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Japanese Pronunciation

Do you wish you could pronounce Japanese like a native speaker? Now you can! Rocket Languages has discovered a new way to make Japanese pronunciation easy. Not only that, but you have a ton of free audio lessons here at your fingertips to start improving your Japanese pronunciation right now. Before you start your Rocket Japanese adventure, read on to find out how we’re going to help you master Japanese pronunciation in no time…

Japanese Pronunciation

The Five Vowels

Lucky for you, Japanese pronunciation isn’t difficult. Correct pronunciation of the five vowels is the most important part. As long as you can master these, you’ll be ok!

あ (a)

sounds like "a" as in "art"

い (i)

sounds like"ea" as in "eat"

う (u)

sounds like"oo" as in "food"

え (e)

sounds like"e" as in "bed"

お (o)

sounds like"o" as in "orange"

There are some words that only consist of these vowels. Can you read them?

あい

a-i

love

いえ

i-e

house

うえ

u-e

top, up

あお

a-o

blue

Japanese pronunciation tips

  • Always pronounce Japanese vowels short and clipped.
  • Whenever you see vowels written in rōmaji, always pronounce them the same way.
  • When you see the symbol " ˉ " above a vowel, make it a long sound. For example: sayōnara.

さようなら

Sayōnara

Goodbye

おはよう ございます

Ohayō gozaimasu!

Good morning! (formal)

We explain everything you need to know about Japanese pronunciation in our comprehensive Rocket Japanese Premium course. Let’s get you started with these free audio lessons…

More free Japanese pronunciation lessons

How to pronounce Japanese greetings Do you know how to say hello in Japanese? How about some other useful Japanese greetings? After this free audio lesson for beginners you’ll know more than just Konnichiwa! Asking “How are you?” in JapaneseHow do you ask "How are you?" in Japanese – and how do you reply? This free Japanese audio lesson is essential for your Japanese language survival kit, whether you’re traveling to Japan or getting to know Japanese people closer to home. How to be polite in Japanese After this free Rocket Japanese lesson you’ll be able to say "thank you" in Japanese, "excuse me", "sorry", and use other polite Japanese words and phrases with confidence. How to pronounce numbers in JapaneseThis free audio lesson on counting in Japanese is essential for your Japanese language survival kit! Want to go shopping? Tell someone the address where you’re staying or the number of house you’re visiting? Perhaps you want to know how old someone is, or how many children they have… How to pronounce Japanese travel phrases Don’t leave home without this free audio lesson on Japanese travel phrases! How do you ask 'when' and 'where' in Japanese? How do you ask when the bus leaves or the train arrives? How to order in a Japanese restaurantIf you’re traveling in Japan you’ll definitely be eating out and ordering in Japanese, so don’t miss this free lesson! We’ll teach you the basics you need to know so you don’t go hungry – just listen to the audio and practice saying these Japanese words and phrases aloud. When you’re ready, why not try them out on the staff at a local Japanese restaurant? How to pronounce Japanese salutationsWant to blend in with Japanese speakers? This free audio lesson is full of Japanese salutations you need to know! Just a few minutes with the Rocket Japanese team and you'll have a range of common Japanese expressions to use when socializing with Japanese people. Have fun!

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Sayaka Matsuura Rocket Japanese