76

Kanji aren't necessary to write Japanese Your rationale is correct; Japanese is a living, spoken language; people are able to understand each other by sound only, therefore a writing system based on sound has to be sufficient. Some commentators have mentioned that Japanese speakers often allude to kanji when talking. That's true enough (and it probably ...


23

This is definitely a bit harder for native English speakers to pick up on at first, but sometimes homophones in Japanese are distinguishable by the pitch accent. So some of them aren't an issue at all. But of course some words do sound exactly the same. So how do you tell those apart? Easy: context. Kanji aren't "necessary" to distinguish between homophones;...


22

I share your experience. Sticking straight to the katakana pronunciation below, I have never had the problem of someone not understanding me any more. I believe this is the pronunciation currently taught in Japanese schools. A: エー【HL】 B: ビー【HL】 C: シー【HL】 D: ディー【HHL】 E: イー【HL】 F: エフ【HL】 G: ジー【HL】 H: エイチ【HLL】 I: アイ【HL】 J: ジェー【HHL】 K: ケー【HL】 L: エル【HL】 M: エム【HL】...


21

The difference is in the pitch accent. 桃 (peach):「もも{LH}」 (Low-High) 腿 (thigh):「もも{HL}」 (High-Low) That is a huge difference to us native speakers because it changes the meanings of the words completely. If there is a musical instrument around you, try doing the following. Hit 'do-mi' as you say 「桃」 and hit 'mi-do' as you try to say 「腿」. Other ...


16

I'm fairly certain that this has to do with pitch in Japanese and accentuation in English. The natural pitch for デバグ【HLL】 is HLL, whereas デバッグ【LHLL】 would naturally be LHL (and バグ【HL】 is HL). To mimic accentuation by pitch (i.e. accented syllables get a high pitch after transliteration), the ッ is necessary to give the バ a (natural) high pitch. バグ already ...


12

For the place name: おおさか【LHHH】 Reference: See under category 「近畿{きんき}」 in http://accent.u-biq.org/nihon.html For the family name: おおさか【HLLL】 Reference: None found. Just trust me if you could. Pitch accents often differ between family names and place names (hat are written the same way) though it is something not many Japanese-learners seem to be aware ...


12

Yes, your analysis is correct. In fact the し can drop even lower than the う before it if you choose to really enunciate it. This sort of splitting is fairly common, for example with the prefix 非 or the prefix 被. I consider it wrong to read that word in heiban, it'd sound like 調子・全的(??) or something like that. However, there are sometimes cases where words ...


11

[トラブル]{LHLL} -- [トラブる]{LHHL} [ダブル]{HLL} -- [ダブる]{LHL} [バトル]{HLL} -- [バトる]{LHL}? (I can't think of any other pairs...) The verbs seem to have a pronunciation rule: [サボる]{LHL}、 [テンパる]{LHHL}、 [ハモる]{LHL}、 [パニクる]{LHHL}、 [バグる]{LHL}、 [ググる]{LHL}、 [スタンバる]{LHHHL} ... But I can't find a rule for loanwords ending with ル... [トラブル]{LHLL}、 [サンダル]{LHHH}、 [ライフル]...


11

Those are extremely rare. Besides 「帰{かえ}る」, I could only think of the following in Standard Japanese. 「入{はい}る」 「通{とお}る」 「返{かえ}す」 「参{まい}る」 *** In case anyone is unsure of what the questioner is talking about, s/he is looking for three-mora verbs in which the pitch accent pattern is 「[〇〇〇]{HLL}」. 「頭高{あたまだか}」 means "head-high".


9

It's a matter of pitch accent. In a manner somewhat similar to Chinese, Japanese actually has 2 tones that establish its inflectional patterns. They aren't widely taught to foreigners because the patterns vary amongst regions (e.g. Osaka and Tokyo are near-opposite), but one purpose that they do serve is to distinguish between homophones. According to the ...


8

The changes are basically regular based on the "original accent" of each word, but (1) these "original accents" are not set in stone; (2) people/groups speak differently; and (3) pitch accent, like any linguistic phenomenon, is constantly changing. (I'm going to skip the discussion of whether accent exists, etc., and just stipulate that the last "high" mora ...


8

複合名詞でもアクセント核は一個だからだと思います。国の名称でなくても、例えば: [ぶっきょう]{HLLLL} → [ぶっきょうと]{LHHHLL} / [ぶっきょうと]{HHHHLL} (仏教徒) [まんぞく]{HLLL} → [まんぞくど]{LHHHL} / [まんぞくど]{HHHHL} (満足度) [ちゅうがく]{HHLLL} → [ちゅうがくせい]{LLHHHLL} / [ちゅうがくせい]{HHHHHLL} (中学生) 後ろにつくのが一文字でなくても、前半は同じように変わります。例えば: [かんさい]{HLLL} + [ほうめん]{LHHL} → [かんさいほうめん]{LHHHHLLL} / [かんさいほうめん]{HHHHHLLL} (関西方面) [きょうと]{HHLL} + [だいがく]{...


8

おじいさん with the long //iː// sound means "grandfather". おじさん with the short //i// sound means "uncle". In modern Japanese, these are distinguished by vowel length and by pitch accent -- "grandfather" has a downstep after the second mora, so the ji is a higher pitch than the second i: おじいさん{LHLLL}, whereas "uncle" has no downstep: おじさん{LHHH}. Looking at the ...


8

If you're merely interested in the current "standard" accent of Japanese words, try one of these learning resources. The jokes in this video are based on a more advanced topic of the Japanese pitch accent, namely アクセントの平板化 ("flattening"). Briefly, it refers to the change of the pronunciation of certain words from the non-flat to the flat ...


8

The plural suffix ~~[達]{たち} is pronounced [たち]{LL}, as in: [わたし]{LHH} → [わたしたち]{LHHLL} [あなた]{LHL} → [あなたたち]{LHLLL} [きみ]{LH} → [きみたち]{LHLL} [こども]{LHH} → [こどもたち]{LHHLL} [どうぶつ]{LHHH} → [どうぶつたち]{LHHHLL} [ねこ]{HL} → [ねこたち]{HLLL} [いぬ]{LH} → [いぬたち]{LHLL} [せいと]{HLL} (生徒) → [せいとたち]{HLLLL} [かんごし]{LHHL} (看護師) → [かんごしたち]{LHHLLL}


7

Loanwords are pronounced exactly the way they are transcribed. Depending on the circumstances of the transcription (which are often unknown), the transcription is based on a mix of actual pronunciation, its alphabet representation and the weather. If "Melbourne" becomes メルボルン, then it will be pronounced exactly like //meruboruɴ//, no matter whether it's far ...


7

By accent. See: Is there any difference when pronouncing 橋 and 箸? はし【HL】(箸)、はし【LH】(端)、かき【HL】(牡蠣)、かき【LH】(柿) By context. すいせいですか、きんせいですか? → 水星ですか、金星ですか? すいせいですか、ゆせいですか? → 水性ですか、油性ですか? すいせいですか、りくせいですか? → 水棲ですか、陸棲ですか? ぎんせいですか、きんせいですか? → 銀製ですか、金製ですか? By actually changing the reading for known confusing pairs. See: How to Pronounce 化学 "Chemistry"? 化学【...


7

Some language families (such as Chinese and Athabaskan) have visible origins for their tones - you can't reconstruct tone back to the shared proto-language, but you can reconstruct other features that later turned into tone. Other language families (such as Bantu and Oto-Manguean) have no visible origins for their tones - you can reconstruct tone back to ...


7

Both words have the same reading and pitch accent, so there wouldn't be a difference in pronunciation.


7

this is a shortening of the なさい form, which is always pronounced with a pitch drop on さ. So wouldn't you say [まちな]{LHH}([さい]{HL})? Following that logic, wouldn't you also say [食べな]{LHH}? You're right. We pronounce the positive imperative 「~~な」 this way: [まちな]{LHH}。"Wait!" [たべな]{LHH}。"Eat (it)!" [いきな]{LHH}。"Go!" [みな]{LH}。"...


7

Yes, that does happen. It happens in a couple other places, certainly including ん but also: から けど が (as a conjunction and (verb)がいい etc) many sentences ending particles (ぞ (optional)、わ (male version only)、よ (optional)、さ、 な (negative imperative only)、っけ、 etc.) に違いない も (when it directly follows a verb — you can imagine it as an invisible の almost) か (for ...


6

The pitch for Sayaka is さやか【HLL】 (or in your notation SAyaka). Also Makoto has pitch まこと【LHH】 and Katsura has pitch かつら【HLL】. Stressing the penultimate syllable is a frequent pronunciation mistake that especially native speakers of English seem to be prone to (but of course not only native English speakers). Stressing the penultimate syllable is one of ...


6

Many dictionaries (even monolingual ones) do not show accents, but of course there is something called "standard accent of Japanese" which you should generally respect. The most authoritative source of the standard accent of Japanese words is probably 日本語アクセント辞典 published by NHK, but there are also some online free accent dictionaries: OJAD Online Japanese ...


6

snailboat has already provided an excellent response, but I'd like to share an online resource that's pretty useful when trying to figure out the pitch accents of any given text. Just stick your Japanese text into Prosody Tutor Suzuki-kun, tweak the settings as you see fit, hit "analyze", and you'll see a rather accurate pitch analysis of the input text. ...


6

Keywords: MC, Middle Chinese; OC, Old Chinese: MJ: Middle Japanese; OJ, Old Japanese; 呉, Go'on; 漢, Kan'on; 唐, Tō-on; /(absence of superscript)/ or 平, level tone; /X/ or 上, rising tone; /H/ or 去, departing tone; /p̚/, /t̚/, /k̚/, or 入, entering or checked tone* On'yomi homophones are numerous, but the loss of syllable distinction comes from multiple ...


6

介護士 are more like a social worker. They generally help the elderly and people with disabilities live normal lives by doing things like bathing them, changing their clothes, making food for them, feeding them, dealing with excrement etc. One place they might work is a retirement home. There is an official certification, 介護福祉士 (Certified Care Worker), but one ...


6

This is unfortunately exceptionally complex and irregular, but there are essentially patterns which you can carve out of other patterns and then out of those carve more exceptions. The first pattern is that a two-mora + one-mora word generally becomes atamadaka (maybe 60% of words?). However you need to carve out a huge number of exceptions. But that is the ...


6

自体 is not a suffix but an independent word, so you pronounce them as two separate words, like: りょうりじたい【HLLLHLL】 みそじたい【HLHLL】 アメリカじたい【LHHHHLL】 はなじたい【LHHLL】 おとこじたい【LHHHLL】 たべたことじたい【HLLLHHLL】 or たべたことじたい【HLLLLHLL】 In other words, 自体 has nothing to do with this phenomenon.


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