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Japanese Pronunciation
Table
n w r y m h n t s k    
n
ten
wa
want
ra
rot
ya
yacht
ma
mop
ha
hot
want
na
nod
ta
top
sa
sod
ka
cot
a
bop
a
    ri
read
  mi
meet
hi
heed
ni
need
chi
cheap
shi
sheet
ki
keep
i
pee
i
    ru
rude
yu
you
mu
moon
fu
food
hoop
nu
new
tsu
tsu
su
suit
ku
coop
u
too
u
    re
red
  me
met
he
head
ne
net
te
tent
se
set
ke
keg
e
pet
e
  wo
low
ro
road
yo
yo-yo
mo
mode
ho
hose
no
nose
to
toe
so
soap
ko
cone
o
low
o
          b   d z g    
          ba
box
  da
dot
za
resolve
ga
got
  a
          bi
bee
    ji
jeep
gi
soggy
  i
          bu
boot
    zu
zoo
gu
goon
  u
          be
bet
  de
debt
ze
zen
ge
get
  e
          bo
boat
  do
dope
zo
zone
go
goat
  o
          p            
          pa
pot
          a
          pi
peak
          i
          pu
poop
          u
          pe
pet
          e
          po
post
          o
    r   m h n ch sh k    
    rya   mya hya nya cha sha kya   ya
    ryu   myu hyu nyu chu shu kyu   yu
    ryo   myo hyo nyo cho sho kyo   yo
          b     j g    
          bya     jya gya   ya
          byu     jyu gyu   yu
          byo     jyo gyo   yo
          p            
          pya           ya
          pyu           yu
          pyo           yo
  The consonants and vowels used to form Japanese sounds - read romaji
  Basic Japanese sounds (click each romaji sound for more information)
  Combination Japanese sounds
  Exceptions
  • Reading order - the table above should be read in the following order:
  • read each a, i, u, e, o basic Japanese sound section from top to bottom and then from right to left:
  • ie:  a   i   u   e   o   ka   ki   ku   ke   ko
  • then read each ya, yu, yo combination Japanese sound section from top to bottom and then from right to left:
  • ie:  kya   kyu   kyo
  • Basic Japanese sounds - each colored cell of the table contains a Japanese sound written in romaji, ie:  ka . The Basic Japanese sounds are combined with English words to show the pronunciation of each sound. The romaji sound  a  is pronounced the same as  o  in the English word  bop . Additional examples:
  • ie:  k  +  a  =  ka  =  cot  ( co  is the pronunciation of  ka )
  • ie:  n  +  u  =  nu  =  new  ( new  is the pronunciation of  nu )
  • ie:  r  +  o  =  ro  =  road  ( roa  is the pronunciation of  ro )
  • ie:  w  +  a  =  wa  =  want  ( wa  is the pronunciation of  wa )
  • Combination Japanese sounds - to form these sounds, pick a consonant from any of the horizontal rows (blue) at the top of each ya, yu, yo section and a ya, yu, yo sound from the vertical row (blue) on the right. Use the same pronunciation as the Basic Japanese sounds when making these combinations. Note: there are no English equivalents for the combination sounds, as  keeya  and  nyou  are not English words:
  • ie:  k  +  ya  =  kya  =  ki  +  ya  =  keep   +   yacht  =  keeya
  • ie:  n  +  yu  =  nyu  =  n  +  yu  =  ten    +   you  =  nyou
  • Exceptions
  •  shi ,  chi ,  tsu ,  ji  - see each example in the table
  •  tsu  is pronounced as in the borrowed Japanese word  tsunami
  •  fu  - two ways to pronounce - fu, hu
  •  ha  - two ways to pronounce - ha, wa
  •  sha  ,  shu  ,  sho  ,  cha  ,  chu  ,  cho  - all pronounce the "y" sound but drop the "y" when writing in romaji
  • Sound equivalents - each sound has a romaji and a hiragana and a katakana sound equivalent:
  • ie: sound  "bop"  = romaji  "a"  =  hiragana  あ  =  katakana  ア
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