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DICIEMBRE 13

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Japanese Language: Japanese Pronunciation



Unlike other languages, Japanese has relatively few sounds, and pronunciation gives little problems to several learners. The biggest problems are accents, which do exist, but to a much lower dimension than in the Chinese language. Besides, there are comparatively many homonyms, i.e. words that are pronounced the similar way, but have different meanings.

Japanese Pronunciation Vowels:
a あ/ア 
like 'a' in "father"
i い/イ 
like 'i' in "machine"
u う/ウ 
like 'oo' in "hoop"
e え/エ 
like 'e' in "set"
o お/オ 
like 'o' in "rope"
n ん/ン 
short 'n' at the end of a syllable, pronounced as 'm' before 'b', 'p' or 'm'.
Note that "u" is often weak at the end of syllables. In particular, the common endings -desu and -masu are pronounced as "des'" and "mas'" respectively.

Japanese Pronunciation Consonants:
k かきくけこ 
like 'k' in "king"
g 
like 'g' in "go"
s 
like 's' in "sit"
z 
like 'z' in "haze"
t 
like 't' in "top"
d 
like 'd' in "dog"
n 
like 'n' in "nice"
h 
like 'h' in "help"
p 
like 'p' in "pig"
b 
like 'b' in "bed"
m 
like 'm' in "mother"
y
like 'y' in "yard"
r
like 'r' in "row" (actually a sound between 'l' and 'r', but closer to 'r')
w 
like 'w' in "wall"
ch 
(t before i) like 'ch' in "touch"
sh 
(s before i) like 'sh' in "sheep"
ts 
(t before u) like 'ts' in "hot soup"
f 
(h before u) like 'f' in "far"
j 
(d before i) like 'j' in "jar"

Note: The best form to practice your Japanese often is to talk to native Japanese who are interested in developing their English abilities. This way you improve your language skills, help them with their English and make new friends at the same time.

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