friend, but just want to double check whether it is like what he told me in reality. If there is no distinction between the pronunciations of “ta”, “da” “to”, “do” etc., what’s the meaning to have different alphabet た, だ, と, ど?

Thanks so much

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    They are clearly different in Japanese, but speakers of other languages may have different ideas of "t", "d", etc. Can I ask what your native language is? – naruto May 16 '19 at 22:59
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    My native language is Mandarin, but I've stayed in Australia for seven years (if that counts anything). – Chloe CZ May 16 '19 at 23:10
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    I just checked the link. It provides useful information. Thanks for your help. – Chloe CZ May 16 '19 at 23:32
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    Related: nihongotopics.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/… – naruto May 16 '19 at 23:32
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    @naruto, I'm a native English speaker, studier of Japanese and Chinese, and with an interest in linguistics in general, and I found that page you linked to be a wonderfully clear breakdown of the differences in consonantal pronunciation between Japanese and Chinese. Thank you! – Eiríkr Útlendi May 17 '19 at 0:18