They all sound so similar to me, I want to know how I can tell the difference these since they make the same sound. (Please excuse me if I’m wrong I’m very new to Japanese and currently learning hiragana)

  • 9
    If you speak English with any amount of ease, then distinguishing between ざ (za) and だ (da) should not be difficult. じ and ぢ are essentially pronounced identically in modern standard Japanese. Similarly ず and づ are pronounced the same. Historically there may have been differences between these, but I don't know anything about that. As for ぜ (ze) ,で (de), ぞ (zo), and ど (do), these are pronounced as indicated in the parentheses.
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 16 '20 at 1:22
  • 4
    Yes, if you are not a native English speaker, that is helpful to know, because it will allow the answerer to understand the position you are asking the question from.
    – Leebo
    Oct 16 '20 at 3:04
  • my native language is english but this helped a lot as well since I struggle with it sometimes since I like to talk a lot in spanish. Thank you for adding the pronunciations! It is very helpful Oct 16 '20 at 11:03

I'm Mikiko Iwasaki. すみません。My name probably appears in Kanji. I am a native Japanese speaker and a professional Japanese language teacher. Historically, 「じ」and 「ぢ」have different sounds, and「ず」and 「づ」have different sounds. But in modern Japanese, they are pronounced the same in most areas in Japan, じ[ji], ぢ[ji], and ず[zu], づ[zu]. As Ellettさん writes, ざ[za] and だ[da] have different sounds. ざline syllables have [z] + [a], [e], [o], and だline syllables have [d] + [a], [e], [o]. If you can pronounce or if you can check the pronunciation of "Zambia," the name of the country, and "diamond," the first sounds of each word are similar to ざ[za] and だ[da]. So, please try.

  • thank you so much! I was actually watching a video and it sounded like both were saying it with D. Im glad that it's cleared up now. Oct 16 '20 at 11:00
  • Remember to click the check mark if this answered your question, so other people can see it when they find this question. Oct 23 '20 at 6:16

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