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Still confused - おう/お


3 Jan 2004
I've been looking at some of the threads I missed and noticed one I found interesting. It was: Romaji - A plague? | Japan Forum

I read how you guys have seen people who don't pronounce おう different from お. Well I noticed I don't really change at all and I would like to fix this problem but I don't really understand what the difference SHOULD be. If someone could clear this up or maybe point me to a site with sound files that show this I would greatly appreciate it.
For me, solving pronounciation problems is an issue of practice and familiarity of use, esp. with an ear towards cadence. An extra うserves to slightly lengthen the "o" sound (though sometimes the "u" sound makes an appearance). Even native speakers drop う's from time to time, because everyone knows they are there or they are speaking really fast. On top of those troubles you have regional dialects and other linguistic variations.

You are right, sound files will help and someone else probably have a resource for you. Good luck and keep at the language!
Originally posted by Mandylion
An extra うserves to slightly lengthen the "o" sound (though sometimes the "u" sound makes an appearAnce).
If it only slightly lengthens the sound of the "o" then what is this big difference everyone is talking about? Thats what I thought too but that's not even a big difference and with everyone talking slightly different some people could not even say the difference. I mean what you say for お could be what someone who talks fast says for おう, right?
generally you can get the idea from the context of the sentence but some like ojiisan and ojisan get a bit tricky, and you just lengthen it. The ou/o difference is pronouced the same as oo in ookii (sorry, lazy, no kana today), oki having a different meaning (every other or off from i think). If you wanted to get picky you make a slight u sound in the ou, but just making a long o- noise will suffice
Thank you that was helpful. I am new and I am currently teaching myself so I wasn't sure if I was prounouncing these right.
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