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歌います and 歌えます

xminus1

Sempai
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Hello!

Is there much of a sound distinction between 歌ます and 歌ます? I've attached an audio clip in which this sentence is spoken:

ピアノを弾きながら歌えますか。​

To my ears the speaker could just as well be saying 歌います. Do native speakers hear a difference?

Thanks!
 

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Toritoribe

松葉解禁
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That's clearly 歌ますか. Probably your mishearing is from the difference in pronunciation of "i" between in English and Japanese. For instance, I felt "if" was closer to エフ in my school days.
 

xminus1

Sempai
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Thank you, Toritoribe-san! 🙏 You gave me a good analogy to keep in mind, too!
 

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