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Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

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Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby ruisu81 » Tue 04.03.2007 9:24 am

When talking about money, is it "en" or "yen" like we say it here in the US?

If it's "en" then is it a two syllable word? It's coming up a lot lately in my readings, and I want to make sure I'm saying it right (I think yen, but say en, kinda studders me up).

Thanks in advance ;)
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby Ezrach » Tue 04.03.2007 9:27 am

It's two mora, and it's "en". "Yen" is the English adaption of the word, just like how we added 'n' to the end of "taifuu" (typhooN), and also how we added a 'w' into "Daewoo" (it's pronounced "Dae-oo" in Korean).
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby ruisu81 » Tue 04.03.2007 9:33 am

Thanks for clearing that up, and for the little lesson =)
Last edited by ruisu81 on Tue 04.03.2007 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby Frumious Boojum » Tue 04.03.2007 9:35 am

円 is spelled えん in hiragana, so it's a two character word.  It is pronounced EN, not YEN. If I remember correctly, the y got added to the english version because when people were hearing "sen en" being pronounced, it sounded like "sen yen," due to some tendencies of many Japanese to pronounce like that.
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby ruisu81 » Tue 04.03.2007 9:43 am

Interesting, how about "zen yen" or is that what you meant?

I guess now would be a good time to learn the kanji for "gate."
I know they look very similar, but I don't know any of the readings...
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby AJBryant » Tue 04.03.2007 9:51 am

Interesting, how about "zen yen" or is that what you meant?



I don't know what YOU mean, but HE mean't "sen yen" (sen'en), 1,000 yen.


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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby Frumious Boojum » Tue 04.03.2007 9:54 am

Zen En... you know, it's like a philosophic money.
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby ruisu81 » Tue 04.03.2007 10:00 am

Gah, my book spells thousand ぜん. This confusing because they spell it like that in hiragana and romaji.

But of course you guys are right, jdict and your kanji page have 千 as sen. I'm really confused as to why they do that.

Here's a sentence from the book (Genki I):
それは さんぜんえんです。

Wow, it was pretty hard to get the IME to even do that.
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby keatonatron » Tue 04.03.2007 10:06 am

Frumious Boojum wrote:
If I remember correctly, the y got added to the english version because when people were hearing "sen en" being pronounced, it sounded like "sen yen," due to some tendencies of many Japanese to pronounce like that.


No.

Ezrach wrote:
"Yen" is the English adaption of the word, just like how we added 'n' to the end of "taifuu" (typhooN)...


No and no.

In old Japanese, えん was written and pronounced "yen". You may have noticed a few holes in the hiragana chart--originally, there were also characters for "ye", "we" and "wi". They were eventually dropped due to lack of use, and the affected "ye" words were changed to "e".

Because of this, some Japanese people do say "yen," because that was the correct pronunciation a long time ago.

Another word (name actually) that used "ye" is Ebisu (like the beer). You can still see the "ye" character in some old advertisements, and occasionally it is written as Yebisu in romaji.

Now on to typhoon... The English word "typhoon" did NOT come from the Japanese 台風. In actuality, both the Japanese AND English words came from other laguages. Japan's word came from Cantonese, and English's version came from Greek (or possibly Arabic). Both original words ended with an "n" sound on the end that the Japanese dropped in favor of the kanji's normal pronunciation.
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 04.03.2007 10:15 am

I have heard of what keatonatron mentions about the yen part.. that I actually studied.. but I was not aware of the typhoon reference.. I had always thought it was an English adaptation.. Looks like I need to research that.. Where did you get that info Keat?
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby ruisu81 » Tue 04.03.2007 10:16 am

Ah, this is getting very interesting. Break it down down big man.

I see the error in my thinking. For whatever reason, the first 6 out of 7 examples in the book that use the word 千 also use san, or sanzengohyaku. In the BACK of the book there is a chart that shows the sound-shifts for counters. Apparently for 3 the s shifts to z.

To be fair to the book, I kinda jumped on here before finishing the chapter so maybe it gets mentioned later on in the chapter.
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby Frumious Boojum » Tue 04.03.2007 10:16 am

ruisu81 wrote:
Here's a sentence from the book (Genki I):
それは さんぜんえんです。.


Ok, in this case, the book is right.

When saying numbers, sometimes the pronunciation of parts is changed a bit. Like はっぴゃく and not はちひゃく.

さんぜん is one of these cases. The book is correct.
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby keatonatron » Tue 04.03.2007 10:20 am

two_heads_talking wrote:
Where did you get that info Keat?


I originally thought the same thing, that the two words were linked, and wondered why the n exists in one but not the other, so about a year ago I looked it up:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=typhoon
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby Frumious Boojum » Tue 04.03.2007 10:23 am

keatonatron wrote:
Frumious Boojum wrote:
If I remember correctly, the y got added to the english version because when people were hearing "sen en" being pronounced, it sounded like "sen yen," due to some tendencies of many Japanese to pronounce like that.


No.


You know, I'm pretty sure you're right.

And if I remember correctly, the language book that I read that in wasn't the best ever written (I'm pretty sure it teaches some bad grammar, too).
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RE: Pronounciation of 円 (en) Yen

Postby ruisu81 » Tue 04.03.2007 10:32 am

Thanks everyone, I got way more outta that than I was expecting. B)
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