No Name (nnnslogan) wrote in cabad,
No Name

Japanese names and how to pronounce them.

In Japanese the emphasis is on the first syllable of names, not the second.
It may help you to think of each set of two syllables as a separate word,
with a sound like "tinker toys" or "peanut butter".

It's Akira (almost like AH-kee-DA), not uhKEERuh.

It's Akane, not uhKAWnay.

Kaneda is pronounced KAH-ney-DAH, not k'NAYduh.

Also, romaji doesn't have a silent "e" at the end of words.

Masamune is Mah-sah-mu-neh, not "maze immune."

The "u" in romaji is often either silent or almost silent.

Hokuto no Ken is not HoKOOto no Ken, it's Hok'to no Ken.

The name Sakura is pronounced SAh-Ku-RAh, not "s'KOOruh."

Sometimes the U sound in a word almost sounds like a W instead of a U, as in Testuo, which is not pronounced "tet-SOO-oh", but more like "Tets whoa!"

Exception: Sometimes inflection will make a character in anime put emphasis on the last syllable of a name.
In Super Dimension Fortress Macross you may often hear someone shouting "Hikaru" so that it sounds like HEE-ka ROO, almost like kangaroo, although the U sound at the end sounds almost like the double O in the English word "book", not the double O in "cool".

Notice that when you have the U sound utilized more extensively, you may hear more emphasis on another syllable than any of the ones containing the U sound, as in "urusai!"

The letter R in romaji sounds something like an L in some words, but also often sounds like a short D.
It's often just a click of the tongue when it's in the middle of a word.

Samurai is pronounced "SAH mu RAI" but the R is almost a D or a glottal L. It's not "Sam or I."

If dubs are going to keep Japanese names in anime, they need to teach the actors to pronounce them correctly.
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