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Help on 'to' and 're' prounounciations!

candypop

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1 Nov 2003
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I was wondering if you guys could help me:

Is the 't'in Japanese, such as 'to' prounounced as 'do' in all of the words?

And is the 'r' in Japanese, such as 're' prounounced as if saying 'le'? eg. Is 'kore' prounounced as 'ko le'?

I know for sure that watashi, is pronounced as 'wadashi', also 'kirei' (pretty) is prounouced as 'ki le ii'

I hope that you'll understand me, as i don't know how to make myself any clearer.

🙂
 
Originally posted by candypop
I was wondering if you guys could help me:

Is the 't'in Japanese, such as 'to' prounounced as 'do' in all of the words?

And is the 'r' in Japanese, such as 're' prounounced as if saying 'le'? eg. Is 'kore' prounounced as 'ko le'?

I know for sure that watashi, is pronounced as 'wadashi', also 'kirei' (pretty) is prounouced as 'ki le ii'
Actually watashi is wah-tah-shee. And the Japanese "re" is formed something like the English "de" with the tongue tip lightly touching the back roof of your mouth but comes out more of cross between an English "le" and a rolled "re" sound, closer to an "l" but still nothing like you find in English.
 
I know what you're getting at, but you're hearing it a little off. The "t" in Japanese isn't a "d" or, really, an English "t" either. The tongue starts out touching the backs of the front two top teeth, then comes down. It's almost "t", but has less aspiration. "D" is the same way, but retains the same difference in sound that the English "t" and "d" have.

Elizabeth is completely correct on the "r" though, and I've always had some trouble with it at the beginning of words (and sometimes at the end).
 
It's simply best to listen to tapes or videos rather than second-hand information. Pronunciation and accent need not be the biggest concern for a beginner, but you will need to error on the side of an English sounding "t," for instance, as opposed to "d" which would sound very garbled even non understandable in many cases. :)
 
One piece of unsolicited advice:

"Ga" is almost always pronounced "nga" (no hard "g" sound) if it's within a word or as a particle (think "ari'nga'tou"). There's always a hard "g" sound at the beginning of a word though ("gozaimasu" being a good example).

I just say this because I myself didn't pick up on it at first. Heads up. ;)
 
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