かん vs けん, だん vs でん for example. Sometimes, they sound the same to my ears. How to differentiate them? Or are they pronounced the same?
4That's interesting. May I know what your first language is?– aguijonazoNov 4, 2021 at 14:52
1I am Myanmar. Myanmar.– Han Moe HtetNov 4, 2021 at 14:53
1You have no difficulty distinguishing あ and え when they are not followed by ん?– aguijonazoNov 4, 2021 at 15:05
Yes, I can pronounce some combinations pretty easily. But if I have to say fast or the word is something like さんぜん. It is really difficult to pronounce.– Han Moe HtetNov 4, 2021 at 15:07
So you are one of those people who pick three one-yen coins from their wallet when asked to pay one thousand.
It is hard to tell how to differentiate two sounds to someone who can’t differentiate them, not least in writing. One thing I can tell for sure is that under practically no circumstances are あん /aN/ and えん /eN/ pronounced the same. As a general rule, Japanese vowels retain their qualities regardless of their position in a word, whether they are long or short, or what other sound comes before or after them.
From the description in your comment it seems that the difficulty arises for you when /aN/ or /eN/ is pronounced like one nasalized vowel, rather than a two-mora sequence. Then, it could be because you are not used to the /e/ sound getting nasalized. I learned from the Wikipedia entry on Burmese phonology that the /e/ sound occurs only in open syllables in your language and also that nasalization happens when a syllable ends with a nasal final, such as /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/, which by definition never happens in an open syllable. Since /e/ does exist as a distinct sound from /a/, you might want to begin by trying to produce a nasalized /e/ yourself and see how it sounds differently from a nasalized /a/.
I don’t think I can’t give any better advice than this.