7 Tips to Try to Pronounce English in Japanese Accent!

7 Tips to Try to Pronounce English with Japanese Accent

Japanese language has a lot of words originated from English. But since we often pronounce them differently from the original accent, it is confusing both for Japanese people living abroad and foreign visitors in Japan. Here, I would like to introduce some of the loanwords pronounced in Japanese accent.



 

7 Tips to Try to Pronounce English in Japanese Accent!

 

1. Calendar (カレンダー)

When we pronounce this word, it is going to be like “Ka-le-n-da-a”. Saying le, try not to touch back of your teeth but touch the upper side of your mouth with your tongue. Moreover, instead of putting emphasis on “Ca”, try to emphasize “le” moderately. Then, it would sound like more Japanese English.

 

2. Sweater (セーター)

The word sweater here means a knitted piece of clothing which we pronounce like “Se-e-ta-a”. When pronouncing words with a long sound, it would be easier to imagine the way you pronounce “noodle”. Just hold your tongue and mouth after you say “Se” for a while and then say “Ta” and hold a minute again. Furthermore, “Sweater” in Japanese English does not have any accent –so just not emphasize or emphasize both “Se” and “Ta”.

 

3. Energy (エネルギー/エナジー)

We pronounce the word, meaning a source of power, like “E-ne-lu-gi-i”. Although “Energy” includes “R” sound, it is closer to “L” sound when trying to pronounce in Japanese accent. As I explained above, you need some practice to master the pronunciation of “La” “Li” “Lu” “Le” “Lo” in Japanese English. In addition, instead of using “j” like sound to pronounce “g”, we are more likely to pronounce like “g” as it is spelled –this is also applied when saying “ideology” but not for “strategy”. On the other hand, if you try to say the word energy meaning the ability to put enthusiasm, you can just say “E-na-gy” which is much closer to original English sound. If it is confusing, just practice saying “E-ne-lu-gi-i” at first and differentiate after mastering both.

 

4. Oven (オーブン)

Oven is necessary for a lot of people all over the world –but we pronounce it differently from the original pronunciation. It is going to be like “O-o-bu-n”. Since do not have “V” sound, we use “B” sound for both “v” and “b”. When pronouncing “bu”, try not to pout your lips too much in order to sound like Japanese English. If it is hard to pronounce in that way, just start with “v” sound and most Japanese people are going to understand you.

 

5. Tunnel (トンネル)

When you have traveled to Japan, you might have heard of this word –we pronounce tunnel like “To-n-ne-lu”. The sound of “To” is a tricky one since it should not sound like “tu.” Try to touch the back of your teeth with the shape of mouth when saying “to”. Moreover, this word also does not have any accents- so just pronounce flatly.

 

6. Vitamin (ビタミン)

You will hear this word a lot when watching Japanese TV advertisement –since vitamin is deeply related to our health and beauty. But we pronounce the word like “Bi-ta-mi-n.” As I explained, because we do not have “V” sound, we just say “bi” in order to pronounce “V.” Furthermore, although in English, “i” here is pronounced like “ai”, we just say “i” as we can guess from the spelling. Like this, it is often happens to pronounce double vowels as single and vice versa in Japanese English.

 

7. Alcohol (アルコール)

Please do not be surprised when going to the bar/store to buy alcoholic drink and find out that it is pronounced like “A-lu-co-o-lu” in Japanese accent. Some people say that the reason why we do not pronounce “h” sound is that written “ha” ”hi” ”hu” ”he” ”ho” are pronounced as “a” “i” “u” “e” “o” in ancient Japanese. So when visiting Japan, try not to pronounce “h” sound and get closer to Japanese English.

 

Conclusion

A lot of words of foreign origin are pronounced differently from original ones for various reasons. When trying to say these words in Japanese accent, it would be easier to pronounce flatly without accent. Why don’t you practice and master Japanese English?

 

7 Tips to Try to Pronounce English in Japanese Accent!

1. Calendar (カレンダー)
2. Sweater (セーター)
3. Energy (エネルギー/エナジー)
4. Oven (オーブン)
5. Tunnel (トンネル)
6. Vitamin (ビタミン)
7. Alcohol (アルコール)