Blog Archives

331st Meeting of the Phonetic Society of Japan

Today I took the very long, arduous 5 minute walk to Waseda campus, and heard five talks from phoneticists in and around Tokyo. I used to feel pretty nervous about going to these kinds of meetings, but now that I

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology

Never mind the drilling, here’s how I’ve been learning the kanji

Probably every student of Japanese out there has filled a few notebook pages with characters repeated over and over. I know I’ve got more than a few from back when I first started. You sit there and mindlessly write 温温温温温温温温温温温温温温温

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Posted in Learn Japanese

Japanese—the fastest language in the world?

A couple of years ago, there was a minor to-do in popular media on a study of speech rates. Scientific American, Time, The Economist, and many other outfits reported on a paper in the journal Language that seemed to indicate basic

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Posted in Research

How do Japanese people pronounce 言う? 言った? 言われる?

Earlier today on Reddit there was a discussion about how Japanese people pronounce 言う in all its various forms. Is it pronounced いう [iɯ] or ゆう [jɯː]? Does it change for past tense, て form, or other forms? Does it

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology

Research in Kanazawa!

Kazumi and I participated in some great research in Kanazawa! We got to be guinea pigs for measuring the movement of the jaw and tongue during speech for English, Spanish, and Japanese. I’ll get to examine the data once it’s

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology, Research

How to Pronounce the Japanese Nasal, ん

In phonology, we refer to ん as a phoneme. A phoneme is a mental representation of a sound, which native speakers will usually receive as the same sound, and we usually represent that with slashes, like this: /ɴ/. That’s the

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Posted in Learn Japanese, Phonetics and Phonology

Start learning Japanese — the right way

So you want to learn Japanese, do you? Good! Just follow my advice, and in 2 months, you’ll be perfectly fluent in Japanese and up to your neck in busty, blue-haired anime chicks. Actually, no you won’t. In two months,

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Posted in Getting Started, Learn Japanese
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