February 14, 2008

Bad pronunciation in Japanese, easy to do!

When I hear badly pronounced Japanese its like scraping hearing fingernails scraping against a chalkboard. I have been know to turn red in embarassment for the person committing such an offense. Please if you want to be well liked and a well respected speaker of Japanese then put pronunciation on the priority list thankyou. It would be a whole other article just telling you why bad pronunciation is uncooth. Let it suffice to say that I feel that it is uncooth, uncivilized, uneducated, unnatural and simply irresponsible of a learner of the Japanaese language to neglect this all important aspect of communicating in a second language. Don't worry prounciation tip #4 the vowels will show you how to get started on perfecting your Japanese pronunciation so that you will be the rage of your Japanese sphere of influence.
Japanese pronunciation is probably one of the easier aspects of the language to learn yet it is often neglected. Simply put mimicing native speakers is not always the best way to go about learning pronunciation either. You have to be selective especially in Japanese. Men should never speak similiar or even in like manner if you don't want to be considered an okama! Thats harsh and if you don't know what okama is, look it up in the sanseido waei and if you don't have one go to my site www.jappermon.com there is a link to the sanseido publishing company. There dictionaries are absoluteyly invaluable. So get one if you don't already have one.
If you are going to learn to speak Japanese please try to speak with correct pronunciation. It shows bad manners, and lack of commitment. It also sends a message of disgrace for your native country. It is important also while in Japan to show that you love your country. They are quite accepting of many gaijins in this respect. Especially since you'll usually be the only gaijin within a couple of hundred miles so make your pronunciation count.
One cool thing about Japanese pronunciation is that vowels do not vary as they do in English. They stay straight. English uses the 5 letters a e i o u to make around 20 vowel sounds. You have many elided or dipthongated vowel sounds that Japanese just doesn't have. it is for this reason I find it easier to find the pronunciation of any foreign difficult word like words in the Bible deuteronomythat you'll never figure out or philosophical names and the like, if you read those foreign difficult name type words in Japanese it comes out closer than attempts I have made in english. Actually using both your native tongue and Japanese together you can come up with the pronunciation of any difficult biblical term. Let me give you one example. IN Japanese there are 5 vowels and 5 vowel sounds. That makes things easy to learn. The order is a little different so that might be the first thing to look at. The first 5 syllables in the Japanese syllabary are a i u e and o It has to be said that if you were to gather a Japanese ensemble and make a choir out of them, oh how satisfied the director would be. Because they only use 5 vowels and they are pure. International phonetics could straightway use Japanese for these vowels written in Romaji as a i u e o. These are alos the first