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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13
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1answer
395 views

Does 連声【れんじょう】 still happen in the modern language?

I remember reading that there's a historical process called 連声【れんじょう】 which explains words like 天皇:   天皇    てん+おう = てんのう   云々    うん+うん = うんぬん   銀杏    ぎん+あん = ぎんなん Does this ever happen in modern ...
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2answers
600 views

Pronunciation and meaning of  [closed]

I just received an email ending like this: 是非是非また誘って How to read the  ? Zero results on Google. As for the meaning, is it equivalent to よ ?
12
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4answers
22k views

Is it just me, or is “ryokai” pronounced “yokai” regularly?

I realize anime is not like real life. In any case, I have noticed for a long time now that when saying "roger", they sound like they are saying "yokai" when in fact there should be a "r" sound in the ...
12
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2answers
742 views

Does the letter “C” attract any superstition?

I've heard that the number four attracts superstition because of its similarity with the word for death. For example, yon is used instead of shi in some circumstances, and sometimes the number 4, ...
11
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4answers
391 views

ブラウザ or ブラウザー? Words borrowed from English which end with -er

I noticed that some (most? all?) words that were borrowed from English and end with -er in English can have either short or long vowel at the end: browser - can be ブラウザ or ブラウザー driver - can be ドライバ ...
11
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2answers
505 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 ...
11
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1answer
722 views

Which readings are used for 漢文?

If I am reading a Chinese text to a Japanese audience, how can I know which reading to use for each character? Of the 音読み, there can be 呉音, 漢音, and 唐音 to choose from. Also for pronunciation, would ...
10
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4answers
1k views

What changes are made to the pronunciation of gairaigo?

What changes are usually made to the pronunciation of gairaigo? I notice that vowels are often added between multiple consonants and to the end of words (eg "programmer" => "puroguramaa" (プログラマー)), ...
10
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2answers
197 views

How do I read 数 in ページ数?

ページ数 means number of pages. Is it すう or かず?
10
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1answer
725 views

How difficult is it for Japanese to distinguish between 五日【いつか】 and 何時か【いつか】 in spoken contexts?

There are times when both 五日 (5th day of the month) and 何時か (someday) could be used I think. Does this become a minor problem for Japanese when speaking (no kanji to guide), or do they speak in some ...
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2answers
3k views

Is it true that the べつに when used to mean “nothing particularly” is pronounced differently from when it is used to mean “separately / apart”?

Is it true that the べつに when used to mean "nothing particularly" is pronounced differently from when it is used to mean "separately / apart" ? Like am I right to say that these 3 examples belong to ...
10
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2answers
947 views

Pronouncing the ひ sound correctly

I've been learning Japanese for the past month and I have a few problems pronouncing the ひ sound (being a native Hebrew speaker and fluent in English I don't believe that sound exists in those ...
10
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2answers
200 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 ...
10
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1answer
575 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 ...
10
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1answer
387 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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4answers
4k views

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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2answers
2k views

How to Pronounce 化学 “Chemistry”?

A Japanese teacher on Twitter posted that 化学 is pronounced かがく and means "chemistry". I double-checked it on tangorin.com and it lists that pronunciation but says that it's pronounced ばけがく to avoid ...
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3answers
583 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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4answers
482 views

Pronunciation of 九

The dictionary I'm using lists two common pronunciations of 「九」: 「きゅう」 and 「く」. I've usually heard it as 「きゅう」 before, but when saying 「9時」, it always seems to be 「くじ」. Is there a rule to this?
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4answers
2k views

Does Japanese have a silent ん?

Often, I can't hear ん in words. Most recently I've seen this in 攻殻機動隊. Examples: もう少し詳しい検査をしてみないと何とも言えませんが、おそらく外的な要因は見つかりそうもありません... 要因 sounds like ようい しくじれば、Spring-8の4倍の税金をかけた橋を… Sounds like ぜいき ...
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2answers
1k views

Encountered な with ten-ten

I am currently reading a manga for studying Japanese and encountered something strange. A girl exclaims「な゛?!」 The situation is that she has just had water squirted up her nose, so I am guessing it's ...
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3answers
335 views

Was 術 (as in 柔術) ever pronounced jitsu?

柔術 is often rendered in English-speaking countries (and France, Germany, and Brazil) as "jiu-jitsu" or "ju-jitsu", even though the actual Hepburn romanization is "jūjutsu". Wiktionary's page on 柔術 ...
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2answers
810 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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1answer
377 views

How does one read AxB as in “A by B grid” in Japanese?

Here's the definition of sudoku in Wikipedia: 数独(すうどく)とは、3×3のブロックに区切られた 9×9の正方形の枠内に1〜9までの数字を入れるペンシルパズルの一つである。 How should one read 9×9の or 3×3の out loud?
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1answer
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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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1answer
483 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
351 views

「はは」(母) and ハ行転呼

It occurred to me the other day that if ハ行転呼 had affected all applicable environments without exception, 母 /haha/ (or I guess properly it was /ɸaɸa/, right?)should have become /hawa/. The Japanese ...
9
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1answer
167 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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3answers
1k views

How is リィ pronounced?

I'm confused about リィ. (That's big リ followed by little ィ.) Although this combination isn't part of the official orthography (as far as I know), it seems to be fairly common. I asked a Japanese ...
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2answers
4k views

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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1answer
591 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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4answers
1k views

How do you pronounce “☓☓” as a placeholder?

I have come across the following in a piece of fiction (「永遠のジャック&ベティ」, by 清水{しみず}義範{よしのり}): 「今日は上着を着ているためには暑すぎます」 ◯◯するには☓☓すぎる。つまり、暑くて上着なんか着ていられない、という意味だった。 As you can see, the bolded sentence ...
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8answers
20k views

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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4answers
4k views

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
4k views

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
270 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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2answers
1k 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.
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1answer
309 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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2answers
3k views

Should I use On reading or Kun reading for numbers?

I've just started to learn Japanese, and I've been looking at the jōyō kanji. Most of the words have on reading and kun reading. I was wondering, which one is most popular and when should I use one ...
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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 ...
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2answers
351 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.)?
8
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1answer
218 views

Do the various verbs pronounced つく differ in intonation?

Related: Dissecting つく verbs There are many verbs which are pronounced つく, and I was simply wondering: Do their intonation patterns differ? If so, what are the intonation patterns of the most common ...
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3answers
602 views

Is there any difference when pronouncing 橋 and 箸?

I once heard from my friend that the two words: 橋 and 箸 have different stress (stress falling on the first/second syllable). Is that true?
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1answer
365 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 ...
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1answer
168 views

Origin of the pronunciations of 観音 and 漢音

The Japanese name for the deity Guanyin, 観音, seems as far as I can tell to be almost universally pronounced かんのん Kannon, and not かんおん Kan’on. The origin of the name, as Wikipedia correctly gives it, ...
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1answer
446 views

Why does this store named サァラ have a small ァ in the name?

Over on this awesome answer about old and unused katakana forms, I notice that among the examples is the word "valve", written as ヷァルブ. It has a small ァ character in addition to the ヷ that precedes it....
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1answer
2k views

What are the pronunciation differences between speaking and singing Japanese? [closed]

I've noticed that some pronunciation is different in singing than in speaking. For example, I often hear を pronounced as /wo/ rather than /o/. What other pronunciation differences are there?
8
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1answer
646 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
325 views

四つ仮名 yotugana - pronunciation difference

Many of you probably know about the so called 四{よ}つ仮名{がな}, じ ぢ ず づ, and that in standard Japanese only two different pronunciations for them exist, that is じ=ぢ=/=ず=づ. However, they used to represent ...
8
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3answers
277 views

Are バレー (volleyball) and バレエ (ballet) pronounced differently?

I recently learned that バレー is the short form of バレーボール and the word for ballet, on the other hand is typically spelled バレエ. I'm wondering whether this difference in spelling reflects a phonetic ...