Beginner Japanese: Pronunciation, Accents, and Intonation | Mikiko Koike | Skillshare

Beginner Japanese: Pronunciation, Accents, and Intonation

Mikiko Koike, Japanese/English Teacher and Translator

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17 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. HIRAGANA

    • 3. 5 Vowels

    • 4. Ka Column

    • 5. Sa Column

    • 6. Ta to Ma Column

    • 7. Ya Column to Nn

    • 8. Muddied Sounds

    • 9. Nasal Consonant

    • 10. P-Sound

    • 11. Small Ya Yu Yo

    • 12. Small Tsu

    • 13. Long Vowels

    • 14. Whispered Vowels

    • 15. Pitch Accent

    • 16. Intonation

    • 17. Conclusion

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About This Class


This is the preparatory course for upcoming grammar lessons for the beginners.

If you are already familiar with Hiragana, you can review your pronunciation with this course.

If you are now practicing Hiragana, then this course will help you understand the bigger picture.

If you have not studied Hiragana and would like to take the grammar lessons, please don’t worry. The course will be in Hiragana and romanized Japanese and you are going to learn how to read them with this course.

You will learn

  • pronunciation of all 46 Hiragana characters,
  • 5 Vowels,
  • Muddied sounds,
  • P-sounds,
  • Small "tsu"
  • Long vowels,
  • Whispered vowels, and so on.


1. Introduction: welcome. Everyone Call needs you up. Which Gardez? In this video, I'm going to teach you Japanese pronunciation The fastest and easiest way this course will begin by teaching all 46 Here are gonna pronunciation, including some tips to pronounce that difficult. Characters then will study additional sounds such as long vowels. Next will on Japanese accent and intonation. The's pronounced Asian points will be the foundation of your Japanese grandma study So let's get started. 2. HIRAGANA: as you know, Japanese consists of two script both referred to as Khanna. Here are gonna and wanna both scripts depict the same set of sounds Chinese characters called kanji are also used in Japanese writing So in a sentence they look like this But that's you at cooties Sudeste meaning I'm Chris among these three script here are gonna is the basic phonetic script It represents every sound in the Japanese language you can write anything in here are gonna here are gonna consists of 46 characters five of thes are vowels Japanese language is based on these vowels The rest of the characters are made of one continent plus one vowel except for it is a special character that does not have a vowel sound So to recap here are gonna consists of five vows faulty continent plus vowel sounds and 3. 5 Vowels: Now let's praxis the Japanese vowels. That first vowel is Ah, it sounds like Aw, as in Father Repeat after me. Uh uh, e sounds like e as in seat, but shorter E e ooh, sounds like ooh as in spoon personal lips as if you are going to whistle. Uh, it sounds like it as in step and ah oh, sounds like oh, as a rope round your lips As if you're surprised Oh, oh, You can create Japanese worst Using Onley develops, for example I means love I I yeah means house yet yet owl means blue Oh oh! 4. Ka Column: Now let's move on to the rest of the heat. Agana sounds as I mentioned. Except for I e Oh, and Hagatna is made of one continent class one vowel, for example. Kat Key Could Can't call consists of Japanese continents together with the vowels. Uh, e good it Oh, respectively, Let's practice. As you can see for each kid, are gonna I add it? Similar sounds in English. They're not the exact sounds but will help you pronounce at the beginning. Repeat after me. Cut key Could call. Let's do a word exercise. The 1st 1 is cocky. Cockeyed means persimmon. Keep cocky. The 2nd 1 is key. Could Kiku is to listen. He could he could. The last one Coke, it means most called Get called Get 5. Sa Column: stop. Call them. She suit said so before we move on to the pronounced Asian practice. Please note that these three here are gonna characters. She t two written as s h I T c h I t t s u two in Roman letters in order to much the way that western continent system works. Repeat after me sat see suit said So let's do a word Exercise Soucy means 60 Soucy Soucy. See so Japanese herb she so see so by the way, in Japanese cooking knowing Sashi says say so is very important. Why? Because there are five basic seasonings used in Japanese cooking. Sat stands for Seattle, which is sugar she stands for See your, which is salt suit is for vinegar, as in sushi vinegar set is for sale You the old name for show you soy sauce. So is for missile as in miso soup, Sassy Sue says so is said to be the proper order in which these basic seasonings should be added while cooking 6. Ta to Ma Column: Now let's move on to Teoh. Repeat after me. Uh t that. Don't that t that Don't Let's do a word exercise. That's it. That's the east. Do stand up. That's it. That's it. Told t Toti means land. Lt lt Next. Not me. New net. No! Repeat after me. Not me. New net. No, not me. New net. No, let's do a word. Exercise 90 90 means what 90 non e Neco Niko means cat Neco Neco now Ha! He who? Hey, Hope repeat after me, huh? He hood hat ho, huh? He who hat ho HAC HAC means chopsticks HAC HAC He food She food means skin. He who? He who? Ma me move Met more. Repeat after me me man met Mom. Me met Mom. Mom it My mitt means being my men. My men name Oh, name Oh means memo Mammal, mammal 7. Ya Column to Nn: there are Onley three characters in yeah column. Yeah, You your now repeat. Yeah. You Your Yeah, you your yeah, Yarmuk means mountain. Yeah, yeah. You cut, You cut means floor, You cut, you cut, You're do Yo do means night Your do your do now, laddie, Do they know for many English speakers, Daddy do They don't seem to be the most difficult characters to pronounce. These characters aren't pronounced using the English or sound at all. The tongue lightly taps the same place When it does when you pronounce the sound Please don't roll your tongue Let's practice that Lee dude, Let no, that me dude, Let no, that could. Lakud means easy lab coat, Black deka Dica means science. Deka Deka Okay, three more characters. What? Well, to pronounce What? You're going to purse your lips and then quickly move them into the shape of the vowel. Ah, wow. Wow. Well, to pronounce well, you're going to purse your lips like the phonetic woo sound and then quickly moved them into the shape of the vowel. Oh, well, well, please note that Well is also said as o, uh, runny money means crocodile money. What? I need was she glossy means eagle. What I see we'll see. Wall is never used in a word. It is only used as a particle. Uh, as I mentioned that last hit Agana character does not have a vowel sound to pronounce Close your lips and make a sound by allowing the air to pass out through your nose. Repeat after me, but ah, home Home means Book Home, home 8. Muddied Sounds: Wow, you went through 0 46 heat again. A sounds from here. We'll take a look at some additional sounds. Muddied sounds with these double cold Asian mark looking accents. The cop sad pat Hot columns form slightly different sounds. Let's take a look. Cocky cookie becomes God Gate. Good. Get go now. Repeat. Got de good. Get go. Got G Good. Yeah. Go sassy Sue says so becomes that that so? Now repeat that de that. Still that de is it? Don't Patchett's detto becomes that de the though. Now repeat that deep the they though, that deep the they though how he who had hoped becomes but be, but that. But now repeat that be the that. But that be the that. But please note that G and G pronounced the same. And do you also have the same sound? 9. Nasal Consonant: nasal consonant. We learned the doggy Googie, go for Nancy Asian earlier. However, depending on the words and sentence, Googie, Googie go is pronounced as no Ni No. Yeah, no. Let's take a look at the examples. God, God! Guy e coats it guy go to means skeleton. No, no, Hang on it. Can you hear the difference? Let's practice. God. God! Guy e codes. No, no, man on it, De Okay. Ginkgo ginko means bank. Yeah, me owning et own e g means rice ball. Let's practice d de ginkgo me. Me owning et good goon that good? That means work gloves. More good. Well knew that means small good, good goon. Yeah. Mang good at did Yankees Fine yet matzo. And yet eyelash get day gang will keep. Okay. Yeah. Matsunaga. Go, girl, go home. Go. Ham means rice. No, no sighing. All no means last. Go, go, Go home. No, No sighing. All 10. P-Sound: p sound with the small circle accents hockey who had hoped becomes poppy. Good people. Now, repeat. Uh, Pete. Good pent. Well, uh, be could that I thought. 11. Small Ya Yu Yo: that small? Yeah. You Your the small Yeah, you You're full o after every character with an e sound. Except for e itself. Let's practice T cap cute till so Teoh. So, mate Yeah, Newt No Hit. Yeah. Huge. He'll me. Yeah, Mute meal big. Yeah. Do you deal? D d b p Also in e column. So with the small Yeah, you your de get get de do you be? Yeah, Butte, I feel pig. Yeah, Beauty bill. Here are comparisons between the regular Yeah, you your worse and the small Yeah, you your ones The left word is he could means leap be at Could he? Yeah. Now the right one is Yakoub means 100 Yakoub Shokoofi. Do you see the difference? The left one He Yeah, the right one. She could Okay, the next example That left word is g u do you means freedom. G u dio the right one. Jute means 10. Dude, do the left word. Do you the right Do 12. Small Tsu: that small too. Before we get into the small to sounds, you need to understand what the Mora is. What is the Maura Mora is unit of timing A beat. It takes one beat to say one. Here, a gun, a character, for example. If you want to say eating or which is written with three characters, it takes three beats. E t know e t know. Okay, let's go back and take a look at the difference between these two. Ours the left one. Is he at? He had. Could takes three beats. He? Yeah, Coop, the right one is Shokoofi. It takes two beats. Yeah, I could He? Yeah. Could? Yeah. Could do you see the difference? Okay. Finally, the small to sound. That small too, is one more at long. Let's take a look at the examples. They're lift word or is written with two characters. It takes two beats. Oh, so Oh, so with small tube between O and tow, it becomes Oh, so Oh, the oh, don't take say beads. They left. Oh, the right. Oh, though now the left word Sokha is written with two characters. It takes two beats. Sad Got Sacha with small too between PSA In CA it becomes suck. Got stop That takes yes, three beats. They're left stock up the right. Sugg got 13. Long Vowels: long fells Great work You're almost done in this section will go over the long vowel sound The five vowels we learned earlier can be doubled in lengths to two beats to form long vowels Let's practice a long vowel sounds oba some oba some means grandmother Oba some Oh Basan Ozy Stan Ozy Some means grandfather Org Sam Ozy Son he called key. He Cokie means plane. He go ke he called t a means yes, the meaning of the word changes according to the length of its vowels Let's take a look That left word is Oh, Bassam. Oh, Bassam means hunt. It is written with fours. It takes four beats. Oh, bus. Um Oh. Bus Um the right word. Oh, Basan, it takes five beats. Oh, bas um Cuba. Cem the next one The lift word it it takes one beat. It means Victor. It the right word. It it takes two beats and means yes. Yeah, 14. Whispered Vowels: whispered vowels that Vettel's eat and often left off in spoken Japanese. This happens when these sounds fall between voiceless continents. Let me give you an example. So keep so keep means like that is between two voiceless confidence. And so the word is pronounced as skate not suit gate. Also that final vowel who as in this end must is also left off. For example, Ohio goes I must not Ohio goes I, Massoud, Ohio goes, I must Ohio goes. I must so to say I like an image. Please say Anemona Skeetacus a naming a ski tous. This is the end of Japanese pronunciation. In the last section, I will teach your Japanese accents and intonation. 15. Pitch Accent: beach accent. Japanese language has a pitch. Accent. What does that mean? That means some more us. In a word, I pronounced high and others low. Here are the basic rules Rule number one that first to Morris must have different pitches. For example, Dingell means apple. As you can see, the is pronounced low. So the next Mora, which is who is pronounced Hi being go being go The next example. They mom here Let is pronounced high. So the next Mora more is low. Their mom Les Mom. The third word. Ni Hunger. Japanese language. It's a same as the first example. Rule number two. There can be only one peak of pitch in a word. Once the pitch goes down, it never rises again. So for me, come, Mika means orange. The beginning off Mora meet is at the peak of Bitch. Me come and the Pete's drops after and never rises again. Meet gun me con. It is the same as the next word. Pankey, Thank G means whether Tang teeth thanki. So according to these two rules, there are mainly three types of accents. Type number one by non that by nine that number two e teeing off heating up, and number three Tamargo Tamargo 16. Intonation: Internation. Okay, The last section is about Internation. There are three patterns of Internation in Japanese Flat rising and falling. Let me give you some examples. The 1st 1 is flat. Please listen Georgia, the more that still Kylie Mony Kiemas I'm going shopping with a friend of mine today. You're, uh the more that still Kylie Mony Kiemas Okay, the next one is rising. Please listen on that demo is Sony Chema Zdenka Would you like to come? Questions are pronounced with a rising intonation on that them all is Shoni Team Asanka Okay, the last one falling Ah, falling intonation can express agreement disappointment and so on. Please listen Eat, isn't it? That sounds good e this net That's it for the Japanese peach accent and intonation. Listen 17. Conclusion: Congratulations on completing the course. I'm very proud that you've completed the entire course. I hope you've gotten a lot out of it as a class project. Please find some Japanese wars of particular pronunciation and cost them. Please find the details in class Project section. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'll be uploading the grandma lessons for the beginners in the upcoming month. So again, congratulations and season.