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pronunciation issues

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pronunciation issues

Postby kimberly » Sat 01.26.2008 3:42 am

how do we pronounce itsu? (it-soo?!) for "when"

and, how do we pronounce samui?

Thanks very much for your help:) :D
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby AJBryant » Sat 01.26.2008 3:48 am

EE tsoo

sa moo ee.
Last edited by AJBryant on Sat 01.26.2008 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby katafei » Sat 01.26.2008 9:32 am

That would be the EE as the e in the English 'me'.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby chiisu321 » Sun 01.27.2008 2:05 am

i think it would be best if you practiced the pronunciation of each individual kana. Then you wouldn't have trouble figuring out pronunciation.

i is one sound tsu is the other. If you know each, just put them together.
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just learn that way each is supposed to sound and you can pronounce any word as long as you can read it.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 01.27.2008 10:42 am

That's not 100% reliable because there are some kana that have multiple pronunciations -- most notably ん, which has several (りんご, ざんねん, こんやく, かんぱい).
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby skrhgh3b » Sun 01.27.2008 4:37 pm

In "itsu," I assume it's the "ts"-sound you're having trouble with. This is the same "ts" sound in the English "cats." The Japanese "u"-sound, on the other hand, is significantly different than the English "u"-sound. Pay special attention to it when imitating native speakers.

Practicing pronunciation by going down the kana rows isn't 100% reliable, but it's a good place for a beginner to start.
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby BetterSense » Sun 01.27.2008 7:49 pm

りんご, ざんねん, こんやく, かんぱい


Sorry to be a pain, but would you happen to know the IPA characters for those ん s? I've seen that said several times, and I don't see much difference, except for the かんぱい.
I know you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby skrhgh3b » Sun 01.27.2008 10:51 pm

BetterSense wrote:
りんご, ざんねん, こんやく, かんぱい


Sorry to be a pain, but would you happen to know the IPA characters for those ん s? I've seen that said several times, and I don't see much difference, except for the かんぱい.


I don't know if the IPA characters will show up or not, but I'll try to transcribe them for you. (EDIT: OK, diacritics aren't showing up, but the rest is fine on my end.)

[ɾi.ŋ.go]
[za.n.ne.ɴ] <-- note the uvular nasal [ɴ]
[ko.ɨ.ja.kɯ] <-- this is supposed to be a nasalized central vowel
[ka.m.pa.i]

Which consonant sound follows ん determines its place of articulation, so it's really not so hard. Just note that sometimes it's a nasalized vowel (when it occurs between vowels and semi-vowels), and at the end of an utterance its usually a uvular nasal - this sound doesn't exist in English so you'll have to pay special attention to it at first.
Last edited by skrhgh3b on Sun 01.27.2008 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 01.27.2008 11:06 pm

こんやく is the most crucial one to get down because of こんにゃく. In general, the ん tends to present a big problem because most people don't realize that you generally pronounce it as a nasalized vowel rather than the consonant "n". Even when you do realize that it's still hard to pronounce things like 千円 (not 千年) or 単位(not 単に).
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby BetterSense » Mon 01.28.2008 9:30 am

wow I guess I just never thought about it. Way to make things harder than they look. :|
I know you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 01.28.2008 5:11 pm

BetterSense wrote:
wow I guess I just never thought about it. Way to make things harder than they look. :|


it's not actually making things harder, but easier... to pronounce, anyway. if the consonant sound that follows the nasal is bilabial, for example, then it will be a bilabial nasal. if it's dental, then it'll be a dental nasal. if it's alveolar, then it'll be an alveolar nasal. and so on and so on. in fact, you might be doing some of this unconsciously already. the only tricky part is making sure to pronounce the nasalized vowels and the uvular nasal instead of going to the english n-sound by default.
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby BetterSense » Mon 01.28.2008 6:43 pm

Yeah, I don't know about all the terms but I looked them up and I think I was doing it mostly right anyway...I mean I see how it's different, if you look at it from the higher level of comparison with other languages, but it's the same phoneme in japanese so I failed to actually notice that they were different, kind of like the aspirated and unaspirated 'p' in english. I still aspirate and unaspirate it where conventional, but I don't know that's what I'm doing....

The こやく、こんやく、こにゃく、こんにゃく thing is still eating my brain though. Are those actual words?
I know you believe you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby Oracle » Tue 01.29.2008 12:31 am

BetterSense wrote:
The こやく、こんやく、こにゃく、こんにゃく thing is still eating my brain though. Are those actual words?


Three of them are common words:
こやく   子役 Child part (in a movie etc)
こんやく  婚約  Engaged
こにゃく コニャク Cognac

こんにゃく isn't a common word as far as I know..
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby coco » Tue 01.29.2008 6:03 am

あらびっくり。Oracleさん、おでんにコンニャク(蒟蒻)、スキヤキにシラタキ(糸コンニャク)入れませんか?金沢では別名で呼ぶのかしらん。

田楽は熱燗に合うし、唐がらしを入れてキンピラ風に空炒りするとビールが進みます。 :)

「こにゃく」も「こんにゃく(蒟蒻)」のことのようです。古名が「こにやく」。
こにやく→ こにゃく→ こんにゃく と変化したようです。
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby kimberly » Tue 01.29.2008 10:34 am

Thank you everyone! It is very heartwarming to see so many people interested in the intricacies of Japanese.

HAVE A NICE DAY
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