Learn Japanese - Pronunciation

Before reading other articles, you should try to understand Japanese pronunciation. This is because all the Japanese texts are written in « romaji » (western alphabet) and not in the original Japanese system (the kanji, which are numerous and complex even for the advanced learners).

So here you’ll find a way to find the good pronunciation reading the text in romaji, and we will present the Japanese alphabets.

Aa = long « a »

Ii = long « i »

Ai =  « Aï », like in samouraï.

But for words like Kawaii, you should pronunce : Ka wa ii (long i)

Ee = long « e »

Oo = long « o »

Ou = A « o » going down

Au = « Aou »

Ei = ey or like in « sake »

Oi = oï

J- = dj- (for ex : Ju = dju)

Sh- = like in « shoes »

Ch- = Tch- (for ex : Cho = Tcho)

-cch- = t’tch- (for ex : Icchi = it’tchi)

-kk = -k’k- (for ex : Hakkiri = Hak’kiri)

-pp- = -p’p- (for ex : teppen = tep’pen)

-ss- = -s’s- (for ex : massugu = mas’sugu)

-tt- = -t’t- (for ex : totte = tot’te)

There are 2 special cases :

If you might say « Watashi wa », you will write it « Watashi ha ».

The same way : you will say « niku ho taberu » but it will be written « niku wo taberu ».

There is three alphabet in Japan. The kanji, the hiragana and the katakana.

Here are the hiragana, which are used to write Japanese words (which may already have a kanji for it, or not)

 

a

i

u

e

o

 

a

‚¢

i

‚¤

u

‚¦

e

‚¨

O

k

‚©

ka

‚«

ki

‚­

ku

‚¯

ke

‚±

ko

s

‚³

sa

‚µ

shi

‚·

su

‚¹

se

‚»

so

t

‚½

ta

‚¿

chi

‚Â

tsu

‚Ä

te

‚Æ

to

n

‚È

na

‚É

ni

‚Ê

nu

‚Ë

ne

‚Ì

no

h

‚Í

ha

‚Ð

hi

‚Ó

fu

‚Ö

he

‚Ù

ho

m

‚Ü

ma

‚Ý

mi

‚Þ

mu

‚ß

me

‚à

mo

y

‚â

ya

 

‚ä

yu

 

‚æ

yo

r

‚ç

ra

‚è

ri

‚é

ru

‚ê

re

‚ë

ro

w

‚í

wa

 

 

 

‚ð

wo / o

n

‚ñ

n

 

 

 

 

 

a

i

U

e

O

g

‚ª

ga

‚¬

gi

‚®

Gu

‚°

ge

‚²

Go

z

‚´

za

‚¶

ji

‚¸

zu

‚º

ze

‚¼

zo

d

‚¾

da

‚À

ji

‚Ã

zu

‚Å

de

‚Ç

do

b

‚Î

ba

‚Ñ

bi

‚Ô

bu

‚×

be

‚Ú

bo

p

‚Ï

pa

‚Ò

pi

‚Õ

pu

‚Ø

pe

‚Û

po

The katakana are mostly used to write foreign words, or Japanese words made up from a foreign word : for exemple : ƒP-ƒLwhich reads : Keeki, and is the Japanese English for « Cake ». Katakana are usually more difficult to learn than the hiragana.

 

a

i

u

e

o

 

ƒA

a

ƒC

i

ƒE

u

ƒG

e

ƒI

o

k

ƒJ

ka

ƒL

ki

ƒN

ku

ƒP

ke

ƒR

ko

s

ƒT

sa

ƒV

shi

ƒX

su

ƒZ

se

ƒ\

so

t

ƒ^

ta

ƒ`

chi

ƒc

tsu

ƒe

te

ƒg

to

n

ƒi

na

ƒj

ni

ƒk

nu

ƒl

ne

ƒm

no

h

ƒn

ha

ƒq

hi

ƒt

fu

ƒw

he

ƒz

ho

m

ƒ}

ma

ƒ~

mi

ƒ€

mu

ƒ

me

ƒ‚

mo

y

ƒ„

ya

 

Ġ

yu

 

ƒˆ

yo

r

ƒ‰

ra

ƒŠ

ri

ƒ‹

ru

ƒŒ

re

ƒ

ro

w

ƒ

wa

 

 

 

ƒ’

wo / o

n

ƒ“

n

 

 

 

 

 

a

i

u

e

o

g

ƒK

ga

ƒM

gi

ƒO

gu

ƒQ

ge

ƒS

go

z

ƒU

za

ƒW

ji

ƒY

zu

ƒ[

ze

ƒ]

zo

d

ƒ_

da

ƒa

ji

ƒd

zu

ƒf

de

ƒh

do

b

ƒo

ba

ƒr

bi

ƒu

bu

ƒx

be

ƒ{

bo

p

ƒp

pa

ƒs

pi

ƒv

pu

ƒy

pe

ƒ|

po