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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1answer
502 views

When to use 九 vs きゅう?

I am new to this site so my apologizes if this question is a bit ridiculous. However, I was informed that the kanji for 9 (九) is pronounced differently than the hiragana (きゅう) based on use. The ...
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4answers
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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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How do I read 通常版?

According to jisho.org, 通常 is pronounced as つうじょう. I don't know how to pronounce 版 in 通常版. How is it pronounced?
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Are Japanese speakers likely to confuse “message” and “massage” in English?

I've occasionally noticed native speakers of Japanese using "massage" when they mean "message", but I can't recall native speakers of other languages mistaking the two. As far as I know, both "massage"...
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2answers
290 views

About the surname Yos(h)ida

I have recently bumped into the Japanese mathematician 吉田{よしだ}耕筰{こうさく}. I was wondering two things about his surname: Why is it so often spelt Yosida instead of Yoshida? And taking lead from it, when ...
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1answer
249 views

国 - The 2 ways to pronounce

I know there are 音読み and 訓読み. In case of 国, but has 2 way to pronounce: 国{くに} vs 国{こく}. When to use which?
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Repeated word puzzle – 庭には二羽鶏がいる

I am thinking of adding more Japanese words or phrases, that have the same pronunciation as には has, to the following sentence. 庭{にわ}には二{に}羽{わ}鶏{にわとり}がいる。 Could you help me to find such words (if ...
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1answer
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Trying to think of borrowed English words that parse “ti” as ティ or as チ。 [closed]

I often trip up in guessing the pronunciation of words that have been borrowed into Japanese from English where the original pronunciation had "ti" in it. For example, I might say ネイチブ instead of ...
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2answers
359 views

How are the traditional 5 elements in the Chinese doctrine of Five Agents pronounced in Japanese?

How are the five elements 木・火・土・金・水 pronounced in Japanese (when referring specifically to 五行, not just generally any water, fire etc.)?
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How do I read 青水庵 as a name?

Recently, I found a nickname, 青水庵 on the internet. How do you read this?
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1answer
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How is 下総国一の宮 pronounced?

From dictionary article on a certain shrine: 香取神宮は 千葉県香取市香取にある神社。下総国一の宮。祭神は経津主神。鹿島神宮とともに軍神として尊崇を受けた。 しもうさのくに。。。?
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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
274 views

When spoken casually, how different do 「た」 and 「だ」 in 「頂きます」 sound to native speakers?

For example, it's very difficult for my ears, which have been accustomed to Mandarin that does not differentiate voiced sounds and unaspirated voiceless sounds, to tell the difference between 「た」 and 「...
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2answers
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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.
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1answer
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Why do people romanize 五兵衛 as “gohei” instead of “gohee”?

I will see 五兵衛 (a name) romanized as "gohei" in almost every English source and even some Japanese sources I can find with the name, even though I am pretty sure it is actually ごへえ. Why is this? Is ...
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1answer
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How does [ ɕ ] ( し) differ from [ ʃ ] (“she”)?

According to wikipedia, the 'sh' sound in Japanese し is pronounced [ɕ] (in IPA) while the 'sh' sound in English "she" is pronounced [ʃ]. How do these differ? I've been pronouncing them exactly the ...
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2answers
290 views

Voiced stops pronounced as their unaspirated voiceless counterparts

In this Japanese song, there is a line saying: まるで夢かまぼろし The /d/ in 「で」 and the /b/ in 「ぼ」 sound to me as if they (especially the /b/) are pronounced as unaspirated /t/ and /p/ respectively. ...
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1answer
333 views

Latin characters in Japanese?

So, I have the following sentence: 私は World of Tanks をします。 I am certain this sentence is laid out correctly. However, I am unsure of how I would pronounce "World of Tanks". Should I simply ...
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1answer
247 views

Pronunciation of 開いて question

I see this written in furigana and hiragana as 'あいて / aite'. However, every source I have looked at also seems to be pronouncing it with an additional syllable before it making sound as if it were '...
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1answer
174 views

Pronunciation of ∞ used in Japanese text

How to pronounce ∞ in the context below? 実はそのリスクが顕在化したら∞だったりするんじゃないか、というようなこと。 ∞ったのはそれによって自分の人生が完全に変わってしまう可能性があるっていう意味。 Context: The author of an article discusses what he really meant in this ...
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1answer
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The nasal allophones of /g/

In this this post's comments, Zhen Lin said that the rules surrounding the nasal allophones in compound words are 'complicated', but couldn't remember them. I'd like to know what these complex rules ...
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1answer
270 views

mochiron or mochirong

I've heard it a few times that some Japanese speakers seem to pronounce もちろん as "mochirong", i.e., with more nasal voice than "mochiron". Is this true, or just my aging ears are fooling me?
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1answer
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「セイン星矢」 v.s. 「セイント星矢」 in the opening song of 「聖闘士星矢」

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTa0ENwF2bo&feature=youtu.be&t=48s It seems that the singer is singing 「セイン星矢」 despite the fact that the subtitle says 「セイント星矢」. Questions: Is it a ...
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1answer
578 views

Why is こんにちは pronounced as konnichiwa? [duplicate]

Shouldn't it be pronounced as konnichiha? Or spelled こんにちわ?
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1answer
286 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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3answers
532 views

Would 日末 be a reasonable opposite to 日本?

As Japan is 日本, the origin of the sun or "Land of the Rising Sun" as it's sometimes put in English, would 日末 make sense as the "Land of the Setting Sun" as a west to Japan's east? For instance, ...
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1answer
571 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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1answer
495 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
351 views

How to pronounce 繁栄 han'ei?

How to pronounce 繁栄 han'ei? Is there a glottal stop between the two syllables? Is it //haɴʔeː//, //haɴeː//, //haŋʔeː// or //haŋeː//?
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2answers
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Do Japanese actually pronounce the “v” sound?

Do Japanese actually pronounce the "v" sound? They do have a kana character (ヴ) dedicated to transcribing foreign "v" sounds, but do they actually pronounce them like the English phoneme /v/ (using ...
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2answers
401 views

Pronunciation of 三分 when it means three minutes

According to jisho, when 三分 means three minutes, it is pronounced さんぷん, however Google Translate mentions it as さんぶ. Are any of these wrong, or is it dialect? Are there other pronunciations?
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1answer
197 views

manzai vs banzai

In ancient times people usually said 'banzai, banzai'. But the kanzi 万歳, according to the context in dictionary, has two different ways of reading, banzai and manzai. So which one is correct in which ...
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2answers
239 views

燻る{いぶる}、燻る{くすぶる}、燻る{くゆる} - difference?

Is there any semantic difference between the three? Which is used more often? Is there any nuance to picking one over another (formality, sounding more literary etc.)?
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3answers
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Pronunciation of the Japanese ん and nasalized vowels

I've been trying to grasp how ん sounds when placed after a vowel. Apparently the vowel becomes nasalized (and extended?) but does it get rid of the n sound completely then? If so wouldn't ほん have its ...
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1answer
757 views

Why are 兄(あに) and 姉(あね) pronounced differently in お兄さん and お姉さん?

姉 is pronounced ane, but お姉さん is pronounced oneesan. What happened to the initial a? Likewise, 兄 is pronounced ani, but お兄さん is pronounced oniisan. What is the rule governing the change in the ...
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1answer
556 views

Pronouncing abbreviations, acronyms, letters? (NHK, CM, JR, A…)

I've been noticing that Latin letters in abbreviations and acronyms are (obviously) common in Japan. For instance: JR becomes ジェイアール CM becomes シーエム N3 becomes エヌさん NHK becomes エヌエイチケイ (I think) ...
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2answers
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Does the pronunciation of ん change with the sound following it?

For example, the word かばん (bag) is pronounced kabaN when it's alone but what if another word like と (and) comes after it? Would it be still pronounced kabaNto, or should you consider the following と ...
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2answers
612 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
808 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 -...
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2answers
376 views

前 in 十年前の話 - ぜん, まえ, or さき?

十年前の話 I'm not sure how 前 is supposed to be read in constructs like these. Is it safe to assume that because 十年{じゅうねん} is 音読み then I should use the whole thing as じゅうんえんぜん (IME is returning both ...
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2answers
567 views

Is “げえしゃ” a valid pronunciation of “芸者”?

I've read on various web sites that in English, some people pronounce the word "geisha" as "geesha", and that it's a mispronunciation. For example, from Wikipedia: They almost exclusively ...
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2answers
1k views

Why are Japanese vowels occasionally rhotacised in songs?

This might be a bit weird, but when I listen to Japanese music, sometimes I notice "r"-like sounds in syllable-final positions, or between vowels where there should be no [r]. I know that /r/ is not ...
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1answer
856 views

How do I pronounce these Katakana Onomatopoeia (words that sound like noises)?

こんばんは。 When I have been reading Manga recently I have encountered many onomatopoeia words such as シャカシャカ as in 'Brush Brush' and パタパタ for 'rush rush/flap flap' but I have found some words such as シャッ ...
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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
168 views

Effects of あ after other vowel endings

In usages of あ after other syllables such as け or め, is the あ pronounced or does it prolong the previous vowel's sound? Taking the katakana spelling of "Mary": メアリー is that "Meh-ah-ri" or "Mehhh-ri"
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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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1answer
800 views

How is 家 in [name]家 pronounced?

How would [name]家, for example 田中家, be pronounced when referring to somebody's home in an informal or casual way? I think I've heard it pronounced ち but it could have been うち too. Perhaps both are ...
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1answer
2k views

When would I use ふん instead of ぷん?

What's the difference for using these? Examples: さんじごじゅうぷん ろくじよんじゅうごふん
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2answers
599 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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3answers
215 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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