69

In modern Japanese these pairs are pronounced exactly the same: ず, づ are pronounced either [dzu] or [zu]. じ, ぢ are pronounced either [dʑi] or [ʑi]. (the first sounding like the English J and the second like the French J, but both are with the middle of the tongue raised to the hard palate, producing what seems like a softer pronunciation). So in short, ...


39

I have a book in my university library that has a 100-odd page article dedicated to these mute vowels, and it still doesn't seem to give a complete picture. So unfortunately, this feature of Japanese phonology is quite complex. Still, there's a rather simple rule of thumb that can point you to most of the places where muting may occur (and in most of them ...


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

The sound you hear in HI is not really a "sh" (as the English "sh"), but neither is the sound SHI an "sh". While it's very easy to learn to pronounce Japanese sufficiently, Japanese pronunciation does have its quirks, and you have to get used to it. The "sh" situation (or fricative situation, as we'd call it in linguistics lingo) is one of them. Let's first ...


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 (...


35

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 ...


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 ...


26

The phenomenon that the beginning of the first consonant of the latter component of a compound word is often altered as k→g, s→z, t→d, and h→b (sometimes h→p) is called rendaku (連濁). I explained it a little in another answer, but here is a more detailed explanation. There are no firm rules to tell when it happens completely. However, as the Wikipedia ...


24

It's a glottal stop, similar to the usage you mentioned (あっ, もうっ). It signifies that the last mora is cut off abruptly. This can imply irritation (なんだよっ "What!") or excitement (大変だっ "It's terrible!"). In print, it's a little like adding an exclamation point to the end of the sentence.


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 ...


24

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

It's mojibake, not a valid character. Looking at the character code I suppose it's this emoji sent from a mobile phone: http://code.iamcal.com/php/emoji/


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

If I talk about the letters ゐ/ヰ and ゑ/ヱ, I would call them ワ行の「ゐ」 (pronounced as わぎょうのい) and ワ行の「ゑ」 (わぎょうのえ), or explain the letters in some way (昔の仮名の「ゐ」 and so on). I may or may not pronounce them as ウィ and ウェ, but I will probably try to avoid relying solely on pronunciation. The same also applies to を/ヲ. As David M. R. writes, 和文通話表 (the Japanese ...


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

とっても is a spoken variant of とても, just like すんごい is a spoken variant of すごい and あんまり is a spoken variant of あまり. If you're writing a paper or speaking in a formal setting, it's better to use とても.


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

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

I know very little about Aikido and can only explain general facts about the Japanese language. “Tori” and “dori” in these example are the noun form of the verb toru (取る; take, grab). In isolation, this noun form is read as “tori.” Both Katate Tori and Katate Dori are compound words made of katate (片手; one hand) and tori. However, in Japanese, the first ...


17

じゅう (or, rarely: ぢゅう) is used for expressions covering a length of time (resp. area) from start to finish, in its entirety. I.e. "through", "all of": 一年中【いちねんじゅう】 all year 一日中【いちにちじゅう】 all day 世界中【せかいじゅう】 all over the world ちゅう is for pointing a particular time (resp. specific location) out of an interval (resp. general area). I.e. "out of", "...


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

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 "...


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