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Is 田 usually pronounced as "た" or "だ" in Japanese people's last name? Or is it pretty much 50/50?

  • Sounds like a draw between ta and da, but considering that 田 also has exceptions ie 田園調布 (denenchoufu) presumably also surnames may use other readings than "ta" or "da" – Tuomo Nov 30 '19 at 14:09
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I have never been taught how to read 田 in surname, but I think in most case the start with 田 in surname such as 田中, 田村, 田口, 田辺, 田島, 田地野, etc. is pronounced as「た」.

And, I think pronouncing the end with 田 in surname as「だ」appearing in 吉田{よしだ}, 山田{やまだ}, 池田{いけだ}, 前田{まえだ} is more common than pronouncing it as「た」appearing in 太田{おおた}, 森田{もりた}, 柴田{しばた}, 藤田{ふじた}, etc.

However, this is not rule. You are simply getting accustomed to pronounce as such.

I don't think the length of surname defines how to read「た」or「だ」such as 宇多{うた}田{だ}, 久保{くぼ}田{た}, 新井{にい}田{だ}, 古{こ}田島{たじま}, 小{お}田{だ}切{ぎり},宇田{うた}川{がわ}, 金田{きんだ}一{いち} etc.

Also, 新田{にった}, 八田{はった}, 治田{はった} ( I think I read this surname as「おさだ」 in most case ) has 促音: geminate consonant.

Lastly, maybe how to read「田」in surname is a bit different depends on the region where you live, but I believe my interpretation is natural in most case.

Reference: 田がつく名字のランキング.

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