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Thread: Japanese speakers, clear this up

  1. #1
    4: [Classified brah] Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris's Avatar
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    Default Japanese speakers, clear this up

    How do you pronounce Fukushima?

    I hear newscasters pronouncing it in all sorts of ways.

    FuKUshima, FukSHIma, FukuSHIma, etc.

    It's the volcano in Iceland that nobody could pronounce all over again.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    ふ (fu) く (ku) し (shi) ま (ma)

    The cool thing about Japanese, is that there's very little in the way of ambiguity in the dialect, because each of the kana are really only pronounced the one way.

    ^by Hakuchuumu^

    ^Xey Oiz^

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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    0:06

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  4. #4
    4: [Classified brah] Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    FukSHIma, then.

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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    Yes

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  6. #6
    4: [Classified brah] Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris has a reputation beyond repute Eris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    Great. I've now dispatched an angry email to the local news station about their disparate pronunciations of the word, suggesting they try to say FukSHIma.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    Well, it's not exactly "fukSHIma". You're looking for a stress, but there is none.

    Okay, let's chop this down a little bit.

    First, the vowel. In Japanese, the vowel "u" is often "whispered" when it occurs between any two of the consonants "k", "s", "sh", "t" and "d" (did I miss one of them?), as well as when it comes at the end of the word (like "desu"). To a foreigner, it might sound like they're not pronouncing the "u" at all, but it's there, just very subtle. Try to listen carefully to the 0:06 again from the video above.

    It's a matter of convention, though. It's not a strict rule in anyway. The Japanese do it both ways, some of them prefer one way over the other, but it's generally better (more natural) to whisper it.

    So the first thing is that it's not imperative to pronounce it "fukshima"; "fukushima" is also fine.

    Now about the stress: the Japanese language has none. The Japanese language is pitched, not stressed or toned. It's a bit hard to explain this (aka I'm too lazy to elaborate)... but foreigners (notably English speakers) usually pronounce Japanese words in an ugly way because they try to apply English language stressing to Japanese words when in reality there is none. If you try to imagine there is a stress to it, then no matter how you pronounce it it will come out wrong.

    And, by the way, the vowel "i" in "shi" and "chi" is also whispered, also out of convention. But the thing here is that consonant "sh" is different from the "sh" you find in English. Some Japanese make it sound louder than other consonants, which might have created the illusion that its syllable is stressed in the word "fukushima" in that video. But it's really just a different consonant altogether; it has nothing to do with stress, pitch or tone. And, actually, there's more than one way to pronounce it, but let's not go there. (Maybe animeyay will explain this =P) And it's not worth explaining anyway, as there are no rules to begin with. Just conventions that vary even from one native Japanese person to another, and the Japanese themselves are unaware of it. (The same way they can't distinguish "l" and "r")

    Regardless, I don't think it's exactly feasible to give media men a whole lesson in phonetics, so the way you wrote it, "fukSHIma", is probably the easiest way to make them pronounce it as close to the original as possible.
    Last edited by Aku no Hikari; 03-14-2011 at 08:48 PM.
     

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    Akkun~ You confused me with that!><

    I'd say just try to keep it even. Fukushima. It will probably sounds more like Fukshima though. Don't stress anything much. Now, the 'u' following the k is there and can be heard, as Akkun said it's just more like a whisper. You can hear it though. Practice makes perfect/just listen and imitate the native speakers I guess.

    Seriously though, whenever I'm watching the new about Japan I have to put the subtitles on because I can't understand what place they're talking about when they say a word!>< I wish they'd put on a newscaster that could actually pronounce Japanese....

    Currently listening to: Gin'iro Konpeitou Gakudan (Yura Hatsuki x Konori)'s "Gentou PAREEDO ~phantasm parade~"
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    Just say the word without thinking about the word.
    Well thats how I do it.

    Also I'd like to point out that the "shi" should not be stressed too much to make it stand out. Most japanese people would pronounce it like "shhh" instead of "shi" or "she".
    ....

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    Default Re: Japanese speakers, clear this up

    Its very cool

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