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Questions That have bothered me

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Questions That have bothered me

Postby Christian_ » Sun 01.01.2006 1:59 am

I hope this is in the right place. Well I have some questions that have been bothering me and am almost embarassed to ask but I figure now would be good time to ask, here they are
1) Is the "ei 「えい」" sound pronounced the same as "ee 「ええ」, its just a elongated "e" right just like "ii" or "ou"?
2) Are kanji for words like theese more common then just spelling them out in hiragana?
2a) 今日は= Konnnichi wa
2b) 皆さん= Mina san
2c)始めまして= Hajimemashite
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1) Have decent proficiency in Japanese, enough to get around/talk/read/write.
2) Visit Japan for a week or so one summer.
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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby AJBryant » Sun 01.01.2006 2:40 am

1) Is the "ei 「えい」" sound pronounced the same as "ee 「ええ」, its just a elongated "e" right just like "ii" or "ou"?


No, properly it's pronounced "e-i" like a long "a" (as in "bait" or "straight").

2) Are kanji for words like theese more common then just spelling them out in hiragana?
2a) 今日は= Konnnichi wa
2 皆さん= Mina san
2c)始めまして= Hajimemashite


That looks right to me. Some people have differing opinions over "konnichi wa", however, as the kanji combination can also be read "きょうは". Note that the "hajimemashite" in the *greeting* is written in kana. As a verb, though, that's fine.

Tony
(edited for the bloody smilies)
Last edited by AJBryant on Sun 01.01.2006 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby Christian_ » Sun 01.01.2006 2:50 am

Thanks for the reply, so ei is pronounced like an elongated american "A" sound like bait just elongated?
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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby Infidel » Sun 01.01.2006 3:03 am

AJBryant wrote:
1) Is the "ei 「えい」" sound pronounced the same as "ee 「ええ」, its just a elongated "e" right just like "ii" or "ou"?


No, properly it's pronounced "e-i" like a long "a" (as in "bait" or "straight").


Interesting, many textbooks say exactly that, that ei is pronounced ee. I was starting to think (I concluded yesterday) that it is ee but the second e is rising intonation which makes it sound kinda i-ish.

Oh well. How dare you dash my theory before I even voice it. For that I shall carve your heart out with a spoon.

But there is a preponderance of teachers and textbooks that teach the ei = ee thing. In Japanese audio--because I listen for it--I have noticed both an ee and an ei sound for such words as eigo and sensee. (heh, see, I naturally spell it that way still, hazards of mixing instructional textbooks) so I was starting to think in is a dialectal thing. Kind of in the same category as whether to pronounce trailing "u"s

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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby Ongakuka » Sun 01.01.2006 8:09 am

Perhaps if you think about it like the name "Kei." ;) It's really that simple.
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby AJBryant » Sun 01.01.2006 11:58 am

It's really one of those "use changes things" things. A lot of people will slur it sometimes. (Essentially making it the equivalent of the distinction between clearly enunciating "want–to" and "wanna" or why so many people write "I would of gone" -- because they can't hear that they're SUPPOSED to be saying "would HAVE gone" and don't even realize it.

At any rate, you *can* sometimes hear an /eh/ instead of an /ay/ but it properly *is* an /ay/.

Tony
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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby Sachi » Sun 01.01.2006 7:00 pm

Interesting question. I never really thought about it too much, but my textbook taught the "ee" version, though listening to the audio CD, it usually is pronounced "ei".

Parhaps it's just another problem with romanji? And personal preference and dialect, as ishnar said as well, I'm guessing. ^^;
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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby Christian_ » Sun 01.01.2006 9:55 pm

alright thanks you guys, I now understand the sound of it, my last question is Is ei elongated like ou?
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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby AJBryant » Sun 01.01.2006 11:02 pm

Not really -- it's just a dipthong. If there is any "enlongation" -- say, for vocal emphasis -- it's just clearly an /e/ followed by /i/ -- which is what this diphong here is, after all. ;)

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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby ryuubu » Tue 01.03.2006 5:07 am

In proper Japanese it's pronounced 'A' but youngins (mostly boys) will slur endings of words. I've written a bit about this here:

http://www.jdownload.org/~higo/wakamono.htm
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RE: Questions That have bothered me

Postby coco » Wed 01.04.2006 11:57 am

2c)始めまして= Hajimemashite

Though many Japanese mess up 始めまして& 初めまして,
if you'd like to say greeting 「はじめまして」, 初め is correct Kanji.
始めまして means " It starts" or something.
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