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How do I Fix my Pronunciation? — 7 Comments

  1. Do you have any opinion on the methods on the fluent forever website for pronouciation? Not geared just to Japanese but has a Japanese trainer I was thinking of checking out that is anki based. Not sure if it would be a distraction though so haven’t started as I’m focusing on the intermediate deck now.

    • Hey, I read Gabriel’s book and it’s really good for the first part of language learning– getting the pronunciation of sounds correct. So, if your あ doesn’t sound like an あ or you’re still pronouncing ふ with an English (voiceless labiodental fricative instead of voiceless bilabial fricative), then it will help tremendously, especially for consonants. However, it fails to mention that just because each individual sound is right, it doesn’t mean that you’ll sound native. Accent also has a lot to do with the speed of speech, the way emphasis is put on words, and even the way your speech is structured (how you present ideas, etc). The advice given in the video, therefore, is good for the stage when you can say the sounds but can’t get it to come out like it should.

  2. I think pronunciation of one of the most important things (if you want to communicate), because it makes you look more advanced than you really are.
    The main problem with me is that I can’t summon the Japanese accent by will. Sometimes I tend to sound like a Native (not an exaggeration since every sound except づ is present in my native language too) , while other times I look like a foreigner mimicking a Japanese mimicking a foreigner.

    I think what you did before speaking matters. For example, if I consume a Japanese media before speaking to someone, I tend to speak Japanese better (but my English accent/grammar suffers a bit) and Vice-Versa.

  3. > every sound except づ is present in my native language too

    That’s a really interesting point that I never considered for some reason. I’ll bet that actually helps a ton.

    What is your native language, if you don’t mind me asking?

    EDIT: Sorry, this is in response to Manan’s comment above. I hit the wrong “reply” button…

    • -Well I’d guess my native tongue is Hindi (“Guess” because, honestly, I don’t know. It’s a long story. :P).

      -Without going into too much detail, there are ~22 sounds for “k”, ~22 sounds for “g”, ~22 sounds for “t” and so on. Compared to Japanese (i.e. 5 for each), these are a LOT of sounds, and hence the chances of error increase (regions and dialects play an important role too) , which results in this kind of REALLY weird speech: https://youtu.be/DxCwA46aGCU (South Indian accent. They don’t speak Hindi, so it’s a bit of unfair to bring them into this, but this can happen with us also.)

      (the only advantage is that listening comprehension is better than others. I was able to separate the sounds from Day 1)

      – Then there are some people who speak a bit better (imo):
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygbzHFScAZo
      The person from time stamp:
      – 6:00-7:05 : Dinesh
      – 7:15-8:02 : Mira- This accent has a flavor of Bengali (It might sound “English” to some :P) .
      – 8:15-9:07 : Harsh has a flavor of
      My accent is a mix of these and inclines towards “Mira” side.

      Of course, this alone can’t take you very far, you must practice a lot too. I am willing to bet anything that these people have practiced a LOT compared to the first video.

    • At least for me, with a combination of English and Spanish, I’m only missing ɸ (the consonant ふ sound), which is easy to pronounce regardless.

  4. 答えてくれてありがとう!

    Appreciate the useful expression in 「厳しく訂正してください」- I’ll definitely keep that in mind =)

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