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Silent "U"

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Silent "U"

Postby MFoogle » Sat 04.15.2006 10:09 am

Ok, it seems to me that there are a lot of silent u's in Japanese. (please tell me if I am wrong) but isnt "desu" pronounced "dess" and "wakarimasu" pronounced "wakarimas"? how will i know when a u is silent or not?
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby hamsterfreak4evr » Sat 04.15.2006 11:00 am

the "real" pronounciation of those words is with the u, but in spoken japanese, the u can be devoiced.

just like you might say "prolly" instead of "probably"

or "ya" instead of "yes.":)
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby AJBryant » Sat 04.15.2006 11:01 am

By getting used to it.

At what point did you stop saying "want. to. go" and start saying "wanna go"?

That's really the only way. HEar it, see it, use it....


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RE: Silent "U"

Postby MFoogle » Sat 04.15.2006 11:04 am

huh..interesting. i got a quick "learn japanese in 10 days" cd to listen to and they never pronounced the u.
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby Shibakoen » Sat 04.15.2006 11:35 am

I seem to remember most cases of the devoiced 'u' are sentence final. As an example, I know that Shinjuku is often pronounced "Shinjuk." However, if you add desu, the 'u' comes back but then gets dropped off of des. "Shinjuku Des."
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby hamsterfreak4evr » Sat 04.15.2006 11:44 am

MFoogle wrote:
huh..interesting. i got a quick "learn japanese in 10 days" cd to listen to and they never pronounced the u.


good luck learning that way.;)
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 04.15.2006 8:32 pm

I know that Shinjuku is often pronounced "Shinjuk."


Really? I/My wife had never heard that. Is that a Tokyo thing?
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby Shibakoen » Sat 04.15.2006 9:27 pm

I guess so. I swear I heard it all the time.;)
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby nikonikoniko » Tue 05.02.2006 8:30 pm

The devoicing varies a bit throughout different regions. For instance, take the word 'sushi'. In some parts of Japan, I've heard it pronounced exactly as a foreigner would expect, but in others I've heard this:

"Sushi nanka dou?" (from there, click the audio link for a short sound clip)
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby PandanoTake » Tue 05.02.2006 9:50 pm

When you're talking you just say it faster so the "u" is lost. Therefore, the "dess" and "wakarimass" pronunciation is more common.
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RE: Silent "U"

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 05.03.2006 1:12 pm

from my experience and it is indeed limited, i found that the desu and masu forms were fully said in formal or very polite situations and more occassions than not, it was females doing so..

des, mas etc was mainly utilized by males in these same situations.. (for the most part of my time in japan, I was in Tohoku roken, so it might be a situation used mainly by those in that area.. nothing like tohokuben to shake things up..

ndabecha..
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