Questions tagged [pronunciation]

発音. How the Japanese language i​s pronounced. For questions about which readings to use for particular kanji, use the "readings" tag instead.

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1answer
90 views

Is there a difference between the English flap t and the Japanese R?

When I first learned the Japanese R, I thought it kinda sounded like an L, although not exactly. I was able to replicate that unique sound with a mindset that the Japanese R sounds like a “flicked L.” ...
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753 views

Japanese 'え' sound - [ɛ] or [e]?

OK, this has been driving me nuts. My friend and I have been learning Japanese off and on for many years, though neither of us are fluent. We got into an argument about the pronunciation of 'え'. My ...
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2answers
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How do you pronounce 電報船? Is is でんぽうふね、でんぽうぶね or でんぽうせん?

I recently started to read 'Made in Abyss' and unfortunately is doesn't contain any furigana, which sometimes makes it hard for me to understand. So I came across the word 電報船, which refers to a mail ...
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2answers
145 views

Correct pronunciation of voiceless bilabial fricative [ɸ]

I found that there are two different pronunciations for the [ɸ] phone. For example, in Japanese compare those two pronunciations for same word 冬 (for which I believe will has [ɸɯjɯ] as phonetic ...
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0answers
137 views

ジ in Asia (アジア) sounds different to ジ in John (ジョン)

Why is ジ a soft "ji" in Asia (アジア), but in John (ジョン) - ジ is a hard "ji"? Is it just pronunciation or is there an actual discernable/readable difference?
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79 views

テープでいいです vs テープでいいです - how to use the correct tone to differentiate them?

I've heard native speakers use テープでいいです in stores when they don't want a bag (e.g. they're just buying one item) and prefer that the staff use tape instead. Using it myself has not proved fruitful. ...
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1answer
129 views

Why do some numbers have two readings?

Generally, when we read or count, 4, 7 and 9 are read only as "よん", "なな", "きゅう", seperately. However, in some cases, 4 is read as "よ" rather than "よん", 7 is read as "しち" rather than "なな", and 9 is ...
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2answers
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Is the kana for ''Oh!'' ''あっ!''? [duplicate]

My textbook gives the expression ''Oh!'' as ''あっ!'''. I find this strange as little tsu makes the following consonant a double consonant. What is it doing ''phonetically'' here? If it is supposed ...
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1answer
91 views

Why does 全員 sound like zein but is written zenin (ぜんいん)?

Is the middle "n" silent? Am I just not used to hearing it and can't identify it? The duolingo pronunciation sounds like "zein" https://www.duolingo.com/dictionary/Japanese/%E5%85%A8%E5%93%A1/...
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Why did Japanese evolve to have a ''she'' mora instead of a ''see'' mora in さしすせそ?

In the さしすせそ series, し is an exceptions to the pattern. Is ''she'' easier to pronounce than ''see'' or why does Japanese have this feature?
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What is the function of 一 in バスルーム and コンピュータ?

Is 一 in バスルーム and コンピュータ meant to indicate a drawn out vowel? Like ba-su-ruuu-mu and kon-pi-yuuu-ta? Or is it a counter somehow? And it's the line radical (http://www.kanjidamage.com/kanji/1-one-line-...
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Why can “39” be pronounced as 「ミク」? [duplicate]

I was recently listening to someone talk about a game called “初音ミク Project DIVA MEGA39’s”. The English localization is changed to “MEGAMIX”. They actually noted that 3 and 9 can be pronounced as ミ ...
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1answer
755 views

Pronunciation of りゆう:Riyū or Ryū

I found that there're two ways to pronounce the transcription of りゆう, that are: Riyū. For example: Riyū in 理由 (reason) Ryū. For example: Ryūgakusei in 留学生 (International student) So in certain ...
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1answer
103 views

What does 空 mean in this sentence?

Sentence: 空{そら}の海をゆくの Initially I imagined that the translation would be something like: A: Going through the sea made of sky. I imagined this because this phrase is from a song and thinking about ...
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1answer
91 views

How do you say numbers/letters in a skipped sequence or connected by a dash?

I keep running into things like 1-3 or a-d in my workbook but i can't figure out how to read them aloud. Is it 1から3 sort of like in english? is it a literal aダッシュd? something completely different? A ...
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Is すか a shorthand for ですか? [duplicate]

I was watching the video below and noticed that it sounds like the lizard on the left was leaving out the で in ですか? I could be mishearing it of course, but I was wondering if that's a valid ...
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1answer
154 views

三分 (3 minutes) pronunciation is sanpun or sampun?

My question is not whether the reading of 三分 (3 minutes) is さんぷん. I've learned that if ん is followed by an m, p or b sound - then ん is pronounced as m. However, I always hear sanpun and not sampun ...
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0answers
58 views

東北弁 Pronunciation Question about J's

I'm interested in Tohokuben and recently found this website https://konnok3.sakura.ne.jp/dialect.html. I know pronunciation can vary all over the Northeast, but in one section it covers numbers and ...
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59 views

東北弁 Pronunciation Question about Ch's

I've been trying to learn Tohokuben and I have a question. I'm interested in Tohokuben and recently found this website https://konnok3.sakura.ne.jp/dialect.html. I know pronunciation can vary all ...
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1answer
108 views

I've seen 待つ in the te-form as both 待て and 待って; the latter should be correct. Does meaning/pronunciation change and why it would be written this way

My example, as like many of my recent ones is from {{JP:灰と幻想のグリムガル}}, and is as follows: {{JP:「・・・・俺も行こっかな」と誰かが。男の声だ。「ま、ま、待てってじゃあオレも!」}}. The text itself seems simple enough to understand, I ...
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141 views

Why are some Japanese foreign words spelled with different sounds?

Please consider the following: Warrior is ウォリアー: this vowel sound "a" changes to ”オ" Work is ワーク:this vowel sound "o" changes to "ア" Chariot is チャリオット:this vowel sound "a" stays "ア" Corridor is コリドー:...
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あかさたなはまやらわ mnemonics

What mnemonic phrase / jingle, if any, is used by Japanese children to memorize the あかさたなはまやらわ sequence? Or could you come up with some? To help myself memorize this, I could possibly fashion an ...
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1answer
330 views

Are there any rules to the intonations they are discussing in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpbOoSbnp5k I rarely if ever see anything like this covered in Japanese textbooks or courses besides the hashi (bridge) vs hashi (chopstick) discussion. Is there no ...
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1answer
191 views

Does「ペーペー」and the “PayPay” digital wallet sound like a ダジャレ? Isn't that weird for marketing?

"PayPay" is a smartphone digital wallet used in Japan. Yet, 「ペーペー」is also a slang term for the 肩書き of 新入社員。I always said my 肩書き was either 「ペーペー」or 「カバン持ち」。 I am so confused. (1) Is "ペーペー" really, in ...
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2answers
363 views

Pronouncing sumimasen (すみません), implications of extending the -se(せ) and eliding the n(ん)

When pronouncing "sumimasen" (すみません), sometimes native speakers will elide the "-n"(ん) and elongate it, sort of like "sumimaseee~". This is the same and not a conjugation I would assume? Might anyone ...
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1answer
191 views

What does しゅごい mean?

I'm reading a manga and I can't for the life of me figure out what this phrase is supposed to mean; I've never seen it before.
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1answer
109 views

Pronunciation question for consonants k/g and t/d

I was wondering if someone could help me clear up some confusion Sometimes when I hear people speaking Japanese in videos, I hear them swap the k/g consonants, as well as the d/t consonants.. Like ...
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87 views

Pronouncing Kanji when combined with other kanji [duplicate]

I have only just started learning Kanji, I know that 中国 means China and is pronounced Chūgoku . However 中 is pronounced differently (naka instead of chū).国 is also pronounced kuni on its own instead ...
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29 views

How to say っ by itself [duplicate]

I have seen some interjections and phrases with words such as [えっ] or [あっ]. My question is how you would pronounce this, or if it's just a pause.
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1answer
188 views

ありがとう pronounced with heibangata pitch pattern?

I've always heard a lot of Japanese people pronounce ありがとう as ありがとう{LHHHH}, but I've never actually seen anyone talk about it on the Internet. People always say ありがとう should be pronounced ありがとう{...
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1answer
146 views

How are 'nasalized vowels' pronounced?

I've noticed when listening to some recordings of ん before a vowel, such as 万{まん}円{えん}, that the ん sound tends to be assimulated and almost vanish into the vowel's sound (sounding almost like まーえん). ...
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3answers
213 views

how to pronounce name in japanese

Would appreciate some help here. The picture shows a nametag that's meant to spell Reina in hiragana, but does the last character look off? Specifically the top right bar. Additionally, do Japanese ...
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1answer
144 views

「実父」's pronunciation

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 ...
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1answer
158 views

What is the right pronunciation of 「何にみえますか」

What is the right pronunciation of 「何にみえますか」? Is pronounced 「なんにみえますか」or 「なににみえますか」? Why?
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383 views

Criteria for reading 物{もつ} or 物{ぶつ}

One of the pronunciation I struggle most is 「物」: more ofthen than not, I misread it in words like 「作物」 and 「薬物」. I know what they mean, but it's likely I misread them by reading 「もつ」 instead of 「ぶつ」 ...
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1answer
173 views

Pitch accent pattern for verb stem + な

I've only ever heard this form be used in the command "待ちな!" (Wait!), but just out of curiosity, I'd like to know what pitch accent rule(s) apply here. I thought I'd heard the above-mentioned phrase ...
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1answer
191 views

Pitch accent for ないで and なくて

When I listen to Japanese people speak, I usually hear them say ないで{HLL} and なくて{HLL}, with the pitch drop always placed on な, no matter the verb. But I might just be hearing things wrong. However, I ...
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2answers
535 views

Do native speakers learn consonant and vowel length easily, or is it difficult?

Just want to ask if this is normal or I am just fighting the wrong way. かっこいい say this word has the final 2 い which shall take 2 length of the i sound. I am struggling to keep trying to speak with 2 ...
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2answers
277 views

Why was on'yomi (音読み) created?

As far as I understand it the Japanese Kanjis are derived from the Chinese ones. This was to introduce a writing system in Japan. But for the on‘yomi reading, the Japanese also took the spoken word ...
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1answer
183 views

pronunciation of 拗音

I have difficulty to pronounce (あ段, お段) 拗音, e.g., きゃ, きょ, ひゃ, ひょ correctly. My Japanese language teacher is a native Japanese. What she taught me is the same that I can find on the Internet. For ...
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1answer
141 views

7色 vs 七色 for rainbow (7 colors vs 7 prismatic colors)

虹は7色だ。 Rainbow has 7 colors. There are 7 colors in rainbow. Question: how to pronounce 7色 to make meaning [7 colors]? Problem: 七色 is not [7 colors]. It is a special scientific term, meaning [7-...
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2answers
233 views

What is the reading of 台北(タイペイ)?

台北 (or 臺北) is the name of Taiwanese city, Taibei, read [tʰaɪ̯³⁵ peɪ̯²¹⁴⁻²¹⁽⁴⁾] in Mandarin. In Japanese, it is normally rendered with the sequence タイペイ. But what is the reading of this sequence? ペイ is ...
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1answer
151 views

Why カザフスタン for Kazakhstan?

Why not カザクスタン ? The Cyrillic word does have a k (but I am not sure whether is is actually pronounced).
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2answers
416 views

Why is テ pronounced as “ti” in パーティ?

If we take the word パーティ, why is テ pronounced as "ti" when in the katakana alphabet it is pronounced "te." Also, why is ィ small? If it was normal sized, wouldn't the pronunciation of the word be the ...
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2answers
226 views

/h/ sound changing in some Japanese counters

I just noticed that the quantifying words that have an initial sound as /h/ such as 本、匹、分 For example: 本 hon /h/ becomes /p/ : 1,6,8,10 /h/ becomes /b/ : 3,?? and ん sound before /b/ becomes /m/ (is ...
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1answer
71 views

Pronunciation of [ 男爵 / だんしゃく ]

I was watching JoJo's Bizarre Adventure where Baron Zepelli introduces himself, and it sounds like he says ”私はZepelliだんしゃんだ”. Here's a link to the scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWaAct40xZ0&...
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70 views

Are words with the combinations of ia io and ea eo pronounced the same as iya iyo and eya eyo

I see some words ending with eo or io and I try to pronounce as eyo or iyo but I do not know if that is correct.
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0answers
93 views

Why do Latin letters have English pronunciations in Japanese?

The Latin letters A–Z are used in Japan today and they each have a name just like in English. Take the first five Latin letters, A–E. Source: https://jisho.org A 【エイ】【エー】 B 【ベー】【ビー】 C 【シー】 D【ディ】【ディー】 ...
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2answers
138 views

Which is the more common reading of 仏陀 - ぶつだ or ブッダ?

I realize that 仏陀 is probably more common in writing where the reading is ambiguous anyway, but I am curious to know: do people tend to read it as ぶつだ or ブッダ? For what it's worth, my IME recognizes ...
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3answers
741 views

Why Can't A Name Be Written Literally In Japanese?

My Japanese knowledge is very limited, so I am not good in Japanese alphabet. With the help of an online Japanese name converter, I tried writing a name in Japanese, but the resulting name does not ...

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