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pronunciation issues

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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 01.29.2008 3:29 pm

I never really thought about ん being such a problem. but then again I had a 60 day crash course on hiragana, katakana and a few simple phrases and bumpo principles, some vocabulary then I was loosed in Japan with only my missionary companion and the Japanese people to learn from. After listening and using it in conversation, I never really had much issue with hearing the difference or with others understanding me either. (maybe that's why I always wonder why people tend to make it more difficult that it really is. Those people don't get to be immersed in the language at the level I did even if they have lived in Japan for 5 or 10 years. I suppose speaking all day long to anyone and everyone does give you much more practice on kaiwa.)
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby skrhgh3b » Tue 01.29.2008 4:39 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
I never really thought about ん being such a problem.


It really isn't. Just because ん has 5 or 6 different realizations might make it seem really complicated, but in practice, it really isn't for the simple reason it makes pronunciation easier. There are just a few things to watch out for as a native speaker of English, but even if you don't always pronounce ん correctly, at worst it will just be a characteristic of your accent.
♪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 » Tue 01.29.2008 5:18 pm

I don't think it's making it "more difficult than it really is" to warn people about confusing words like 千円 and 千年 because they don't realize how to pronounce the ん. I consider that basic pronunciation, not needless complication or difficulty.

Sure, you can probably make yourself understood anyway, but every time you say "well, I don't need to worry about that, they'll understand me anyway" it makes your Japanese less and less comprehensible to a native speaker, and if you do that too many times, you're in trouble.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby skrhgh3b » Tue 01.29.2008 7:04 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Sure, you can probably make yourself understood anyway, but every time you say "well, I don't need to worry about that, they'll understand me anyway" it makes your Japanese less and less comprehensible to a native speaker, and if you do that too many times, you're in trouble.


I agree completely. From textbooks to teachers to students, no one seems to take pronunciation very seriously.
♪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 kimberly » Fri 02.08.2008 11:17 am

how do we pronounce shi and shi when combined with other words? eg deshita

I was thinking shi is just "she" but then I heard "see"?? I guess it's kind of like Chinese where some people don't care about enunciating the hh but is that the case in Japanese too?

One of the greatest mysteries I've tried to solve for the longest time was the pronunciation of r too. rl??
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby Wakannai » Fri 02.08.2008 5:21 pm

how do we pronounce shi and shi when combined with other words? eg deshita


desh'ta. Deshita is not shi added to another word. If it is 2 words Shi is pronounced Shi. But if it is one word and the next mora is a hard consonant, then u and i are devoiced rather often.
Last edited by Wakannai on Fri 02.08.2008 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby Tesu » Fri 02.08.2008 8:42 pm

kimberly wrote:
One of the greatest mysteries I've tried to solve for the longest time was the pronunciation of r too. rl??


I find it sounds way more like an 'l' than an 'r'. On the occasion where I need to write Romaji, I nearly always tend to accidentally write 'l' instead of 'r' too =/

I had a friend here that always used to just say l instead of trying to pronounce anything properly (he didn't care at all about his pronunciation). Though I think a lot of people thought he sounded quite strange, he never had a problem being understood.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby two_heads_talking » Sat 02.09.2008 10:05 am

some people equate the ra, ri, ru, re, ro to more of a hard l (or soft d in some cases) sound than the standard r.. since you tap the roof of your mouth to pronounce the l and you do the same for each of the ra, ri... etc sounds. however, the positioning of the tongue is different.
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RE: pronunciation issues

Postby Gundaetiapo » Sat 02.09.2008 12:24 pm

I think it's the end of the English r, disregarding the beginning and duration, that sounds most like the Japanese r. For me, the end of the English r doesn't seem phonemically significant since I mostly recognize its durational sound. Consequently for the longest time I too puzzled at the comparison of English and Japanese r.
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