I completely disagree. Japanese has words that are spelled the same but have different meanings because of different stresses of characters/syllables.
Originally Posted by Patatas Bravas
For example, "ame" can mean both candy and rain. If you stress the "a" character, it's rain. If you stress the "me" character, it's candy. Similarly, "kumo" can mean cloud or spider. Stress the first character, and it's cloud; stress the second and it's spider.
i agree with mhlee's last post
i was only stressing the need to pronounce certain words with silent or almost silent vowels to just not sound strange when speaking to a native japanese speaker. if one were to pronounce every single syllable as it was written and not as it would normally pronounced by a native speaker. i think it might come off as strange to them.
i wouldn't know though as i've only spoken only to a few native speakers of nihonggo. they've never told me that i spoke with an odd accent, only that my nihonggo wasn't perfect.
i think we've gone way off topic now. lol. from a simple query to whatever this is.
Well it looks like im buying dinner...
What about "suke" and "suki"? In the Japanese shows I've watched with sub-titles, I've never heard them pronounced "soo-keh" or "soo-kee", it's always shortened "skeh" or "skay" or "ski".
Here's Murray again;
Did you watch the whole video? Even Murray says he's reminded by his wife to say "Ho-ne-su-ki" and make sure to pronounce the "u" in "su", not "ho-ne-ski" which is how he says it and is incorrect.
Originally Posted by mpukas
It's not "skeh" or "skay" like "skeletal" or "ski", respectively. It's not "ko-no-ske" or "ho-ne-ski." "Su-ke" and "su-ki" are each two syllables first of all, and second of all, even if the "u" is not audible, you'll hear that it is two syllables. What specific words have you heard in your Japanese shows with subtitles? Names, places? Have you actually heard people talk about knives in the shows? The suffix "su-ke" is somewhat common in names, e.g., Konosuke, Daisuke (Matsuzaka). In "Daisuke," the "su" is rather clearly pronounced. "Suki" is both a prefix and a suffix in words in Japanese. Would you pronounce "Sukiyaki" "ski-yaki"? No.
You're taking sample of the language and trying to apply it universally. (Which is, ironically, one of the biggest problems of Japanese people learning English; there are so few universal rules that apply to the English language, unlike Japanese, that Japanese people often times have trouble pronouncing words in English because Japanese is based on a phonetic alphabet and if you say every letter, you will be able to enunciate the word, unlike English, e.g., "the" vs. "their" vs. "them" vs. "thermometer," which all start with "the" but all sound different.)
Please, guys there is an International Phonetic Alphabet - since some 120 years. It gives an objective registration of the phonemes, and allows exchange of information between people of different backgrounds. If someone asks me how you pronounce "Thiers-Issard" I don't have to ask myself if he lives in England or in Texas, Sakai or Solingen. [tyerisa:r], that's all, and my interlocutor may look up for the local equivalent of some sound.
Sure good idea. You can pronounce the Japanese vowels you see written as a,e,i, o,u as these sounds /ɑ, eɪ, i:, oʊ, u:/ There are just 5.
Originally Posted by Benuser
Yes, I understand it's important for sounding really good. However, I'm just saying that for knife people who can't pronounce any Japanese it's not important to worry about 'stresses' or disappearing 'u's as this won't have much effect. Same with English - maybe you say 'I'm' usually but if a different speaker says 'I am' everybody understands, and the second is just more literal but not so natural. However, if you pronounce gyuto like many English speakers do as 'gEE-you-toe' it is different from 'gyou-toe' (/gju:toʊ/) with a new sound (/i:/); or if you say Takeda as 'tah-KEY-dah' not the correct 'tah-kay-dah' (/ta:keɪda:/) you have changed one sound, saying 'ee' (/i:/) not the correct 'ay/eh' (/eɪ/). In both examples the mispronunciation is quite different.
Originally Posted by mhlee
Yes, I agree. To pronounce things really well, it is difficult to predict some of the stresses. But to do a pretty good job with Japanese pronunciation is easy if you can read the word and know the 5 basic vowel sounds.
Originally Posted by mhlee
English is more difficult with pronunciation, yes, but still rules usually do apply. English spelling is still 70% phonetic - so still the majority. Your example 'the, their, them and thermometer' has 4 words starting with 'th' but it is not true they are all different as there are only 2 'th' sounds in English, /ð/ which is voiced and /θ/ which is voiceless. So actually 'the, their, them' all start with the same voiced /ð/ sound and 'thermometer' starts with the voiceless /θ/.
I know this is serious, well kinda anyway - but puhleeze excuse my having a giggle.
'Let's Call The Whole Thing Off' by Louis Armstrong
. . . You say eether and I say eyether,
You say neether and I say nyther,
Eether, eyether, neether,nyther,
Let's call the whole thing off!
You like potato and I like pohtato,
You like tomato and I like tomahto,
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
Let's call the whole thing off!
. . .
You're right. There aren't four different sounds, but there are three. I pointed out words starting with "the", not just "th". And there are three different "the" sounds there. And yes, English is mostly phonetic, but the differences between pronunciation spelled words in English vs. Japanese is significant. The sounds simply don't change in Japanese. And you can spell it with near certainty if you can sound it out properly.
This is hilarious. You're getting into the minutia of English grammar and criticizing my example, but you refuse to acknowledge that you are completely wrong about how "Japanese has no natural stresses of syllables . . . ." That is complete misinformation. You completely ignored my example about how two words spelled the same have completely different meanings when pronounced differently.
You're basically taking contradictory positions in my opinion. One, you're saying it's okay to drop the "u"s and then later, you're saying read the word. Well dropping the "u" or other vowels is not saying the entire word as written.
Furthermore, by omitting a vowel may also completely change the word - again, not just how it sounds, but what you're trying to communicate. Like "muryo" and "muri." They both have "むり" to start. You take out the "o" from "muryo" which means "free", you say "unreasonable" or "forced." It's not important for "sounding good," it's necessary in order to not say the wrong word. "Mazui" vs. "mazu." The more I think about this, the more examples I find.
And here's a perfect example: Go say "anata" or "anta" to knifemaker, chef, or, hell, for that matter, a person at a counter. Let's see how that goes over. First of all, "anata" is generally not even proper unless it's between family, loved ones, partner/spouse, or super close friend. "Anta" without an obvious "na" sound? That's demeaning and condescending.
If you're going to pronounce Japanese words, you're much better off saying every syllable rather than cutting off vowels arbitrarily. (I'm not even going to get into learning Japanese from TV programs. People who think that's how everyday Japanese speak will likely have a rough experience speaking that way in Japan because the language is generally too casual or impolite for daily conversation outside of friends. And there's a level of casualness of speaking in the manner you describe which is, most certainly, not appropriate in certain settings. And as a first time visitor anywhere, you almost never start a conversation in too casual of a manner. If you're going to meet a knifemaker, which some members may eventually choose to do, it would be completely inappropriate to speak casually to them. And basically, what you're saying, is that this is okay. It's absolutely NOT okay to meet someone for the first time and speak to them in a casual manner.)
The people who have posted in this thread are asking if it's proper to pronounce words or terms that don't have certain vowels, etc. Sure, I guess they can, but as I've repeatedly posted, it's not correct. They can speak Japanese however they want for all I care.
But having spoken Japanese for nearly my entire life, studied Japanese for at least twelve years, traveled to Japan on numerous occasions and gone to school there twice for a total of five months, I can tell you, with a good amount of certainty, that the generalizations and rules, especially about no natural stresses or syllables, is completely wrong, and your approval of cutting out vowels is certainly not okay. You're spreading misinformation. How long have you studied Japanese?
And your comment, "To pronounce things really well, it is difficult to predict some of the stresses." It is difficult to the beginner, but not difficult to predict if you learn by listening, speaking and studying. And, frankly, that's what differentiates a good Japanese speaker from a novice.
For people here who are interested in really learning Japanese or about Japan or Japanese knives, they should read the alphabet and pronounce words saying every syllable first and not have disappearing "u"s in their pronunciation. FWIW, if you say "Takeda as 'tah-KEY-dah'" nobody is going to know what you're talking about because the closest thing to that is "たきだ" not "たけだ." That's a completely different word if pronounced the way you wrote.
Yes, I did watch the entire video. That's why I asked the question.
Originally Posted by mhlee
I understand what Murray says about pronouncing the "u" sound and not condensing it to "ski". As in your example of Daisuke, I hear the name of a competitor on Ninja Warrior pronounced as "Die-skay" from both the Japanese presenter and the American announcer (and it's sub-titled hence where I pick up the spelling and pronunciation difference); and I've heard on other TV shows, videos, etc. that same sort of condensing. I fact I hear that more often than I hear that I hear the full pronunciation of "u".
You can hear Morimoto say kirit-skeh;
Are you gonna say he's not pronouncing the name of the knife corretly?
I'm just trying to understand the proper/correct way of saying it, because I hear it pronounced differently. I also get what you are saying about TV/videos not being accurate/correct/appropriate for every day conversation. And, I think your advice to pronounce every syllable is good.