JAPANESE ACCENT & INTONATION

Japan is an ancestral country that has a wonderful and rich culture. This nation is located in Asia and there are more than 128.7 million of people living there nowadays.

Even though the Japanese language has long phrases and the syllables are a little bit confusing, it is one of the most popular languages because the accent and intonation are quite basic and easy to learn.

There are two important types of intonation: the stress type and the pitch type. The big difference between the Japanese pronunciation and the English pronunciation is that the Japanese uses the pitch type and the English language uses the stress type.

The English pronunciation has strong/weak accents in speech power. For example, in the word good morning the strong accent is on the first syllable. However, the Japanese pronunciation has high/low pitches in basic frequency. For example, the expression “ohayou gozaimasu” is flat without any accent or intonation.

Foreign people who are studying Japanese as a second language know that the pronunciation of the words are quite flat without any intonation or accent but they make a common mistake: they raise the second syllable of the world.In fact, they always make the same mistake all the time. Here is a list of few examples about mispronounced words. The bold part indicates the incorrect pronunciation.


こんちは (konNIchiwa)

(taKEshi)

(waTAshi)

(taMAgo)

ふん (funNIki)


During the acquisition of a language, the correct pronunciation is the most difficult part. In fact, it can be a big challenge for many people who do not have the ability to learn languages quickly. Nevertheless, people should be patient and very perseverant.



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