発音手引書 「はつおんてびきしょ」 hatsuon tebikisho
This quick and dirty pronunciation guide is based on the official standard Japanese pronunciation. It's not quite linguistically accurate, but it's close enough that most Japanese will understand you.
- a: like 'a' in 'father'
- i: like first 'e' in 'scene'
- u: like 'oo' in 'noon'
- e: like 'e' in 'egg'
- o: like 'o' in 'hope'
- â or ā or aa: double length 'a'
- ii: double length 'i'
- û or ū or uu: double length 'u'
- ê or ē or ee or ei: double length 'e'
- ô or ō or oo or ou or oh: double length 'o'
- Note: 'y' is never a vowel
- Japanese vowels don't form digraphs. When one vowel follows another they are pronounced separately.
- 'i' & 'u' are "weakly voiced" when they occur between, or at the end of a word following, a consonants 'k', 's', 'sh', 't', 'ch', 'h', 'f', 'b', or 'p'.
i.e. endings -desu as -des' and -masu as -mas', or tabemashita as ta-be-mash'-ta
- Consonents: The consonents in red are primary characters, the black ones below them are formed by adding diacritic marks to the primary.
- k: like 'k' in 'king'
- g: if at beginning of word, like 'g' in 'go'
or if after beginning of word, like 'ng' in 'king'
- s: like 's' in 'sit'
- sh: like 'sh' in 'ship'
- j: like 'j' in 'jar'
- z: like 'z in 'haze'
- t: with 'a', like 't' in 'top'
- ch: like 'ch' in 'watch'
- ts: like 'ts' in 'tsar'
- j: like 'j' in 'jar'
- d: like 'd' in 'dog'
- n: like 'n' in 'nice'
or if at the end of a syllable, like short 'n' in 'ten'
or if before 'b', 'p' or 'm', like 'm' in 'mother'
- h: like 'h' in 'help'
- f:, like 'wh' in 'who'
- p: like 'p' in 'pig'
- b: like 'b' in 'bed'
- m: like 'm' in 'mother'
- y: like 'y' in 'yard'
- r: like 'd' in 'veddy'
- w: with 'a', like 'w' in 'wall'
with 'o', silent
A Japanese haku (mora, or syllable), is a unit of time and consists of either a consonent and a vowel; a vowel alone; one of the doubled consonents k, s, t, & p in Japanese or b,d,g, & z in foreign loan words; or a short n. haku are all stressed equally, but the tone rising or falling can change the meaning.
Generally speaking, written Japanese uses some 2136 standard kanji
for Japanese words, katakana
for foreign words, rômaji (Roman letters) for foreign sounds that the other three won't cover, and sanyôsûji (Arabic numerals). To make it even more confusing, the kanji have multiple Chinese and Japanese, names and pronunciations.
Note: Any translation or pronunciation errors are mine.
For a more thorough guide to pronunciation, go here
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