Posted by: felishkulitz | October 6, 2009

Japanese Phonology


A hand-out of a Japanese language learning rad...
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I grew up speaking Tagalog. Tagalog phonology is almost similar to the Japanese one. The only difference are the sounds, shi, chi, tsu, fu (which is slightly different to English /f/ too), za, ji, zu, ze, zo, and the Japanese /r/ sounds which are somewhat a combination of /d/, /l/, and /r/. Also, the combinations such as kya, kyu, kyo and several others.

Good thing, there is this site where a rich collection of vocabulary is under one roof which also have sound clip. I am very happy to use it because I can hear exactly how a native speaker pronounce the words and I can practice it. The site that I am talking about is this. This site not only caters to those studying Japanese but to other languages as well. What’s more, even other vocabularies from different subject matters (aside language) can also be found there.

Back to sounds, although there are quite numerous sounds in Japanese which is absent in Tagalog, we know English and we are trained a bit to imitate English sounds. That is very fortunate in our case. For that reason, most of the other sounds mentioned above is not also a problem. As for the real headache, all the /r/ sounding syllables in Japanese is a serious challenge. I still need to verify but I guess the ra, ri, ru, re, ro are pronounce as la, di, ru, le, lo. It is still my guess so not over reactions, please. Anyway, I have to find a sure answer concerning this. Once I find it our, I would gladly share it here.

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