Keywords: Question

Japanese Big Question Mark 8 - Pronunciation

If there are other Japanese words you'd like to know how to pronounce, please add them to the list. For now I want to know how to pronounce the following words:

Can anybody tell me? Is the "y" a vowel?

How about terms like

  • Gote
  • Hane

Are they one syllable or two?

two - go-te, ha-ne

Chris Hayashida: This might help, but only if you speak English:

  • dan - pronounced like "dawn."
  • kyu - pronounced like the letter Q.

I don't know a good way to write how to pronounce moyo. I think I'd write it like "moi-yoh." I don't know if that helps.

kokiri - writing down pronounciations, especially in a situation like here, where there are people from differnet backgrounds with different accents is a bit of a minefield, perhaps the best way is to look at something like [ext] http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/~ts/japanese/ and listen to the real thing...

Fhayashi: A simple guideline is that there are hardly any long vowel sounds in Japanese (unless the word has the ~ or - following the characters. And the only consonant ending is "n" or "m". Each syllable breaks down into consonant and vowel combinations.

  • Dan - not long like dawn, but shorter like "done"

Kirby: Actually, I would say it's more like "dahn"

  • Kyu - like kew, or "Q" like above
  • Moyo - moh-yo, with emphasis even on both syllables, not MOH-yo or moh-YO
  • Gote - goh-teh, not emphasizing either syllable
  • Hane - hah-neh, again with even emphasis

Bob McGuigan: Not to be pedantic but these pronunciations ignore the long vowel occurences in Japanese. For example it should be kyuu, two syllables kyu-u, and moyou, three syllables. You can find this elongation in any standard romaji Japanese-English dictionary such as Kenkyusha's, or from the kana versions.

Bass: The reasonable way to learn how a foreign word should sound is to listen to it. Here's how:

  • open [ext] WWWJDIC in a new tab
  • go to the appropriate page for the term here on the Sensei's Library. Some are linked in the comments just above.
  • In the top right corner of the page you'll find a box that has the term written in Japanese, among other languages. Copy-paste the Japanese text (the foreign looking scribbles, not the pronuncuation guide) into the WWWJDIC "keyword" box, and click "Search".
  • On the search result page, look for the entry (or entries) that exactly match the term. There may be more than one, so you'll have to read the descriptions as well.
  • Once you have located the relevant entry, look to the beginning of that line. You should see a round button that has a "play" symbol (white triangle on a blue background). Click it to hear the pronunciation.
  • Be sufficiently proud of learning a new cool thing.

JBQM8 last edited by on May 22, 2015 - 15:34
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