Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [phonetics]

音声学. The physical properties of the sounds of Japanese. Divided into articulatory phonetics (how the sounds are produced physically), auditory phonetics (the physical sounds we're able to hear physically), and acoustic phonetics (the measurement and analysis of the sound waves produced in human speech). Please put phonetic transcriptions in [square brackets].

0
votes
1answer
65 views

What is the correct romaji/kanji for a phrase that sounds like “fui cabaru”

A japanese Aikido master used the term that sounds like “fui cabaru” or the “up” position of the a sword. I also believe it means something like “the place your hat goes”. Can you tell me the correct ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

I need help with a Japanese Haiku

I need to know if this follows the rules of a traditional Japanese haiku as well as if it's any good. My Japanese is still very much at a beginning level but it's very important to me that this haiku ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

What is the correct pitch accent for ううん?

For ううん to express negation, Weblio gives the pitch accent as 【2】, i.e. ううん 【LHL】 However, (to me) this doesn't sound like how people actually pronounce the word. I've always thought that it ...
4
votes
2answers
265 views

Pronunciation of words with ん followed by sokuon

How do you pronounce words like 「ごめんってば」 or 「日本人っぽい」?
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Are the Japanese し and the Mandarin “xi” really both [ɕ]?

I've had this question for several months now, and haven't been able to find a satisfactory answer online. The Japanese し and the Mandarin "xi", as in 西, are listed equivalently as [ɕ] in the IPA. ...
2
votes
1answer
284 views

Why is the English word “studio” transcribed as スタジオ?

So I'm aware that transcription into Japanese is not always clear-cut, and there are plenty of exceptions. It sort of makes sense that "Australia" is オーストラリア not *オーストレリア and "stadium" is スタジアム not *...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

What is pimsleur saying (shtain desnoga)?

Listening to the first Pimsleur Japanese audiobook and I'm having a hard time recognizing the words its saying. It says to say "I want to go shopping" and then in Japanese says something that sounds ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

What does the て and た forms look like before 音便?

I learned that the reason why て and た forms conjugate the way they do is because of a phenomenon known as 音便. And I know that 音便 happens because it's easier to say the word this way. However, what is ...
1
vote
2answers
195 views

When is お pronounced「ä」instead of「ō」?

Most often お is pronounced「ō」, however sometimes I hear an「ä」instead. It might be arbitrary, but it sounds so consistent to me, thus I ask, are there? And if so, what are they?
4
votes
1answer
81 views

連濁 in proper nouns

There was already this answer regarding the basic rules of rendaku. However, it seems that these rules do not apply at all to proper nouns, especially toponyms. Examples include 秋葉原{あきはばら} (no rendaku)...
6
votes
4answers
244 views

Pronunciation of ん before a fricative

I've seen many questions asked about the ん sound, both on this site and others, but I'm still uncertain about how it should be produced before a fricative (e.g. さ, し, ひ, ふ). So I'm hoping someone can ...
3
votes
1answer
669 views

Why is -ng transcribed as ング?

Why are English words ending with -ing often transcribed with ング? For example, timing = タイミング, morning = モーニング, and diving = ダイビング. My guess is that グ is formally pronounced with 鼻濁音{びだくおん} , i.e. ...
8
votes
2answers
298 views

Can we predict if a kanji has a reading that ends in long う

Can we predict if a kanji has a reading that ends in long う? By "long う" I mean that the preceding mora also is in a u-row syllable such as ふう, くう, つう. Consider these. I will list the kanji followed ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Desu pronounced dess: what about other words? [duplicate]

On a CD that came with my text book I hear that desu is pronounced dess. Are there many other words in Japanese, where done of the sound from the kana spelling actually falls off, like in this example,...
25
votes
2answers
15k views

What do the shapes △ ◯ ╳ ◻ mean in Japanese? And are there variations in meaning, depending on whether or not the shape is filled?

I am interested in Japanese culture and the symbolism used in Japan, specifically I'd like to know what the △ triangle, ◯ circle, ╳ cross and ◻ square mean to a Japanese person. How are those shapes ...
8
votes
1answer
130 views

Origin of the pronunciations of 観音 and 漢音

The Japanese name for the deity Guanyin, 観音, seems as far as I can tell to be almost universally pronounced かんのん Kannon, and not かんおん Kan’on. The origin of the name, as Wikipedia correctly gives it, ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

Why isn't the word for triangle トラヤングル?

What's the phonetic difference between toraianguru (トライアングル, the correct word in Japanese) and torayanguru (トラヤングル)? Do they both sound the same and it's purely a matter of orthography, or is there ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Rule on vowel devoicing? [duplicate]

Ok, so I mostly understand how vowel devoicing works in Japanese, but there's something that's making me a bit confused. On all the sources I've found, most say that vowel devoicing usually occurs in ...
16
votes
2answers
827 views

Is there a radiotelephony alphabet standard for kanji, similar to NATO phonetic alphabet (“alfa, bravo, charlie”)?

NATO phonetic alphabet is used for precise dictation of English letters: "A" is pronounced as "Alfa" "B" as "Bravo" "C" as "Charlie", etc. There are similar alphabets for other languages. There are ...
3
votes
2answers
231 views

When spoken casually, how different do 「た」 and 「だ」 in 「頂きます」 sound to native speakers?

For example, it's very difficult for my ears, which have been accustomed to Mandarin that does not differentiate voiced sounds and unaspirated voiceless sounds, to tell the difference between 「た」 and 「...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Is there any phonetic rule behind readings 馬場{ばば} and 馬場{ばんば}?

I understand that place names often undergo changes separate from regular language, but I always wondered if there was any phonetic rule behind reading for the word 馬場. Meaning "horse riding grounds" ...
5
votes
1answer
466 views

Native pronunciation of the character "し”

I have recently become aware of the difference between the English and Japanese "sh" sounds, which I understand are formalized as the palato-alveolar fricative [ʃ] and the voiceless alveolo-palatal ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

Pronunciation of マッハ or シャッフル

How do the Japanese actually pronounce words such as マッハ (Mahha - Mach) or シャッフル (Shaffuru - Shuffle)? I know gemination is a feature of Japanese phonology, but I've only managed to articulate such ...
5
votes
1answer
311 views

How to pronounce 繁栄 han'ei?

How to pronounce 繁栄 han'ei? Is there a glottal stop between the two syllables? Is it //haɴʔeː//, //haɴeː//, //haŋʔeː// or //haŋeː//?
12
votes
2answers
23k views

Do Japanese actually pronounce the “v” sound?

Do Japanese actually pronounce the "v" sound? They do have a kana character (ヴ) dedicated to transcribing foreign "v" sounds, but do they actually pronounce them like the English phoneme /v/ (using ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the 'h' in Japanese pronounced the same as the 'f'?

I'm aware that the so-called 'f' in ふ isn't pronounced with the English labiodental fricative [f], but rather the bilabial fricative [ɸ]. I'd like to know if Japanese speakers also use the bilabial ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

Why does 背く sound like そむふ in this sentence?

The clip and subtitles: http://clyp.it/fmzowhxt 組織の命令に背くという事は どういう事か お前は わかってない! So why is 背く being pronounced like that? I don't hear a く at all and hear a ふ instead. Also, maybe the following is ...
4
votes
1answer
433 views

Siri's pronunciation of ふ

Recently, I've been using Siri in Japanese to set cooking timers. I've noticed she pronounced the「フ」in「十五分」clearly as /hu/, not /fu/. From Wikipedia: Old Japanese does not have /h/, but rather /ɸ/ ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

When does /r/ become a trill?

In a video that snailboat pointed out in a comment on my question about geminated /r/, at least one speaker of Japanese sounds to me like they trill both the /r/s in タリアテッレ. It's my understanding ...
7
votes
3answers
880 views

Teaching the difference between “see” and “she” in English

I've been teaching ESL for over 30 years, but for the last three I've had almost exclusively Japanese students (I teach mostly 1-on-1 classes over Skype, to students from High School to Business ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How is リィ pronounced?

I'm confused about リィ. (That's big リ followed by little ィ.) Although this combination isn't part of the official orthography (as far as I know), it seems to be fairly common. I asked a Japanese ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Pronunciation of ワンマン運転

I hear ワンマン運転 as ワンマウンテン, with the ん of マン dissapearing, or perhaps being very soft. Here's an example:http://youtu.be/DZnuH1XkE7s?t=49s Another question shows that there can be something ...
9
votes
1answer
316 views

「はは」(母) and ハ行転呼

It occurred to me the other day that if ハ行転呼 had affected all applicable environments without exception, 母 /haha/ (or I guess properly it was /ɸaɸa/, right?)should have become /hawa/. The Japanese ...
10
votes
2answers
590 views

How does ウァ differ from ワ and ヴァ?

I know Wine is written as ワイン. I've also seen Whiskey as ウィスキー. In both english words, the 'w' sound are relatively similar (although slightly different). I'm assuming ウァ would be somewhat like ワ. But ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Except for pitch, what are the differences in pronunciation between Kansaiben and Tokyoben?

I have tried to ask people this type of question on many occasions and the answer is always the same, but people are notoriously bad at evaluating their own language, so I ask here: Apart for pitch, ...
8
votes
2answers
981 views

“Arigatō” and “gozaimasu” combined into a single word?

In Japan for three years, and I've noticed that the locals often sound like they're combining the two words "arigatō" and "gozaimasu" into a single word, "arigatōzaimasu". Am I hearing things (...
7
votes
2answers
725 views

Utterance initial [ɾ]

According to The sounds of Japanese (Vance 2008): When /ɾ/ is the first phoneme in an utterance, the tip of the tongue is already resting lightly on the alveolar ridge, and /ɾ/ is produced by rapidly ...
21
votes
4answers
6k views

Pronunciation of す in です and the end of ます verbs

I've always been curious about the pronunciation of the す in です and at the end of 〜ます verbs. Most commonly the "u" sound is inaudible, but sometimes by some people it's more pronounced, and some ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does the g tends to sound more like a m or n?

I have heard words such as shigoto, sugata, sugu (ni) and they end up sounding like shimoto, sunata, and sunu ni. Even in sentence such as Haru ga kimasu. I've heard sound like: Haru na kimasu. So ...
13
votes
2answers
643 views

“y”-sound insertion after intervocalic ん

The pronunciation of intervocalic ん is a topic by itself, with the surrounding vowels tending to become nasalized, and ん itself maybe being pronounced as a nasal vowel. But that's not what I'm asking ...
8
votes
1answer
332 views

What Japanese lullabys are available to provide early Japanese exposure to children?

I'd like to expose my young children to the sounds of Japanese at night as they go to sleep. Specifically, I'd like to play Japanese lullabies or other soothing music with vocals. Where do I find such ...
8
votes
3answers
537 views

Repeating the vowel sound of the mora that precedes gemination in songs

I noticed that in songs, the vowel sounds of the morae that come before geminations are sometimes repeated. For example, the first lyric line of “マジカルちょーだいっ” is sung as しらんぷりをしたあって where the line is ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

バカヤロウ to バゲロ [mature content]

Note: This question may contain wordings that may be considered rude to some, so proceed with open mind and caution. One of the legacies of Japanese colonization in my country during WW2 is a rude ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Actual phonetic realization of “devoiced” vowels

Descriptions of Japanese phonology (such as Wikipedia's) usually describe high vowels between voiceless consonants (or word-finally) as "devoiced". For example, the pronunciation of ⟨圧⟩ 'pressure' and ...
29
votes
6answers
9k views

Why the “H” is pronounced as “Sh” in some cases?

My first question is about the rules of pronunciation of the letter "H". Some people pronounce the "H" as if it were "Sh". For example, "Shijutsu" instead of "Hijutsu", or "Shiyori" instead of "...