I have always pronounced the word [実父]{じっぷ}, and it seems the dictionaries agree. (jisho.org. Also WWWJDIC, I would put a link here, but it seems the link I get on WWWJDIC is dynamic and the content can't be reproduced with a link.)

However, I just heard this word said in an anime as [実父]{じつふ}. I have not heard this pronunciation before. How common is it? I found this page with a list of pronunciation variants including じっぷ、ちち、おやじ、じつぷ with their textual usage percentages, but じつふ is not among them. (The semantic nuances are not within the scope of this question.)

This 知恵袋 thread seems to confirm [実父]{じつふ} as a possible pronunciation. But is it regional?


「じっぷ」 is the only "dictionary" pronunciation of 「実父」, period, but that does not mean "everyone" actually pronounces the word that way. I do hear 「じつふ」 as well, but I highly doubt it is regional.

In non-technical and non-formal, day-to-day kind of speech, however, far more native speakers use 「実{じつ}の父{ちち}」 than 「じっぷ」 or 「じつふ」 (or even than those two combined if I were to be completely honest). 「実父」 is way more often used in written Japanese, which is possibly why one might not be as keen on its pronunciation as Japanese-learners might expect.

This is why your first sentence "I have always pronounced the word 実父{じっぷ}." took me by surprise. It made me think you were a lawyer or something because as a native speaker, I know I use 「実の父」 virtually 100% of the time in oral communication.

Finally, 「実父」 is not the only word that many people pronounce differently from what the dictionary says. Some 'famous' examples would be:

  • 「早急」 (urgent):「さっきゅう (dic.)」 vs. 「そうきゅう」

  • 「乳離れ」 (weaning):「ちばなれ (dic.)」 vs. 「ちちばなれ」

  • 「続柄」 (relationship):「つづきがら (dic.)」 vs. 「ぞくがら」

The list goes on and on. 

  • Great answer. Thank you. A minor note: did you mean to say "aural communication" (communication based on sound, which could make sense in this context but less common) or was that a typo for "oral communication" (more intuitive)?
    – Eddie Kal
    Dec 29 '19 at 23:06
  • Was a typo. Fixed. Dec 29 '19 at 23:08

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.