Friday, August 23, 2013

Thinking About Pronounciation

In this video,you can learn how native speakers pronounce English.

As you know, you don't pronounce every words as it's written or as a dictionary shows.  That's why I often ask my friends; Um... Can you write it down please? X(

As I live in Taiwan, I spend most of my time studying Chinese.  In Chinese, every each word has a certain tone. For instance, if you say "ma" with high pitch tone it means "mom", but if you say "ma" with downshift tone it becomes "to scold. " Frankly, it's very annoying. They really do not understand what I say if I pronounce with wrong tones. 

In Japanese, you don't have to be strict with pronunciation. Most of the words sound flat. No rhythm, no accent. Does it sound boring for you?lol (But some dialects like Kansai-ben have a certain accent!)

Let me talk about Chinese a little more. There are some rules of changing tones in certain situations. I found that some native speakers, I mean Taiwanese people, even don't realize these rules. Though they have never learnt it, they can speak Chinese according to the rules of changing tones quite naturally. 

It's not a surprising fact, I know. But I thought about my mother tongue.
Are there any changes in pronunciation when we speak?

Oh, I know one; the long vowel. 
Some people had asked me; which is correct? ohayo, ohayou, or ohayoo?
Well, if you've already learnt ひらがな, you would find the answer. 

おはよう(Good morning)

If you put these 4 Japanese letters into alphabets, it must be /ohayou/. But actually, it sounds like /ohayo/ or /ohayoo/. 

"o" of よ/yo/ and "u" of う/u/ are the key. 
They connect and become a long vowel. /ou/⇒/oo/

So we often write おはよー in text between close friends.  "" express the long vowel.  "" is the same as it. Does it make sense?

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/iya daaaaaaaaaaaa/



  1. I hear from a lot of people that English is one of the hardest languages because of all our weird rules. That is a really good video, I'll need to find something like that for Japanese.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jose!
      English has many rules, but it's still better that there aren't masculine or feminine gender!:P


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