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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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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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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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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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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
82 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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163 views

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
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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
71 views

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
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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
114 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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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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'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
182 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
126 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
136 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
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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
164 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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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
353 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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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
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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 ...
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290 views

Which words can be pronounced as either -aai or -awai?

Some speakers of Japanese pronounce 場合【ばあい】 as ばわい. Do those speakers also pronounce similar /Caai/ words like 他愛【たあい】 and 間合い【まあい】 differently? (I've seen たわいない listed as an alternate reading for ...
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2answers
411 views

Difference between んい and に

I noticed that the word 単位 is written as たんい in hiragana, not たに. Is there a difference in the way んい and に are pronounced? If so, does the same principle go for んあ and な, んえ and ね, etc.?
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1answer
410 views

Idina Menzel pronounces “Sayaka” ( 沙也加 )?

In this video, Idina Menzel says "My friend, Sayaka." She gives emphasis to the YA which seems to be similar to this review of the anime School Days wherein the reviewer says "MaKOto" and "KaTSUra". ...
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1answer
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What is the correct pronunciation of 唯一

For the word (or composition of two words): 唯一, sometimes also written as: 唯一つ, Two possible pronunciations come to my mind: ゆいいつ [yuiitsu] -onyomi and ただ ひとつ [tada hitotsu] -kunyomi Which one is ...
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1answer
365 views

Pronouncing “Tsu” and “R” sound in Japanese

I've been learning Japanese but I am having trouble with pronouncing a few sounds, including "Tsu" and the R sound. When I pronounce "Tsu", do I say Tsk with my teeth together or make a fizzy kind of ...
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1answer
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Why is [好]{す}き pronounced with a voiceless/almost silent U, but [隙]{すき} is not?

Why is [好]{す}き pronounced with a voiceless/almost silent U, but [隙]{すき} is not? I've used 2 sound sample sources for both, Jisho and Rikai sama. They both pronounce the first (like) with a voiceless ...
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1answer
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Difference between the two “o” kana, and how to input them from romaji keyboard?

In Japanese, what is the difference between the two "o" kana (the お at the top of the list and the other "o" usually listed at the bottom rightmost entry of the hiragana our katakana chart. I can't ...
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7answers
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How important is one's pitch when speaking Japanese?

I'm aware of some words in Japanese that have the same reading but different meaning depending on the pitch of each syllable. The canonical example is はし (hashi), which can mean either chopsticks (...
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1answer
209 views

Looking Up Whether 御 is 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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0answers
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Pitch accent in combination with the を particle

I learnt that a word like 花 (はな) is of pitch pattern (2), i.e. with a drop after the last mora in case it is followed by a particle. Yet, when I hear people use a word like this is combination with ...
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2answers
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What does it mean and how do you pronounce あっ?

I saw someone talk about a 「はあっ」that they saw in a book, so I looked it up but didn't find much, just some words/sites that had あっ in them. (I couldn't read the rest) I was wondering how one might ...
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Pronunciation of “何” as “なん” or “なに”

"何" is pronounced as "なん" before counter-words like in "何時{なんじ}", "何歳{なんさい}" etc; or before particles like in "何で", "何とか" etc. However, it remains to be pronounced as "なに" in some words like "何事{なにごと}...
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1answer
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Do Japanese tend to pronounce some syllables ending to “-い” radically shorter than the others, by just voicing and dragging out the consonant sound?

It almost seems Japanese pronounce certain syllables ending to "-い" the way Chinese do. To my ear じ, し and some others sound like they are just consonants with the vowel at the end left out. In ...
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1answer
735 views

Should you say English loanwords in the Japanese pronunciation?

For example, if an American travels to Japan, would they ask for "kohi" in a "koppu", maybe a "foku" for their "supagetti", or would they use "coffee", "fork", etc.? Which would be more socially ...
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Why is だいがく pronounced as daingaku instead of daigaku? [duplicate]

I was listening to a recording of a Japanese person pronouncing daigaku as in university. And the g sounded like ng. Why is this so? Should I pronounce it like that as well? Thanks.