I'm a recent member and greatly enjoying the course. But I'm a little confused about pronuciations I hear, by native speakers, particularly of certain consonants. Specifically: it seems that g, as in ga, is often pronounced as ng - or even just n. For example, ga = nga or even na; san = sang. Also n seems often to be pronounced as m, as in arimasem. The former occurs mainly with female speakers, the latter with male and female. How do these phonemes sound to Japanese people? My instinct tells me that I probably should NOT emulate these variations, though my goal is to speak with as little American accent as possible. All thoughts appreciated. Frank
October 7, 2008
October 7, 2008
Frank san Konnichiwa! Welcome to Rocket Japanese and we are delighted to hear you are enjoying the course. The Japanese pronunciation is quite tricky. The GA sounding like NGA - is most likely linked to that fact that the native speaker is holding the last sound of the previous word before GA. Like: TabemaseN ga "I don't eat but..." In Japan you will often hear no break between words and particles, just like in English, you join WE and WILL to say "We'll" - a lot of English learners may question...where is the second "w" sound? :D On the second note - the N pronounced as M is sometimes simply because these sounds are quite similar. Ikimasen, Ikimasem, when said out loud seem almost identical. To the native Japanese ear, we hear Ikimasen, Mimasen, Arimasen - and never think...could the last N sound be a M? So you should assume that all these words end with the N sound. If in the transcript, it is written with an N then you should emulate word with an N ending. :D Enjoy mastering Japanese! Tanoshinde kudasai!