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Wondering Kana things...

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Wondering Kana things...

Postby stangerfj » Fri 07.06.2007 1:58 pm

Konnichiwa, I am new here and having some problems with some japanese pronouncing.If anyone would be kind enough to take some time and answer these questions I would be more than grateful for the help.

1. If "ZI" is pronounced "JI" , then how do I pronounce "DI" ???
Wondering the same thing about ""ZU" and ""DU" ...

2. If I am reading Kana, how to tell when "N/M" is pronounced "N" and when it is pronounced "M" ???

3.How to tell when letters are "silent" ???
Are there any kind of rules to follow, when reading a new word for example ???

(Examples: oyasUmi "U" silent or not? gozaimasU "U" silent or not? watashI "I" silent or not? hajimemashIte "I" silent or not? yoroshIku "I" silent or not? itashImashIte "I" silent or not? )

Kind regards,

stangerfj
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RE: Wondering Kana things...

Postby richvh » Fri 07.06.2007 2:34 pm

1. For most purposes, "ZI" and "DI", "ZU" and "DU" are pronounced identically (at least in the standard dialect; there are some regional dialects that preserve a difference.)

2. Before M, B or P, the N is assimilated to M; before G, K, vowel, or word end, the N kana is more like the NG of siNG.

3. You are never wrong to clearly pronounce all vowels, however a rule of thumb is that I and U at sentence end, or between unvoiced consonants gets devoiced.
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RE: Wondering Kana things...

Postby witega » Fri 07.06.2007 2:34 pm

1) じ and ぢ, what you are presumably asking about (different systems romanize them differently), are pronounced the same.
 
3) Technically, there are no 'silent' letters. The answer to all your examples is that the vowel is not silent. However, in practice Japanese (at least in the standard Tokyo dialect) do devoice vowels, particularly 'u' or 'i', in certain contexts like between unvoiced consonants, as in yoroshiku and hajimemashite. You are never wrong to say every written vowel.
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RE: Wondering Kana things...

Postby stangerfj » Tue 11.13.2007 8:40 am

Arigatou gozaimasu for all your answers ,some clairty entered my mind now on these questions.
But some NEW questions popped up in my head recently...

1.In my younger days I practised Judo for some years,wich made me learn some japanese words, but only in romaji.
Now, when I am older, trying more seriously to learn japanese ,I get some confused about the spelling of these words/names of different throws and locks.

For examples; O-Goshi= Big Hip-throw,but when I look in my English-Japanese dictionary(Kodansha's Furigana) it says Hip=Koshi not Goshi,is this an dialectal question or is it misspelled?

2.I bought the PS2 game Darkstalkers-Vampire Collection(japanese import).
When I look at the back-cover I see the title written in katakana and see to my suprise that the sign U is written with " in the upper right corner(sorry I must get kana text for my PC!!!).

That "translating" the "V" in "Vampire" and then the "A" sign for "A" in "Vampire".
What is this U" coming from (because I can't find it in any dictionary or learning books) and when I look up the word "Vampire" it spells with a "BA"-sign?

And why using separate signs for "V" and "A" when the "WA"-sign is avaible to use,doesn't the sound come closer to the english sound wich I thougt was the idea
with katakana "translating"?

3.Who or what decides how the english(in this matter)word "translates" into katakana,is it a personal desicion or are there rules for it?
For examples: Icecream = Aisukuriimu(roughly) wich I think sounds very similar to the origin sound.

4.If you would try to explain the "RA,RI,RU,RE,RO-sounds" with a similar sound in an english word, what would the word be?

Kind regards,

stangerfj
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RE: Wondering Kana things...

Postby richvh » Tue 11.13.2007 10:22 am

stangerfj wrote:
Arigatou gozaimasu for all your answers ,some clairty entered my mind now on these questions.
But some NEW questions popped up in my head recently...

1.In my younger days I practised Judo for some years,wich made me learn some japanese words, but only in romaji.
Now, when I am older, trying more seriously to learn japanese ,I get some confused about the spelling of these words/names of different throws and locks.

For examples; O-Goshi= Big Hip-throw,but when I look in my English-Japanese dictionary(Kodansha's Furigana) it says Hip=Koshi not Goshi,is this an dialectal question or is it misspelled?


It isn't unusual for the initial consonant of the second kanji in a compound to get voiced, though there are no set rules for the phenomenon.

2.I bought the PS2 game Darkstalkers-Vampire Collection(japanese import).
When I look at the back-cover I see the title written in katakana and see to my suprise that the sign U is written with " in the upper right corner(sorry I must get kana text for my PC!!!).

That "translating" the "V" in "Vampire" and then the "A" sign for "A" in "Vampire".
What is this U" coming from (because I can't find it in any dictionary or learning books) and when I look up the word "Vampire" it spells with a "BA"-sign?[/quote]

ヴァ・ヴィ・ヴ・ヴェ・ヴォ are sometimes for va/vi/vu/ve/vo to more closely represent the sound.

And why using separate signs for "V" and "A" when the "WA"-sign is avaible to use,doesn't the sound come closer to the english sound wich I thougt was the idea
with katakana "translating"?

3.Who or what decides how the english(in this matter)word "translates" into katakana,is it a personal desicion or are there rules for it?
For examples: Icecream = Aisukuriimu(roughly) wich I think sounds very similar to the origin sound.


The Japanese do. If the word has entered the general lexicon, the normal spelling can be found in a dictionary.

4.If you would try to explain the "RA,RI,RU,RE,RO-sounds" with a similar sound in an english word, what would the word be?


The Japanese R is half R, half L, and just a tetch of D. I don't think there are any English words that have a similar sound.
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RE: Wondering Kana things...

Postby Chris Hart » Tue 11.13.2007 12:25 pm

richvh wrote:
The Japanese R is half R, half L, and just a tetch of D. I don't think there are any English words that have a similar sound.

I still can't make that sound right. It always comes out as an L or R depending on the word.

Also, on words that end in an ん I frequently hear ng as in -ing. This is based on what I hear listening to japanesepod101.
-.. .   -.- -.-. ---.. ..- ..-. ...-

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RE: Wondering Kana things...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 11.13.2007 4:55 pm

That's because a word-end ん is pronounced as a nasal sound rather than the English consonant "n"; the ん in Japanese is much closer to the "n" sound in "king" than it is to the "n" sound in "fan".
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RE: Wondering Kana things...

Postby NocturnalOcean » Tue 11.13.2007 10:21 pm

The pronunciation of the r sounds vary alot from dialect to dialect and person to person. Sometimes it is a stronger l sound, other times it is much closer to the r you know.
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