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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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236 views

Pronunciation of Ōsaka / 大阪 / おおさか / オオサカ

Is the difference in pronunciations of Ōsaka in Google Translate different for the same reasons as "Sayaka" ? I acknowledge this may be a dupe.
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2answers
115 views

Transcription and pronunciation of words that had “wi” in them in English and are「ウィ」in Japanese

I was looking up how the name Will Smith is pronounced and written in Japanese. Why does "Will" become 「ウィル」? I would have expected ワ to be used instead for the first sound. I found mentions of the "...
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1answer
57 views

Is the し in はじめまして pronounced as “shi” or as “sh”? [duplicate]

Is this always the case for words that end in して similar to how です is pronounced "des"?
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2answers
218 views

Pronunciation difference: イオ/イヨ

Is there a sound difference between イオ and イヨ (I can't hear a difference)? When asked to spell baiorin in katakana I tend to mistake バイオリン with バイヨリン.
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1answer
108 views

How do I pronounce/Translate this last name: マッキェネン into english?

I'm translating this book, and the character's full name pops up as " クロウディア=マッキェネン". I managed to translate the first name as Claudia, but I don't know if I should use McCunnen, McCullen, or some ...
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1answer
133 views

How to read mp3 in Japanese?

If I read it word by word in Japanese, it would be 'em pi san'. But, I once heard someone read it quite differently. How is it read in Japanese?
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173 views

Unvoiced vowels in katakana: special case?

When foreign words or proper names are used in Japanese, some modifications are necessary, in particular a lot of vowels are introduced. E.g. 'plastic' (two syllables) becomes プラスチック (five). In this ...
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3answers
289 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?
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2answers
260 views

Are words always pronounced as spelled?

I came across the word ケーブルカー, or cable-car. Based on the pronunciation I have, the ブ and ル are pronounced like one syllable (like 'brr') instead of two like I expected ('bu ru'). Is this an ...
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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 ...
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1answer
159 views

How to Read 醤玉子?

I know that 玉子 is read "tamago". I also know that 醤油 is read "shouyu". I can imagine that 醤玉子 refers to the boiled egg that is submerged in soy sauce. How do you read it though? I assume it's read ...
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1answer
74 views

Difference between おじいさん and おじさん

I'm wondering if there is much difference in the pronunciation of the words or intonation of them. Is it just the long vowel?
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1answer
142 views

Is it common for Kanjis to have several pronounciation like for 乾?

While doing introductionary courses of Japanese, I stumble on a fact that afrights me about the difficulty of the language. When congratulating each other around a drink: 乾杯 the Kanji 乾 is ...
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1answer
153 views

Are there many occurances 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
4k views

How do you write the sound “wu”?

As in "Wu Tang" or something similar. Would it be something like ウゥ? I know that "wool" is written as ウール, but 1) the "woo" sound is pronounced slightly differently than "wu", and 2) ウール doesn't ...
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2answers
12k views

Why is the Japanese currency pronounced “yen” in English?

I'm wondering what the reason for the mispronunciation of 円 in English came to be "yen". I can understand how some words like 東京 became "Tokyo", but "en" to "yen" seems strange. On a side note, why is ...
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1answer
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What are the common practice of reading names of modern Chinese people?

From what I've seen from the Japanese Wikipedia, names of communist figures (Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Xi Jinping) seem to be read with on'yomi (Mou Takutou, Tou Shouhei, Shuu Kinpei). On the other ...
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1answer
179 views

Pronunciation Troubles with トラブル and トラブる: Loanwords with both noun and verb ending in ru mora

Following this comment: What is the difference in pronunciation or pitch accent between: トラブル and トラブる ダブル and ダブる What are the regional differences (if any)? Is the pronunciation rule ...
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4answers
766 views

Do native speakers think of prolonged vowels as one long vowel, or two vowel sounds following each other?

In a native speaker's mental model, are long vowel sounds - for example the おう in 「教室」 the ああ in 「唐揚げ」, the えい in 「先生」 or just 「いい」 (I chose these examples quite deliberately, since they represent ...
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2answers
91 views

Do words differing only in the voicedness of consonants act as functionally homophonous?

In Japanese, there are some sound differences that clearly distinguish words from one another, such as falling on a different 行 or 段 on the 五十音 ([傘]{かさ} vs. [風]{かぜ} or [友]{とも} vs その); while other ...
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1answer
88 views

What's the difference between these two names?

オタ オター I want a name translated but not sure which to pick, what sounds the best and what's the difference between them? The name which I'm trying to translate is "Oter".
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1answer
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Do native speakers pronounce long vowels えい or おう as one long vowel, or two different vowels?

In Japanese, long vowels ā, ī, ū are written as ああ (aa), いい (ii), うう (uu). However, ē and ō, in most cases, written as えい (ei) and おう (ou), but in other cases as ええ (ee) and おお (oo). For example: 先生{...
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2answers
482 views

Why does Duolingo say that 中 is pronounced “naka” but spelled ちゅう?

I am currently doing the beta course for Japaneses on duolingo. In one of the lessons, I was confronted with this question which I kept getting wrong: When I play the sound, the voice clearly says "...
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0answers
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What's the difference between “on”, “oto” and “ne”

I've seen some various examples where the kanji "音" has different readings (おん, おと and ね) and couldn't found out when to use each one. Is there a general rule to know each one should I use in an ...
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3answers
2k views

How are し, ち, and じ pronounced differently than in English?

I know that sh, ch, and j are pronounced differently in Chinese than in English, but what about Japanese? I have read that し, ち, じ are pronounced slightly differently than they would be in English (...
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1answer
120 views

On hiragana, romaji and pronunciation

I have heard a Japanese teacher explain how long vowels should be pronounced and how they should be written when using hiragana. That's what I saw on the whiteboard: がっこう - gakkoo, (not gakkou) Is ...
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2answers
271 views

ほ /ho/ pronunciation

I've just started using Mango's On-the-Go (meaning "audio-only version") Japanese course. (It's free from my library. They also have Pimsleur, though their only copy is in use right now.) I think I'...
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7answers
63k views

Why do Japanese speakers have difficulty pronouncing “L”?

Why is it that native speakers of Japanese have a hard time pronouncing "l"? Whenever a western word contains "L" I see that they pronounce it "ru", "ra", "ro", "ri", or "re".
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3answers
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How do I read 上 in ご注文の際は予めそちらをご了承の上お願い致します? What does it mean?

ご注文の際は予めそちらをご了承の上お願い致します。 How do I read the 上? うえ? or じょう? What is the meaning of 上 in that sentence?
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Why the pronunciation of some words is different than their components? [duplicate]

美味しい is being pronounced おいしい, but it is not the sum of the way its kanji components are being pronounced. I think I have also seen it in some other words. So why is that the pronunciation of some ...
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2answers
148 views

How to pronounce noun compounds

How do I determine the pronounication of compound nouns such as 来年夏. Obviously 来年の夏 is pronounced らいねんのなつ but what happens when I remove the の? Does it just become らいねんなつ? My guess from everything I'...
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1answer
105 views

今しかない!! pronouncation

My memory from playing the VN that the sentence is based off of is 87% certain in the protagonist's voice pronouncing the above as "YareshKA-nai!!" and meaning something similar to "I have to do ...
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1answer
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Different pronunciations of 主

I just stumbled across this - rather simple - sentence from the novel 堕落の王: それは魔王の意思ですらない。その目的は力の使用だけで、結果には興味すら抱かない。 ただ、主を見ていた。 It wasn't even the demon lord's will. His goal was only to ...
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2answers
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How do we decide if 中 is ちゅう or じゅう?

How do we decide if 中 is ちゅう or じゅう ? For example, in this sentence 10人中3人はビデオを持っている which pronunciation should we use? What about this: そのピアニストの演奏中、彼らは一心に耳を傾けた。
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1answer
150 views

Ocha in Hiragana [duplicate]

I'm pretty early into learning Japanese. I've started learning hiragana, when writing "ocha" in hiragana I've noticed it comes up as おちゃ now I know お is "o" and normally ち is "chi" while ゃ is ya. Now ...
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1answer
105 views

'mo' and 'demo' pronounciation research

I am looking for a native speaker who could answer the following question: Is there any difference in pronunciation of the morpheme 'mo' in the following words (are there any differences in tone): ...
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1answer
206 views

How Dakuten works with Romaji?

I was reading different hiragana charts and saw that "ち(chi)", applying dakuten it can be read as "dzi" or "ji". Other hiragana words in dakuten also have different ways of pronunciation depending ...
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1answer
138 views

Does any Japanese dialect use the schwa?

Pronunciation of [ə] is notoriously difficult for Japanese speakers, and while trying to communicate its importance in languages such as English and French, I started to wonder: do any dialects of ...
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3answers
201 views

How to pronounce ❛ た❜?

I am learning Japanese at a beginner's level. I am wondering how to pronounce the letter ❛ た❜ because according to the chart it should be pronounce as ta , but in listening materials and everyday ...
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2answers
120 views

How are numbers pronounced in (movie) titles? (i.e. ジョーズ3)

For example, ジョーズ3 (i.e. "Jaws Three") is in a list of movies. Would the "3" be pronounced "さん"? Typically, counter words follow after a number in Japanese. And sometimes the number's reading ...
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2answers
2k views

Which language レシート is adapted from?

レシート is supposed to mean receipt. The adaptation of the word looks a bit odd to me. If it comes from English, why does it lose the "p"? Why it uses a "shii" sound instead of a "ce" (to me there are ...
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1answer
86 views

Different pitch accent patterns of もっとも?

The word もっとも has a few different uses. For example, jisho.org lists the following: 最も(もっとも) Adverb most; extremely Other forms 最も ​【もとも​】、尤も ​【もっとも&#...
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1answer
138 views

What dialect replaces です with a shorter version of it (ーす)?

The title pretty much explains itself, here is an example: Nio from Akuma no Riddle, the whole thing has been bugging me for awhile, thanks in advance.
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3answers
386 views

What's the difference between “sa” and “za” with pronunciation?

Background I am currently trying to learn Japanese and I've done really well in my opinion (IMO). I am trying to learn about voiced consonants with Hiragana. What I need to know I know you must ...
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1answer
176 views

Pronouncing さ and ざ [duplicate]

How do you pronounce さ and ざ in Japanese? I understand that they are voiced and voiceless but how do you say them? I am currently learning Japanese. I am English, I can say "bus" and "buzz". However, ...
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1answer
107 views

い Pronunciations

I've wondered this for a while now but never thought to ask it until now. With regards to the い sound in Japanese, I understand that it's pronounced like a sort of shorter version of the e sound in "...
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1answer
357 views

Prolonged sounds in place of an を

I have noticed them in speech in several expressions: ざまあみろ 手エ、出して 気イ抜くなよ They are clearly an informal (if i have got it right) variant of を. But how common is this phenomenon? What ...
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0answers
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What common words are written one way - but almost always pronounced a different way? (eg. 言う is generally spoken as 「ゆう」)

I am aware that [行く]{いく} is sometimes read 「ゆく」 but I do not think it is mostly read as 「ゆく」except in combinations. 例えば、行く手・行く先・行く春. Whereas I almost never hear 言う as いう. These are the only two ...
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0answers
158 views

Words in the Kagoshima dialect

Using this Wikipedia article here, I learnt that words in Standard Japanese may encounter something called sonorant gliding while converting to Kagoshima dialect. For what is written here, these are ...
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1answer
1k views

How is the Iroha poem usually pronounced?

I have read on Wikipedia that the Iroha poem has a modern version with updated hiragana and stuff. However, it seems that most times people recite the poem (as in, every time I've seen/heard someone ...