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59 votes

What do the shapes △ ◯ ╳ ◻ mean in Japanese? And are there variations in meaning, depending on whether or not the shape is filled?

○ まる OK; correct; yes; supported; available (like ✔; note that the check mark usually means "wrong" in Japanese examinations) masked/censored character (like * in English used to mask ...
naruto's user avatar
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13 votes
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Confusion with pronunciation in some words: 'm' and 'n' sounds when there is 'g'

Probably you were hearing "velar nasal g" [ŋ], which is an allophone of [g] mainly heard in eastern parts of Japan. In Japanese, [ŋ] and [g] in がぎぐげご are variants (allophones) of the same ...
naruto's user avatar
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11 votes
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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? This comes down to the biomechanics of pronunciation. It's ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
10 votes
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Is there an equivalent of the Harvard sentences for Japanese?

Not an exact equilvalent but a similar dataset in Japanese is ATR 503 sentences. Instead of single phonemes, it is balanced for two-phoneme sequences and three-phoneme sequences. ATR stands for ...
Yusuke Matsubara's user avatar
9 votes
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Do native speakers learn consonant and vowel length easily, or is it difficult?

I assume that you are asking whether native speakers can detect, as a child, whether a vowel is long (マーナ) or short (マナ). The answer is yes, infants can detect it by age 9.5 months according to the ...
Ben's user avatar
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7 votes

Yet another seemingly unvoiced voiced sound?

I'm a native Japanese speaker, and it sounds like じ to me. It does sound slightly "weaker" or "less explosive" than the first じ (in 人生) if I listen to them carefully, but the ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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Desu pronounced dess: what about other words?

This is not a direct answer to your question but let me explain about difference between voicing/devoicing vowels and prolonging vowels. There are several ways to pronounce です or the likes. des (1 ...
user4092's user avatar
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5 votes

Desu pronounced dess: what about other words?

In Japanese phonotactics, high vowels (for Japanese, these are i and u) have a certain property: they become unvoiced when surrounded by unvoiced sounds. Since the "u" in desu is surrounded on the ...
Kurausukun's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why is -ng transcribed as ング?

You're on the right track, but a little off. When a language borrows a word from another language, it has two choices: drop the sounds that don't exist in their language, or add sounds to preserve ...
Seralt's user avatar
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5 votes
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Yet another seemingly unvoiced voiced sound?

Your ears are picking up on a difference, but strictly speaking it is less about the degree of voicing and more about the degree of sibilance. I found another sample of a more run-of-the-mill ふみにじった ...
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
4 votes
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When is お pronounced「ä」instead of「ō」?

ä with double dots isn't defined in the english language. What sound do you mean? お is defined as having one pronunciation, like "Oh" in english. Any variant is regional, or related to accent.
sakurashinken's user avatar
4 votes

What do the shapes △ ◯ ╳ ◻ mean in Japanese? And are there variations in meaning, depending on whether or not the shape is filled?

Would just like to add that ◯ can also be used as a placeholder. For example there's a TV show called 人志松本の◯◯な話. The equivalent in English would be "Matsumoto Hitoshi's _____ story".
jozen's user avatar
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4 votes
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What is the correct romaji/kanji for a phrase that sounds like “fui cabaru”

With minimal research, it seems like it's [振り]{fu・ri}[かぶる]{ka・bu・ru}. かぶる could also be written as 被る, but in this compound, I'm seeing it mostly in hiragana.
istrasci's user avatar
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4 votes

Pronunciation question for consonants k/g and t/d

If your native language is English, you may find that although the contrast between the pairs /t d/, /p b/, and /k g/ is nominally one of voicing, in practice it is frequently one of aspiration. The ...
Angelos's user avatar
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4 votes
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Correct pronunciation of voiceless bilabial fricative [ɸ]

It turns out that OP's question is that Japanese ふ sometimes sounds as if Vietnamese ph //f// and other times kh //x//. That observation is true. The status of [[ɸ]] sound in Japanese is somewhat ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
4 votes
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How can I find the pitch-accent pattern for 頭高型?

頭高型 is a technical term which is also a compound noun. Ordinary native Japanese speakers usually have no idea about what 頭高型 means, so it's not surprising to me if it is not listed in an accent ...
naruto's user avatar
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4 votes
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イ音便 Outside of the て and た Forms

This presentation, which is based on a book titled 日本語構造伝達文法・発展A, touches upon why 音便 doesn’t happen in the たい-form (e.g. 書きたい). If my interpretation is correct, the reason the /t/ sound doesn't ...
aguijonazo's user avatar
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4 votes
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Pitch accent differences between Praat and OJAD

It looks as though the highest part (between ち and ゆ) got slided down in the chart for some reason. The long vertical line after ゆ indicates that. EDIT: Per @morhetb's comment below, it looks like the ...
Yusuke Matsubara's user avatar
4 votes

Is there an equivalent of the Harvard sentences for Japanese?

Looks like there is no set of standard sentences that is exactly like Harvard Sentences, but: If you are looking for phrases for testing radio connection, that would be 本日は晴天なり. This is an "...
naruto's user avatar
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3 votes
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Did labialized consonants remain in Ryūkyūan?

After poking around a bit in the Shuri-Naha Dialect Dictionary that covers the Okinawan branch of Ryūkyūan, it appears that here, at least, labiovelars did persist. A sampling of entries that show ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
3 votes

Why is the English word "studio" transcribed as スタジオ?

The combination tu in some words is rendered as タ. As far as I can remember now, ト is not used. bathtub バスタブ study スタディー tuck タック tumbler タンブラー In addition, etymology of studio is the same as that ...
naruto's user avatar
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3 votes

What do the shapes △ ◯ ╳ ◻ mean in Japanese? And are there variations in meaning, depending on whether or not the shape is filled?

◯ (まる) symbolizes “O.K., Right," Perfect," while X(ばつ)symbolizes "No," "Incorrect," and "Wrong." The test method that requires the testees to answers in Yes (○) / No (X) format in school examinations ...
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
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3 votes

ト and ツ in English loanwords

I think you are right. This should be simply because Japanese had no sound that was similar enough to "tu" and "du". As you know, phonetically speaking, the タ-line is highly ...
naruto's user avatar
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3 votes

Is the japanese あ ever [ɐ] instead of [a]?

I am not personally aware of a study specifically on these vowels, but I think you have encountered a situation similar to this and this. [a] and [ɐ] are allophones of the same phoneme in Japanese. ...
naruto's user avatar
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3 votes

How to convert Japanese Kana to IPA phonetics?

The IPA notation for each hiragana is listed on Wikipedia. However, the table only shows how the character is typically pronounced in isolation. As pointed out in the comments section, please be aware ...
naruto's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why does 本仕込 contain rendaku but 本絞り does not?

Rendaku usually doesn't happen when the second component already contains a voiced syllable. しぼり already has ぼ, and this is why it won't become じぼり. See: Rules or criteria for 連濁: Voiced or unvoiced ...
naruto's user avatar
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2 votes

Except for pitch, what are the differences in pronunciation between Kansaiben and Tokyoben?

You already had several good answers, so I'll just comment here with a very nice table detailing most of the differences between all major Japanese dialects: 日本語の方言の比較表: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
a20's user avatar
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2 votes
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連濁 in proper nouns

Rendaku in proper nouns are basically random and unpredictable. Native speakers read new proper nouns purely based on their previous experiences, and ordinary people are not explicitly aware of any ...
naruto's user avatar
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2 votes

Pronunciation of ん before a fricative

The reason why you get different answers is, I guess, partly because personal difference among speakers. The finest details are often varying from person to person, situation to situation. Like if you ...
broccoli forest's user avatar

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