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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85 views

テープでいいです vs テープでいいです - how to use the correct tone to differentiate them?

I've heard native speakers use テープでいいです in stores when they don't want a bag (e.g. they're just buying one item) and prefer that the staff use tape instead. Using it myself has not proved fruitful. ...
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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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Is the kana for ''Oh!'' ''あっ!''? [duplicate]

My textbook gives the expression ''Oh!'' as ''あっ!'''. I find this strange as little tsu makes the following consonant a double consonant. What is it doing ''phonetically'' here? If it is supposed ...
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1answer
175 views

Why does 全員 sound like zein but is written zenin (ぜんいん)?

Is the middle "n" silent? Am I just not used to hearing it and can't identify it? The duolingo pronunciation sounds like "zein" https://www.duolingo.com/dictionary/Japanese/%E5%85%A8%E5%93%A1/...
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Why did Japanese evolve to have a ''she'' mora instead of a ''see'' mora in さしすせそ?

In the さしすせそ series, し is an exceptions to the pattern. Is ''she'' easier to pronounce than ''see'' or why does Japanese have this feature?
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1answer
150 views

What is the function of 一 in バスルーム and コンピュータ?

Is 一 in バスルーム and コンピュータ meant to indicate a drawn out vowel? Like ba-su-ruuu-mu and kon-pi-yuuu-ta? Or is it a counter somehow? And it's the line radical (http://www.kanjidamage.com/kanji/1-one-line-...
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Why can “39” be pronounced as 「ミク」? [duplicate]

I was recently listening to someone talk about a game called “初音ミク Project DIVA MEGA39’s”. The English localization is changed to “MEGAMIX”. They actually noted that 3 and 9 can be pronounced as ミ ...
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1answer
793 views

Pronunciation of りゆう:Riyū or Ryū

I found that there're two ways to pronounce the transcription of りゆう, that are: Riyū. For example: Riyū in 理由 (reason) Ryū. For example: Ryūgakusei in 留学生 (International student) So in certain ...
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1answer
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What does 空 mean in this sentence?

Sentence: 空{そら}の海をゆくの Initially I imagined that the translation would be something like: A: Going through the sea made of sky. I imagined this because this phrase is from a song and thinking about ...
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1answer
94 views

How do you say numbers/letters in a skipped sequence or connected by a dash?

I keep running into things like 1-3 or a-d in my workbook but i can't figure out how to read them aloud. Is it 1から3 sort of like in english? is it a literal aダッシュd? something completely different? A ...
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三分 (3 minutes) pronunciation is sanpun or sampun?

My question is not whether the reading of 三分 (3 minutes) is さんぷん. I've learned that if ん is followed by an m, p or b sound - then ん is pronounced as m. However, I always hear sanpun and not sampun ...
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東北弁 Pronunciation Question about Ch's

I've been trying to learn Tohokuben and I have a question. I'm interested in Tohokuben and recently found this website https://konnok3.sakura.ne.jp/dialect.html. I know pronunciation can vary all ...
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1answer
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I've seen 待つ in the te-form as both 待て and 待って; the latter should be correct. Does meaning/pronunciation change and why it would be written this way

My example, as like many of my recent ones is from {{JP:灰と幻想のグリムガル}}, and is as follows: {{JP:「・・・・俺も行こっかな」と誰かが。男の声だ。「ま、ま、待てってじゃあオレも!」}}. The text itself seems simple enough to understand, I ...
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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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あかさたなはまやらわ mnemonics

What mnemonic phrase / jingle, if any, is used by Japanese children to memorize the あかさたなはまやらわ sequence? Or could you come up with some? To help myself memorize this, I could possibly fashion an ...
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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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1answer
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Does「ペーペー」and the “PayPay” digital wallet sound like a ダジャレ? Isn't that weird for marketing?

"PayPay" is a smartphone digital wallet used in Japan. Yet, 「ペーペー」is also a slang term for the 肩書き of 新入社員。I always said my 肩書き was either 「ペーペー」or 「カバン持ち」。 I am so confused. (1) Is "ペーペー" really, in ...
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Pronouncing sumimasen (すみません), implications of extending the -se(せ) and eliding the n(ん)

When pronouncing "sumimasen" (すみません), sometimes native speakers will elide the "-n"(ん) and elongate it, sort of like "sumimaseee~". This is the same and not a conjugation I would assume? Might anyone ...
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222 views

What does しゅごい mean?

I'm reading a manga and I can't for the life of me figure out what this phrase is supposed to mean; I've never seen it before.
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Pronunciation question for consonants k/g and t/d

I was wondering if someone could help me clear up some confusion Sometimes when I hear people speaking Japanese in videos, I hear them swap the k/g consonants, as well as the d/t consonants.. Like ...
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Pronouncing Kanji when combined with other kanji [duplicate]

I have only just started learning Kanji, I know that 中国 means China and is pronounced Chūgoku . However 中 is pronounced differently (naka instead of chū).国 is also pronounced kuni on its own instead ...
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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
236 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
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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
239 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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「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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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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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
229 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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1answer
273 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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563 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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2answers
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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
194 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
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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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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
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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
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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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2answers
256 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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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】 D【ディ】【ディー】 ...
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2answers
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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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3answers
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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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4answers
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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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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
3k views

Is it shi or si?

When I chat using romaji, Japanese people will always use si instead of shi, for example yorosiku instead of yoroshiku, siteru instead of shiteru. Do Japanese people actually pronounce shi as si?
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1answer
167 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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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
241 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
1k 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 ...

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