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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42 views

How to pronounce dropped/muted vowels?

For instance, as in でした or です. I had been under the impression that the vowel is simply dropped, but according to this article here: This leads to a small problem. Because it sounds like the vowel ...
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392 views

Is it shi or si?

When I chat using romaji, Japanese will always use si instead of shi, for example yorosiku instead of yoroshiku, siteru instead of shiteru. Do Japanese actually pronounce shi as si?
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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
153 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
162 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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1answer
122 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
198 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
135 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
372 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
133 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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1answer
148 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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2answers
526 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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1answer
148 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
731 views

Which readings are used for 漢文?

If I am reading a Chinese text to a Japanese audience, how can I know which reading to use for each character? Of the 音読み, there can be 呉音, 漢音, and 唐音 to choose from. Also for pronunciation, would ...
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2answers
251 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
114 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
203 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
469 views

Are there many occurrences of elongated syllables throughout the language?

I've been studying Japanese through Duolingo and I wouldn't say I've progressed very far. I've learned some of the basics of Hiragana and it's beginning to transition into Kanji. While learning ...
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4answers
12k views

How can I tell if a Japanese person's given name is male or female?

I am hoping that there may be some particular kanji and/or sounds used in determining if a persons given name is male or female.
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3answers
646 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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1answer
146 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
218 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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203 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
379 views

IPA for ふーん/んふふ pronounced with your mouth closed

I know that ふ is normally pronounced as [ɸɯ]. But ふ is sometimes used to represent a clearly different sound that occasionally appears in spoken Japanese, and I'm having trouble identifying its IPA ...
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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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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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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】...
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2answers
133 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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240 views

Looking to understand a fantasy name

This is related to Beyblade, regarding a team exclusive to a game that didn't get translated to English. Each blader has their own holy beast to command and I'm not getting the name of one of them. ...
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4answers
4k views

Why is 日本 read as “nihon” but not “nitsuhon”?

If I want to say only 日本 in a sentence then each character is pronounced in its onyomi version isn't it? If this is an exception and one (or all) of the characters is not pronounced in onyomi version ...
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2answers
545 views

Why is debug デバッグ but bug is バグ?

I'm interested in why the extra small tsu in included in the word デバッグ but not バグ. Are there any rules governing voicing in words formed via reduplication? Lyman's rule may explain this, but does ...
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2answers
31k 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 ...
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106 views

Why 鼻血 is read as “hanaji” but not “biketsu”?

I thought when 2 kanji characters next to each other we read them in onyomi. Why is this word 鼻血 an exception?
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3answers
349 views

Was 術 (as in 柔術) ever pronounced jitsu?

柔術 is often rendered in English-speaking countries (and France, Germany, and Brazil) as "jiu-jitsu" or "ju-jitsu", even though the actual Hepburn romanization is "jūjutsu". Wiktionary's page on 柔術 ...
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1answer
317 views

Looking Up Whether 御 Is Read お or ご

Is there a good way to look up whether a 御 prefix is お or ご for a word? I know there is the Chinese origin versus Japanese origin thing (mentioned here). But is there a way to look up for a certain ...
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1answer
127 views

Can native Japanese speakers pick up a distinctive accent in people whose first language contains contour tones?

First of all, I am an American, and my native language is American English. My home language or first language, on the other hand, is a contour tonal language, with multiple tones, probably 4 or 5, ...
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2answers
5k views

Why is Katakana not pronounced Katagana?

I am a beginner in Japanese and I've noticed that when two words are compounded into one word the first letter of the second word changes. hira + kana = hiragana ko + hayashi = kobayashi ori + kami ...
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1answer
168 views

Pronunciation of 上下

上下 has lots of potential pronunciations: じょうげ うえした しょうか かみしも Are there any guidelines on how to know which readings to use? I'm particularly interested in this sentence: 顔が上下に割れるかと思ったほど大きくにっこりして、....
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1answer
326 views

Deriving the “p” and “b” sound from “h”

This question refers to the hiragana notation of different syllables, where you indicate the "soft-spoken" or "hard-spoken" variants of syllables by marking them with a small circle or double strokes. ...
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1answer
166 views

What is the difference between the pronunciation of 「休校【きゅうこう】」and「急行【きゅうこう】」?

「休校【きゅうこう】」と「急行【きゅうこう】」の発音はどう違いますか。 よろしくお願いします!
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972 views

What constitutes a syllable?

For the sake of Haiku or in general, how are syllables counted in Japanese? Specifically, in the following cases, how are syllables counted? かあ, long vowels - two syllables? きゅ, addition of yō-on - ...
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2answers
160 views

A grammar issue?

What is the meaning of the "long hyphen," --, a DASH really, for grammar, translation, and punctuation? For example : シャワーヘッド (Shawaheddo)? Thank you
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2answers
109 views

[ターミネーター2] How to pronouce Terminator 2 (name of the movie) [duplicate]

There is a famouse movie by James Cameron "Terminator 2" In English it is pronounced "Terminator two". In Wikipedia I found how the name of this movie is written in Japanese (katakana, of course) [...
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How can I practice to pronunce the Japanese “r”? [duplicate]

How can I practice to pronounce the Japanese "r" sound? Every video I found didn't help me.
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1answer
117 views

Is the reading 腹【なか】 neither an on-yomi nor a kun-yomi?

currently trying hard to refresh my Kanji skills and stumbled over お腹 == おなか To my surprise none of the Kanji dictionaries list the reading なか for this Kanji. Only フク and はら. Is there a third ...
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1answer
98 views

Name of the city 都市の名前 vs 市の名前

I feel, that 市の名前 as [name of the city] is somewhat unnatural, but I can not explain to myself why I should use 都市の名前 instead. Jisho says that 市 is a noun and no restriction to use it. Maybe the ...
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1answer
190 views

What does center middle dot in pronunciation transcription might mean

I know only 2 sources (websited) where I can see how to pronounce Japanese words. These sites are OJAD and WaDoku. I like everyting, but in WaDoku transcription they put middle dot, which I do not ...
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1answer
262 views

日曜日,the different meanings and pronunciations of 日

I am not sure about the pronunciation rules of kanji in Japanese. I understand that there are several pronunciations for each kanji, and I am wondering how native speakers decide when to use which ...
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1answer
65 views

The pronunciation of the Japanese translation of dictionary

the pronunciation of 辞書 is jisho, however, why does it sound like jishyo in prerecorded pronunciation online?
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109 views

Listening, I mistake R for any of L, R or even D. Is there any exercise to improve my ability to hear this sound correctly?

I'm learning Japanese at an advanced age, and I'm having difficulty hearing R. Depending on the speaker, I hear one of three different consonants: R, or L but also it can sound like a D. In the first ...