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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3
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3answers
1k views

How does one keep from being confused about the pronunciation of 地下鉄?

[地下鉄]{ちかてつ} How does one know the "hiragana spelling", i.e. the hiragana representation of the word is ちかてつ but not other forms involving misspelling one or more of the following か vs. が て vs. で つ ...
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1answer
143 views

ズボン pronunciation variation & explanation for

I've heard it pronounced both low_high and high_low. Can anyone explain the meaning/reason behind the variation? (ie. difference in nuance, formal/casual, regional dialect, etc.) Ideally, I'd like to ...
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1answer
375 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
550 views

Is む sometimes pronounced more like ん?

I'm curious what the relationship is between む and ん. I have the feeling that sometimes, む is pronounced more like ん: むむむ: is this really /mumumu/? Or does it become /mmm/? うむむ: is this really /...
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1answer
5k views

Difference between うーん and ううん

What is the difference between うーん and ううん? In a comment on Pronunciation of ううん, paullb said that he usually sees the negative interjection ううん written as うーん. This confused me, because I thought ...
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3answers
677 views

Repeating the vowel sound of the mora that precedes gemination in songs

I noticed that in songs, the vowel sounds of the morae that come before geminations are sometimes repeated. For example, the first lyric line of “マジカルちょーだいっ” is sung as しらんぷりをしたあって where the line is ...
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2answers
306 views

How to pronounce “×”?

The symbol × is sometimes used in titles like 「ラビ×ラビ -パズルアウトストーリーズ-」 or headlines like this one: 「スシロー×寿司ストライカー スペシャルキャンペーン」. I imagine native speakers who read it might pronounce it as と, since it ...
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1answer
161 views

Inaccurate ruby for 等?

I'm reading a book that contains this sentence: 携帯やパソコンでのメール等{とう}のやり取りすらしていない・・・ My first instinct is to read 等 as など, but it has explicitly been given the pronunciation とう via the ruby characters ...
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1answer
1k views

Are there rules of thumb for counter sound changes?

I'm wondering if there are consistent (or at least fairly reliable) rules for how to read numbers next to irregular counters, i.e. counters where you can't just put together the number and counter ...
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2answers
221 views

Why is 1st floor written as ikkai いっかい?

Should it not be い かい as I thought the counter for floors was -kai ?
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2answers
212 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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1answer
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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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2answers
456 views

Why is じどうしゃ (jidoushiya), jidōsha instead?

From what I understand, the hiragana characters above should make the word jidoushiya, but for some reason it is actually jidōsha. Why did the word change this way even though the characters are: ...
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1answer
793 views

What is the proper pronunciation for 十分/10分? じっぷん or じゅっぷん?

My Japanese textbook only lists じゅっぷん. Our Japanese sensei (a quite old woman) says じっぷん but notes that it's optionally じゅっぷん. Our TAs all say じゅっぷん. I understand that Middle Chinese 十 was "jip" and ...
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1answer
1k views

Pronunciation of 日 in compound words

I learnt from my teacher that the days of the month from 1 to 10 use kun and irregular pronunciations: 一日: ついたち (irregular) 二日: ふつか (kun) 三日: みっか (kun) ... 十日: とおか (kun) But for words like 一日目, 二日間 ...
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569 views

Use of Dash or Hyphen in Telephone Numbers

If reading out a telephone number e.g. 123-456789 Denwa bangō wa ichi ni san - yon go roku nana hachi kyū desu What is the dash / hyphen called? Is it spoken? If so how is it pronounced or how do ...
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2answers
274 views

Is it correct to read 黒川 as くろかわ or is くろがわ correct?

I always run into this problem. Sometimes か and が are very similar to me so I have to type them in the computer to find the correct pronunciation of word. When I type くろがわ or くろかわ they both give me ...
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1answer
180 views

Pronunciation of interpoint when listing items

話者の希望・意向を表す文や働きかけの文は来ない。 This is a case when interpoint (中黒) is used for listing like a conjunction. I wonder how would a native speaker pronounce such an expression? Simply きぼういこう きぼう (pause) いこう ...
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5answers
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What is 「々」 and how does it affect meaning and pronunciation?

I've seen this symbol in various places, such as 「日々」, 「色々」, and 「人々」. What is it, and how does it affect the meaning and pronunciation of the word?
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I am looking for an online Japanese dictionary with audio pronunciations [closed]

Does anyone know any online Japanese dictionary which provides audio reading?
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2answers
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How is 'w' pronounced?

When I listen to "watashi wa", for example, sometimes I have the impression that the 'w' sounds like 'v' as in "vial" or "violence" in English (Similar to 'w' in the German Language). Nevertheless, I ...
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2answers
721 views

Native pronunciation of the character "し”

I have recently become aware of the difference between the English and Japanese "sh" sounds, which I understand are formalized as the palato-alveolar fricative [ʃ] and the voiceless alveolo-palatal ...
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2answers
598 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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5answers
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What is the difference between tori vs. dori?

In Aikido, different dojos seem to latch on to using either dori or tori when describing grabbing attacks. For instance one dojo might say: Katate Dori Another would say: Katate Tori Each dojo ...
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4answers
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How do you pronounce を after a subject?

For example :日本語を勉強します. Do you pronounce ni hon go wo or ni hon go---
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2answers
534 views

Words that have been borrowed twice, with different pronunciations?

We all learn early on that hamburger can be translated into Japanese in two different ways: ハンバーガー meat patty in a bun ハンバーグ just the meat patty (or salisbury steak to be exact) Likewise launder has ...
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1answer
736 views

How do you geminate ら-line sounds?

This is my current understanding of gemination (促音, /Q/, small っ): in native Japanese words, only the following sounds can be geminated: /k/, /s/, /t/, /p/. Additionally, in loanwords we can geminate ...
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2answers
833 views

Are there many words that have the same pronunciation ambiguity as Nihon/Nippon?

Wikipedia says that 日本 can be pronounced either [にっぽん]{nippon} or [にほん]{nihon}. Does this ambiguity in pronunciation happen with other words? If so, does it only happen with words that originated ...
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3answers
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What is the difference between the wave dash 〜 and long vowel marker ー when marking long vowels?

I know that the wave dash 〜 can be used in place of the long vowel marker ー sometimes, but I'm not exactly sure what the differences are. Is there any difference in pronunciation? I read once that ...
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1answer
383 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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2answers
271 views

Distinguishing between んな/な, んの/の, etc

I'm learning Japanese, but I'm still very early on in my education (Rosetta Stone, some books and a Japanese-speaking friend). I'm pretty sure I'm grasping the basic concepts okay, but I'm having ...
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2answers
302 views

Why is 輩 in 先輩 pronounced ぱい while 輩 in 後輩 is pronounced はい?

I wonder in this case if there is any rule that turns H to P.
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1answer
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things that look like long vowels but aren't

Are there words written with "ei" or "ou" that are pronounced with both vowels instead of as a long vowel? I think this is true in cases like 拾う and している, but are there cases of it happening where you'...
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2answers
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Does it matter whether you drop vowels in spoken Japanese?

(This question started as a dual question about when to drop vowels and whether it matters. The first question is well answered at What are the rules regarding "mute vowels" ("u" ...
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2answers
266 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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2answers
919 views

Utterance initial [ɾ]

According to The sounds of Japanese (Vance 2008): When /ɾ/ is the first phoneme in an utterance, the tip of the tongue is already resting lightly on the alveolar ridge, and /ɾ/ is produced by rapidly ...
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1answer
649 views

Am I the only one who never says “少女{しょうじょ}”?

Only a tiny extension in the first syllable separates the pronunciation of "少女" and "処女{しょじょ}". No matter how skillful one might be, those without the ability to speak with the rhythm and flow of a ...
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1answer
752 views

Pronunciation of ううん

The pitch contour of the interjection ううん has been described as high, low, middle. Alternatively, it has been described as a falling-rising tone. In either case, this appears to be unique in ...
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1answer
282 views

The yomikata of 十三

This has been obsessing me for quite a while. While 十三 is normally pronounced ジュウサン, it is often pronounced ジュウゾウ in people's names and also pronounced ジュウソウ in names of places. I am wondering how ...
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3answers
225 views

Should 「ソウル」 be pronounced as “so u ru” or “so: ru”?

According to the ipadic attached to Mecab, it's "so u ru". According to the bccwj dict attached to Julius, it's "so: ru". Which one is correct? Or are they both OK?
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1answer
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Does おお sound different from おう?

I know おう sounds like a long o, but does おお sound the same, or should it be pronounced differently?
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1answer
381 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 restrictions ...
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3answers
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Why are し/ち transliterated as 'shi'/'chi', and not 'si'/'ti'?

In Japanese あいうえお are pronounced 'a i u e o', かきくけこ are pronounced 'ka ki ku ke ko'. The spelling is simple and natural. However, when it comes to サ行, さしすせそ, its relevant roman spelling is 'sa shi su ...
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2answers
247 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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2answers
566 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
191 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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1answer
4k views

When does /r/ become a trill?

In a video that snailboat pointed out in a comment on my question about geminated /r/, at least one speaker of Japanese sounds to me like they trill both the /r/s in タリアテッレ. It's my understanding ...
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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
188 views

Are particles pronounced with nouns or verbs as one word all the time?

When reading Japanese, am I supposed to read nouns with particles together like it's one word? like in this sentence: 「音読」をするときは、口や舌を動かさなければなりません。 "口や舌を(くちやしたを)" is pronounced as a single ...
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1answer
18k 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 ...