40

There are a number of common suffixes you can use to try to guess. Here is an incomplete list of common suffixes which are a pretty safe bet: Female ko 子 mi 美 ka 花・華 e 江・恵 na 奈・菜 no 乃 ri 里 Male rō 郎 ta 太 suke 介・助・祐 o 男・夫・雄・生 ya 哉・也 kichi 吉 hiko 彦 nobu 信 Also, "girly" kanji—like 愛 "love", 幸 "happiness", 華 "flower", 美 "beauty" etc.—or hiragana will ...


39

Pretty simply, because there's a /w/ in the French royale /rwajal/. The onset cluster /rw/ is not allowed in Japanese phonotactics, so one of two repair strategies must be used: Epenthesis (inserting a sound to break up the consonant cluster) Deletion (removing a sound to eliminate the consonant cluster) In Japanese loanword phonology, both strategies are ...


36

This phenomenon is called 連濁 (rendaku). The basic rules for rendaku can be found in the following question, so please take a look at it first: Rules or criteria for 連濁: Voiced or unvoiced syllables in compound words Now, in addition to the rules mentioned in the linked question, there is yet another rule (or "tendency") regarding rendaku: there are several ...


35

If you ask a Japanese person to say a word like renraku fast, and then gradually ask them to say it more and more slowly, you will notice that what initially sounded like an r becomes an l as they slow down (usually earlier on for women). So the claim that l and r don't exist is simply wrong -- they both do, but as variants (allophones) of the same sound (...


34

Each family would use its own method and all I know for certain is how mine handled the matter. We used on-reading words, meaning kanji compounds, which small kids generally are not familiar with. We also "created" our own on-reading words in cases where the generic words were already on-reading ones. Our final weapon was to say the words in English (we ...


28

Why is it pronounced "yen"? I was actually wondering this a month or so ago, but found the answer on the Wikipedia article for yen/en. The spelling and pronunciation "yen" is standard in English. This is because mainly English speakers who visited Japan at the end of the Edo period to the early Meiji period spelled words this way. ... In the 16th century,...


27

Here's the English equivalents for the IPA: [ɡ] = the 'g' in 'get' [ŋ] = the 'ng' in 'sing' The main difference is that [ŋ] is a nasal consonant, whereas [ɡ] is not. If you try plugging your nose and pronouncing [ŋ], you'll realize that it's not possible. That's because air must flow through the nasal passage, but not the oral passage, for [ŋ]. The ...


24

Short answer: The allowed pronunciations depends somewhat on the word origin. For Sino-Japanese words (漢語), such as 英語<えいご> or 先生<せんせい>, the underlying vowel sequence is always ええ, but can be pronounced as either えい or ええ (despite its native orthography being <えい>). Most Yamato (和語) words are the same as the Sino-Japanese words, but in some cases ...


23

It is in a slightly different order in Japanese. First comes Celsius, then the amount, and degrees at the end. This would be one hundred degrees Celsius written out: 摂氏{せっし}100度{ど} Fahrenheit for example would be similar 華氏{かし}100度{ど} Most of the time saying Celsius is redundant though. If someone asks you what is the temperature, you can just say ...


22

There are three readings for 日本: にほん, にっぽん, and やまと. The last reading is non-standard as far as general use. The first two are still used often, but にほん is by far the de rigueur reading currently. Possibly you are reading something old, where 日本 is written as につぽん. While today, a repeating consonant is written with a small tsu (っ), in the past it was often ...


21

According to gogen-allguide, こんにちは originated from the 今日{こんにち}は ("today") in 今日{こんにち}はご機嫌{きげん}いかがですか? ("how are you today") and similar expressions.


21

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】...


19

The sound called /r/ in Japanese is not quite the same sound as the L or R sounds of English. And as you've correctly observed, there's more than one way to pronounce /r/ in Japanese. There are a couple technical terms from linguistics that might help: /r/ is considered a phoneme. That means it's considered a single sound, even if it's technically ...


18

“アェ” is not a valid spelling of any sound in the standard usage of kana letters. If it is used to describe any sound (in a nonstandard way), I agree with AHelps that it probably describes “æ” sound. However, according to web search, アェウクス is a password which appears in a video game “時空の覇者 Sa・Ga3.” As it is a video game, the password used in it does not ...


18

Dono has a point in his comment where he mentions that even if there were a way to transcribe it, the sound [wu] does not exist in Japanese. Let me first explain why it doesn't exist. The Japanese phoneme /w/ as in /wa/,/wi/,/we/ and /wo/ (transcribed as ワ,ウィ,ウェ and ウォ) is not the same as the phoneme /w/ in English. /w/ in Japanese is the approximant (...


18

Other examples of intentionally altered readings to avoid confusion: 私立【しりつ】 (private) & 市立【しりつ】 (city-run) → 私立【わたくしりつ】 & 市立【いちりつ】 売春【ばいしゅん】 (selling sex) & 買春【ばいしゅん】 (buying sex) → 買春【かいしゅん】 波線【はせん】 (wavy line) & 破線【はせん】 (dashed line) → 波線【なみせん】 & 破線【やぶれせん】 市長【しちょう】 (city mayor) & 首長【しゅちょう】 (mayor in general) → 首長【くびちょう】 Learning ...


18

I'm a native speaker. When you tell a native Japanese speaker to say these words veeeeery slowly, they would say: きょ、う、し、つ。 (or きょ、お、し、つ。) せ、ん、せ、い。 (or せ、ん、せ、え。) か、ら、あ、げ。 こ、ん、ぴゅ、う、た、あ。 (コンピューター) And if you ask "How many 'sounds' are there in those words?", they would count using their fingers, and say 4, 4, 4 and 6, respectively. So this means so-called "...


18

It's like this: Teacher: 「野田{のだ} 努{つとむ}さん。」 野田: 「はい。」 T: 「いわい 隆{たかし}さんですかね?しゅくさんですか?」(the surname reads 祝) 祝: 「はふりです。」 T: 「はふりって読むんですか。珍しい名前ですね。はふり たかしさん。」 祝: 「はい。」 This conversation has actually taken place in my twelfth grade first classroom. Note: People with easy-to-read names don't end up in this kind of awkward conversation very often. Still, ...


17

The explanation in デジタル大辞泉 is: 「いく」の語形も上代からみられ、平安時代以降は「ゆく」と併用される。「ゆく」「いく」はほとんど意味は同じであるが、古くは「ゆく」のほうがより広く使われ、特に訓点資料・和歌(「生く」との掛け詞の場合を除き)では、ほとんどすべてが「ゆく」である。現在では「ゆく」に比べて「いく」のほうが話し言葉的な感じをもち、したがって、「過ぎ行く」「散り行く」など、文章語的な語の場合には「ゆく」となるのが普通である。なお、「ゆきて」のイ音便形「ゆいて」も用いられたが、現在は一般的でなく、促音便形は「ゆく」のほうは用いられず、「いく」を用いて「いって」「いった」となる。 My translation / synopsis is as follows: いく ...


17

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 ...


17

The entry for 街【がい】 you linked to is: (尾) まちなみ. ▼繁華~ If you take a look at the explanation for the dictionary, we find what (尾) means:  (尾) 接尾語 Ie, it is used at the end of words, and not in isolation. Other dictionaries say がい【街】  (造) ... (造) means almost the same: used only to form words, but not in isolation. 「街灯」「商店街」「オフィス街」「地下街」「...


17

Derivation of レシート Numerous dictionaries state that レシート is from English receipt. See, for instance, the Dajisen and Daijirin entries visible here at Kotobank (in Japanese), or here at Wiktionary (in English; full disclosure: I edited that entry. See the listed sources there for authoritatively edited materials.). Why it is rendered this way in Japanese ...


16

Basically, there are just some sounds that exist in other languages which cannot easily be phonemically represented in Japanese. Disclaimer - this is a simplified answer, but ... As with any language, you must differentiate between the actual sounds (phonology) and the writing system which represents the language (orthography). Although there are ...


15

It comes from the Greek word xylon, which means wood. The Greek word xylon is pronounced "ksilon", so the Japanese transcription is faithful to the original Greek pronunciation, rather than the English corruption of the word. See the answer to this question for the reason why "x" is pronounced "z" at the beginning of English words. As for the origin of ...


15

I think on reading ヴァ, ヴィ, etc., people usually try to pronounce it differently from バ, ビ, etc., but with varying success. In fact, I think most Japanese that try to distinguish ヴァ and バ pronounce what would be //v// indeed like the Spanish [[β]], a voiced bilabial fricative (or like a combination like [[bβ]]). That seems to make sense since the voiceless ...


15

Here is what I know. If, by "complex rules", you refer to more complex ones than these below, I wish one of the experts here would post an answer. By the way, the nasal sound we are discussing here is called 「鼻濁音{びだくおん}」 in case someone did not know. "Nose-muddy-sound", literally. Since you know the word now, you can hear how it actually sounds on ...


14

Both the OO and XX are pronounced なになに。 (なになに)するには(なになに)すぎる。 Source: I just asked my partner who is from Japan.


14

Basically this is very difficult. Real Japanese sentences on the net are mixture of kanji, hiragana, katakana and English alphabet. See Japanese writing system on Wikipedia. Among these, hiragana and katakana are almost "pronunciation symbols" themselves. You can replace them into romaji using this table and you're 80% done. The remaining 20% is a bit ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible