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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24
votes
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
20k views

Is there a difference between すみません (sumimasen) and すいません (suimasen?)

I'm at the proverbial izakaya and my friend tells me one is more polite. I think theyre the same. Who's right? When can I use one or the other?
9
votes
1answer
565 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Pronunciation of しゃ, し, しゅ, しぇ, and しょ

Now I understand that although all the morae mentioned in the title are written in Hepburn as "sha shi shu she sho", they are actually palatalized and sound quite different (the little や makes it ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to say 24 divided by 8 equals 3

Pretty sure you have to use 割 but I don't know which pronunciation to use and how to say "equals" in this context.
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Rule on vowel devoicing? [duplicate]

Ok, so I mostly understand how vowel devoicing works in Japanese, but there's something that's making me a bit confused. On all the sources I've found, most say that vowel devoicing usually occurs in ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is “UFO” pronounced as if it were a word?

In English, "UFO" (Unidentified flying object) is generally pronounced with each letter being pronounced. By contrast, I've read in my textbook that in Japanese, "UFO" is pronounced "ユーフォー". Is ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

1カ所: いっかしょ or いちかしょ?

What is the correct pronunciation for 1カ所 ? It means: 1 place Context: ユーティリティ関数として定義されているわりには1カ所からしか呼ばれていない。 It is defined as a utility function, but only called in one place.
4
votes
2answers
490 views

思う pronunciation

I checked in google translate but I wanted to be sure. Is 思う pronounced as "omou" or "omoo"? Usually when there is a お (or こ、ど etc), followed by a う, the う is pronounced as お, but I was not sure if ...
4
votes
1answer
945 views

町{ちょう}、町{まち}、街{がい}、街{まち} - how to pick the correct pronunciation?

I've grown accustomed to enunciating both 町 and 街 as まち in my head but it turns out this may have been totally incorrect, as 三省堂{さんせいど} lists two possible pronunciations for 町 and only one (がい) for 街 -...
3
votes
1answer
478 views

is “こっかい” a heteronym?

I recently boasted to a native speaker that I can pronounce Japanese with a high degree of precision, while he has trouble with pronouncing the "L" sound in English. Later in the discussion he stopped ...
3
votes
1answer
458 views

How to refer to kana verbally

In the English alphabet, each letter has a pronunciation (or many) as well as a name (that is used when referring to the letter as an entity, when spelling, etc.). As far as I know, in Japanese, the ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

Pronunciation of ワンマン運転

I hear ワンマン運転 as ワンマウンテン, with the ん of マン dissapearing, or perhaps being very soft. Here's an example:http://youtu.be/DZnuH1XkE7s?t=49s Another question shows that there can be something ...
3
votes
2answers
341 views

ている pronunciation/internalization

How are things like ている/でいる split in terms of pronunciation? Do people internalize/think of it as te-iru or tei-ru when speaking? (there is a small difference in what it would sound like between those ...
3
votes
2answers
752 views

Insertion of “y” sound between vowels

I was watching some anime today, and I heard "y" sounds in places I didn't expect. Here's a sound clip (MP3) and my transcription: 私の世界へようこそ。 今やこの世界をコントロールできる唯一の人間だ。 There are two "y" sounds ...
2
votes
2answers
170 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) [...
2
votes
1answer
178 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?
2
votes
1answer
555 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". ...
1
vote
1answer
322 views

What does っ mean and how to pronounce it when it comes before a character with nothing before it? Ex. っか

I am a beginner in Japanese who is not even done learning katakana yet, so forgive me if this is a noob question. I know that when っ comes before a character, say the word was まって, there would be a ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

水 - pronounce choice between 水{すい} and 水{みず}

As the title says, 水 has 2 pronounce: 水{すい} and 水{みず}. My question is: When to use which? e.g How to read it in: 水と米. What is the rule, if any.
0
votes
2answers
200 views

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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