Forum Rocket Japanese Japanese Vocab Pronunciation of certain words ending with a u

Pronunciation of certain words ending with a u

JamesS53

In lesson 1.9 I've noticed that different recordings pronounce the same word differently, specifically words that end with a silent u.

For example, the word hanashimasu is initially pronounced with the u being silent, but a later recording has the word being spoken with the u sound at the end being fully enunciated. I don't understand why this is.

ClaudiaR13

I have wondered about that very same thing.  I can't wait to see the answer.

Crystal-Rocket-Japanese-Tutor

Hi everyone!

Generally, the "u" sound, when paired with a consonant, like "su" or "ku", becomes almost silent and turns into a "s" or "k" sound respectively in the examples.

The "u" sound on its own is usually enunciated, like「うさぎ」, although sometimes it might become lost if the speaker is speaking quite quickly.

There is no rule against fully pronouncing the the "u" sound, but since Japanese people usually speak quite quickly, the "u" sound usually ends up almost silent.

I hope that helps, and please don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions.
がんばって ください!

Crystal

ClaudiaR13

So, Crystal, does that mean then, we can say the u sound at the end of verbs or not, as we choose?

Crystal-Rocket-Japanese-Tutor

Hi ClaudiaR13さん!

Yes, you can choose to say the "u" sound, or not, at the end of verbs. Generally, though, it sounds more natural not to, unless you are using it for emphasis.

I hope that helps, and please don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions.
がんばって ください!

Crystal

ClaudiaR13

Thanks, Crystal, that does help a lot.  I'd been wondering about that for a long time.

Crystal-Rocket-Japanese-Tutor

No problem, glad that I could help! :)

Crystal

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Japanese trial here .