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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68 views

Why is the pronunciation of I'm sorry different than the hiragana used? [closed]

Where does the me sound come from in ごあんなさい? Does the character あ have multiple pronunciations in different contexts?
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Question on Japanese words that are similar to English ones [duplicate]

I know that Katakana is used mainly for words for that originated from the west. I was wondering why don't the Japanese pronounce those words just like the Western ones? For example there is the word ...
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「弱者」vs「若者」Any rules to use On-reading or Kun-reading

I'm extremely confused about whether there are any rules to use On-reading or Kun-reading for kanji words. A good example is 「弱者」vs「若者」. The former one is On-reading 「じゃくしゃ」, while the latter one is ...
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Are you supposed to not pronounce the “い” in います when reading out sentences or speaking?

New learner of two weeks. Noticed in my software course after hours of using it that the い seems to never pronounced or maybe I don't hear it? Is this a rule that when reading only "mas" ...
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144 views

Pronunciation of [d͡ʑ] vs [ʑ]

After hearing the pronunciation of the word ブラジン, I'm very confused about the sound for ジ, is it [d͡ʑ] or [ʑ] followed by [i]? Also, I did some research and found this sentence on wikipedia.org: ...
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Loanwords not being pronounced in a normal moraic rhythm?

Here's a spectogram of a speaker's rendition of “プロトタイプ” from English “prototype”, collected from Forvo It should be clear from this spectogram that the pu-mora is pronounced in half a mora; the mora-...
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橘花: きっか or きつか? When つ in compound words turns into っ?

I can't find any grammar rules about transformation of つ in っ in compound words. For example 橘花 (WW2 japanese jet). 橘 is きつ and 花 is か. Pronunciation is not きつか but きっか (some people say きつか is ok too, ...
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How to understand the pronunciation as listed in Wiktionary

Wiktionary has two transcriptions: 私 (Tokyo)¹ わ[たし]{——}² [wàtáshí]³ (Heiban⁴ – [0]⁵) IPA: [[ɰᵝa̠ta̠ɕi]] What is the 1st one called and how is it read? "Tokyo" stands for the Tokyo dialect ...
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Evolution of the pronunciation of the surname 中嶋/中島 from “Nakashima” to “Nakajima”

I was trying satiate my nostalgia by looking for theme songs of classic Japanese dramas on YouTube, when it suddenly occurred to me that 中島 can be pronounced in two ways: 中島 みゆき is Nakajima Miyuki 中島 ...
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Is 空きました read as both すきました and あきました? [duplicate]

I just learned one way to say ''I'm hungry'' in Japanese. お腹が空きました Can this be read as both すきました and あきました ? If not then what is the difference here ?
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Pronunciation of 水/みず/mizu [duplicate]

Sometimes I hear ''me zoo'' and sometimes ''me dzoo''. Are both in use and acceptable? Is there a standard? Any further info on this is welcome and appreciated.
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1answer
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For ら り る れ ろ, is the tongue blade ever in use? [duplicate]

I’m new to learning Japanese, and I am currently practicing on how to properly pronounce ら り る れ ろ. I have been told that you use your tongue tip to flick the roof of your mouth. I am able to produce ...
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1answer
129 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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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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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
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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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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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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
136 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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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
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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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107 views

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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761 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
106 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
168 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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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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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
109 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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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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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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195 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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377 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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199 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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116 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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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
202 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
158 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
215 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
146 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
161 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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392 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
184 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
195 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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