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do or doh?


13 May 2002
Not particularly important but I was wondering if any other long term J-addicts have stories about prononciation probs for Japanese students studying English. Here's one which has always baffled me...

I'm sure you're all aware of the Japanese penchant for placing vowels on the end of words, usually to the extant that they just aren't capable of correcting it. Kaado, Smiru. Just a couple of examples (Card, Smile) ((I HATE Romaji!!!)

Anyway I once worked in Japan with a man named Ricardo. For the life of me we could not seem to get students to pronounce the 'o'. Funny in that completely frustrating way because two minutes later they'd be adding it to other words...

Strange world:confused:
Note that Japanese say "Guch" for Gucci, without pronoucing the last "i". The same happens with lots of foreign words. They always seem to mistake ; add a vowel when they shouldn't and don't say it when it's needed.
Absolutely! I had this running thing going where I would tell my students to do the opposite of whatever they were going to do!:)
Definitetely doh. Sorry, couldn't resist...


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maciamo ... you've been hanging out in roppongi too much. :p
hmmm, no wonder you posted about enjo kousai .... 👏

Seriously though, I've only heard "Gu-chi".

I bet most of the trouble comes from having vowel-constant characters and bad pronuciation picked up from the missionaries and sailors who first came close to 300 years ago.
yumisan told me that one reason they tend to drop letters and vowels from foreign words, so they can distiguish the difference and also to keep their language more pure.

That is what her dad said.
Hey, I almost never go to Roppongi. This is the only place I don't like in Tokyo.

For the Enjo Kosai, that's probably more in Ginza (where the young babes spent their easily gotten money), Shinjuku (Kabukicho, above all) or Shibuya (no wonder it's full of love hotel)that you'll see it.
@ keeping language pure
hmm ... well, they're not trying like that French are ... I'll check on this with [kokugo] (Japanese teachers) I know. Maybe miyuki here might know too??

@ enjo kousai
hehe, fashion wise Shibuya is the place for me. I'll stay away from kabukicho since I have a friend who works in 2 chome. :) Great guy but still, not my style.

The girls probably stick close to their offices.
We understand foreign words in katakana.
When I hear 'Gucci,' it reminds me katakana words-'グッチ(Gu-tti).’
For us, it is not easy to pronounce 'tti' sound.
Sometimes it is pronounced only in our mouth.
So you heard it differently,I guess.

When I learned how to teach Japanese to foreign people,our teacher said,'You have to correct their English to Japanese katakana sounds so that other Japanese can understand it.'
For example,'calender' is 'カレンダー (ca-le-n-daa).'
As Japanese accent is not stress one, you may hear so different.
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"they tend to drop letters and vowels from foreign words..."

Ricardo-san...should we pronounce his name 'リッカルドウ (ri-kkaru-dou)さん’?OK!I will.
On writting katakana,リッカルドウ is not usual.
We may write 'リッカルドー(ri-kkaru-doo).’
But you feel 'doo' and 'dou' is different....

ギョエテ(by Ogai Mori,Meiji)、ゲーテ=Goethe
ヴィヲロン(by Bin Ueda,Meiji)、バイオリン、ヴァイオリン=violin
In Meiji period,people wrote English in katakana as they'd heard.
As a result, we have different katakana words with one English.
Now Monbukagaku-Syo shows the guideline.

We incline to understand English in katakana.→It brings us different pronounciations!

When you'll teach English to Japanese students,please advise them(include meeee) to hear your prononciations carefully
and believe their ears but katakana.

*ギョエテとは おれのことか と ゲーテ いい (川柳)*
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