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ヴォーカル reading

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ヴォーカル reading

Postby kkh40219 » Wed 05.22.2013 5:15 pm

I was browsing youtube video's when I saw this:
ヴォーカル.
How do you read this? I've never seen a ウ with those two dots.
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby Ongakuka » Wed 05.22.2013 6:05 pm

'vocal.'

The sound was created to make words of foreign origin sound more accurate (i.e ヴォーカル as oppose to ボーカル)
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby kkh40219 » Wed 05.22.2013 7:04 pm

Ah thanks,
I was trying combinations on my keyboard, but didn't get that katakana.
Didn't know that you could use the "V" to make combinations.
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby Shiroisan » Wed 05.22.2013 7:19 pm

Not to contradict Ongakuka but I believe the "v" sound literally doesn't exist in Japanese. They write ヴ to represent a loan word that USED to be a v sound, but as far as I can tell they are unable to/ do not pronounce it as such.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but that's true isn't it.
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby jimbreen » Wed 05.22.2013 8:39 pm

Shiroisan wrote:Not to contradict Ongakuka but I believe the "v" sound literally doesn't exist in Japanese. They write ヴ to represent a loan word that USED to be a v sound, but as far as I can tell they are unable to/ do not pronounce it as such.


I think that's stretching it. Traditionally "v" didn't exist as a phoneme in Japan, but it got adopted as 外来語 using it arrived.
ボーカル still leads in Google hits (40M), but ヴォーカル is catching up (17M). ヴァイオリン (12M) has almost caught up to バイオリン (14M).

Even the notoriously conservative MEXT is now sort-of sanctioning the use of ヴ. See: http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/hakusho/nc ... 28002.html

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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby jimbreen » Wed 05.22.2013 8:55 pm

Shiroisan wrote:Not to contradict Ongakuka but I believe the "v" sound literally doesn't exist in Japanese. They write ヴ to represent a loan word that USED to be a v sound, but as far as I can tell they are unable to/ do not pronounce it as such.


I forgot to mention that I have heard many Japanese violinists and violin teachers pronounce バイオリン/ヴァイオリン with a quite distinctive "v".

Jim (not long back from a big Suzuki music conference in Japan)
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby Shiroisan » Wed 05.22.2013 9:26 pm

jimbreen wrote:
Shiroisan wrote:Not to contradict Ongakuka but I believe the "v" sound literally doesn't exist in Japanese. They write ヴ to represent a loan word that USED to be a v sound, but as far as I can tell they are unable to/ do not pronounce it as such.

ボーカル still leads in Google hits (40M), but ヴォーカル is catching up (17M). ヴァイオリン (12M) has almost caught up to バイオリン (14M).


I know that it's written as ヴ, I just mean the actual pronunciation. However if your follow up comment about the violinists was true (and they weren't just using english?) then perhaps ..
Last edited by Shiroisan on Thu 05.23.2013 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby jimbreen » Thu 05.23.2013 1:51 am

Shiroisan wrote:
jimbreen wrote:ヴァイオリン (12M) has almost caught up to バイオリン (14M).


I know that it's written as ヴ, I just mean the actual pronunciation.


Hmmm. Why do you think those ~50% write ヴァ if they are pronouncing it バ?

Shiroisan wrote:However if your follow up comment about the violinists was true (and they weren't just using english?) then perhaps you're correct.


No, I was making it all up. :)

[Next time I'll make recordings.]

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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 05.23.2013 2:12 am

jimbreen wrote:
Shiroisan wrote:
jimbreen wrote:ヴァイオリン (12M) has almost caught up to バイオリン (14M).


I know that it's written as ヴ, I just mean the actual pronunciation.


Hmmm. Why do you think those ~50% write ヴァ if they are pronouncing it バ?

Jim



Same reason we write ピアノ instead of ぴあの. A stylistic identifier.
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 05.23.2013 2:23 am

Did some digging on youtube/ yahoo answers and am seeing Japanese people say they just pronounce it as a "b".

Take this anime for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NINbk7EwkdA "Vanguard" is clearly subtitled as ヴァーンガード in the opening sequence, yet every time they say "vanguard", opening or otherwise, it's very clearly and distinctly a "b".


Perhaps there are rare exceptions such as the violinists you mentioned. Perhaps they pedantically felt like they had to pronounce it just like the english speakers do.
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 05.23.2013 3:55 am

the ヴァ、ヴィ etc. sounds, as Jimさん pointed out, were constructed for the sake of foreign words. However, this is still Katakana phonics. It is an approximation, so most Japanese people will read and pronounce it as it is, rather than the true 'v' sound in English. Japanese people who are more familiar with English pronunciation, or are fluent in English, or learned specialized terms, may well read it as 'v,' but most people will read it as 'Katakana-English.'

ヴァ sounds much closer to 'va' than バ to our ears, but the difference may not be so distinct for Japanese people. バ is a natural Japanese sound and it is possible that some will read ヴァ as something closer to バ simply because it is easier to say.

Well that is my understanding of it anyway :?
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby furrykef » Thu 05.23.2013 8:26 am

It's probably akin to how English speakers know several loanwords with ñ, like piñata and jalapeño, but most don't bother to pronounce it differently from "ny" (or are even unaware that it's not the same sound) -- but more "educated" (or pretentious) ones might.
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Re: ヴォーカル reading

Postby shin1ro » Mon 07.22.2013 12:58 am

I think normal people almost don't use ヴァ, they use バ as they speak.
But probably people who is much involved in music industry tend to use ヴォーカル and ヴァイオリン instead of ボーカル and バイオリン because ヴ looks more stylish and professional, and even they don't speak V sound (some educated people may intentionally (or naturally) use V sound with their pride).
Also big music fans who regularly read music magazines may tend to use ヴォーカル and ヴァイオリン when they write, because they have a lot more occasions to see ヴォーカル and ヴァイオリン than normal people. Also they don't use ヴァラエティー番組 (variety program), 枕カヴァー (pillow cover) and ヴェスト(vest) but use バラエティー, カバー and ベスト.

So, I think the choice heavily depends on if they frequently see ヴ in magazines, papers, books, TV and any websites, and also depends on each word. As for a word that isn't seen on the media, they has to naturally choose ブ as they speak.

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