Forum Rocket Japanese Japanese Vocab あい、あえ、おう Difficulties

あい、あえ、おう Difficulties


I'm having a really hard time figuring out if a word ends with い or え when it's preceded by an あ sound, なまえ for example sounds like なまい to me. I also can't tell when an お sound is supposed to be lengthened with a う. Is this something that gets easier to decipher over time or is it just a trial and error kind of thing?


I think you may be having this problem because Japanese vowels sound so different to english ones.  Have you done lesson 1.10 yet?  I in Japanese sounds much more like you would say e in aeiou in English - whereas e doesn't!  


I already had a pretty good grasp of hiragana and katakana before starting these lessons. It's just that when I hear the あい and あえ sounds without seeing how they're spelled they sound the same to me. い and え when combined with other syllables are easy to tell apart but あい and あえ sound the same. Also I can't tell when an お is supposed to sound protracted with the う when I hear a word without seeing it spelled. I guess because as an English speaker most vowels are protracted. 


Hi haneybd87さん,

This is something that does come with time and practice. Keep at it and I'm sure you will be able to decipher between them in no time!

がんばって ください!



I use a Headset when learning as it does mean i can focus on the sounds better.

With regards to the extra う sound, you do need to listen carefully as it gets tagged on and can be hard to distinguish. As you work through the course you'll learn which words are commonly extended such as yuumei ゆうめい.

I use the App so i can listen to audio tapes while cooking or walking places rather than music.

Cheers :)

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