How to read Japanese? Does pronunciation and speech change? Basic rules

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Anyone who studies Japanese should know that his sounds do not change as in Portuguese, which is full of accents or with the crazy changes of S with the sound of Z, etc. But in fact, Japanese does have a change in reading or pronouncing phonemes depending on the occasion. It is not known for sure whether they are rules or just Japanese custom, since in Japanese there is no tone.

In this article, we are not going to talk about the peculiarities or rules of the Japanese language, like the pronunciation of each hiragana or something like that. Therefore, we recommend having a basic knowledge of Hiragana, Katakana and its pronunciation. Let's talk only about tips and how to read and pronounce phonemes in everyday Japanese. We recorded a video explaining and giving examples of how to read some words that you can see below:

The video does not have much explanation, they are just examples. The audio is not good, but we have already switched the microphone to other videos. In addition to the video, I think it's good to highlight some points related to Japanese pronunciation that can help you when talking or reading. For that we recommend the article particularities of the Japanese language. 

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Checklist of Reading and Pronunciation Rules

  • Each syllable has the same length and strength;
  • The vowel lengthens when: aa / ei / ii / oo / or / uu;
  • The sound of u is usually short;
  • There are differences in accent, region, dialects, etc;
  • Two consonants together prolong the sound of the previous vowel together with it (っ);

Although it is a little complicated to follow these rules, remember that much of this was a natural adaptation in speech, some things just with living together you will be able to have the habit of pronouncing like a Japanese. Do not expect to leave speaking like them, even they have difficulty with English.

Read other articles related to pronunciation: