At 2m34s, the speaker seems to pronounce 洗濯機 not with a devoiced く, but a complete removal of it.

That is, it sounds to me like she's saying せんたき{LHHL} instead of seNTAK_ki.

Question: Is this a legitimate pronunciation of this word? Or is this only the way you might pronounce the word to children or new Japanese learners?

I found a clip of Dogen pronouncing it as "seNTAK_ki", but he can't be trusted since he's not a native speaker :)

  • The transcript shows "交代交代します これは洗濯機です" at 2m34s for me. It's just an error?
    – George
    Jun 12, 2023 at 3:20
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    There she says せんたっき. I was expecting your link to be pointing at the right time became that's how you have done it.
    – aguijonazo
    Jun 12, 2023 at 3:37
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    Dogen pronounces the first /k/ as a plosive, with a little release of air, and then says the second /k/ with no vowel in between. It’s totally unnecessary and that’s not how most native speakers pronounce it.
    – aguijonazo
    Jun 12, 2023 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


She pronounced it as せんたっき, not せんたき. According to NHK, this is an acceptable pronunciation of the word. The く was not removed, but replaced with the small tsu!

This is a phenomenon called 促音化 (gemination). You probably already know that 学校 is formally spelled and pronounced as がっこう instead of がくこう.

せんたっき is in the same vein, but it's still in the middle of the full gemination process. That is, all dictionaries and most people say the correct spelling is せんたくき, but more than half of the people actually pronounce it as せんたっき almost unconsciously. (But せんたくき is still correct, of course.)

You can read about gemination in the following articles:

This is a similar phenomenon.

(By the way, if you missed the small tsu that was there, that means you need to train your ears! せんたき and せんたっき are as different as night and day to Japanese ears, and she pronounced it really clearly in the video.)

  • This is fascinating! RE NHK, I checked my version (Android app) of the dictionary and only see this. Is the pronunciation guideline you're referring to in the index/appendices?
    – George
    Jun 12, 2023 at 15:37
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    @George This article is from NHK.
    – naruto
    Jun 12, 2023 at 16:58

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