Japanese Lessons

How to Pronounce きゃ きゅ きょ, ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ

きゃ きゅ きょ、ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ

Description of the Japanese Pronunciation きゃ きゅ きょ, ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ

Picture describing Japanese pronunciation /ky/ and /gy/

きゃ きゅ きょ and ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ consist of the Japanese consonants [kj] and [gj] representing the sounds of the roman letters /ky/ and /gy/ with the Japanese vowels [a], [u] and [o] respectively. When you pronounce [kj] and [gj], your tongue is going to touch from the front part to the back part on the roof of your mouth, i.e. from where you use to pronounce [j] (=/y/) to where you use to pronounce [k]. This closure will cause a buildup of pressure. Then, you will release that pressure all at once by opening your mouth. [kj] is an unvoiced sound and [gj] is a voiced sound.

Does it make sense to you? Let’s try to pronounce きゃ きゅ きょ, ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ after the tutor on the video!

Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons

Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [kj] [gj] きゃ きゅ きょ, ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ

Please repeat the following words after the tutor on the video.

Words Roman Letters Meanings
きゃく kya ku  guest
キャベツ kya be tsu  cabbage
きゅう  kyu u  nine
きゅうり  kyu u ri  cucumber 
きょう  kyo u  today 
きょうかい  kyo u ka i  church 
きょく  kyo ku  music
ぎゃく gya ku  opposite
ぎゅうにゅう gyu u nyu u  milk
じゅぎょう jyu gyo u  class, lesson

Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [kj] [gj] きゃ きゅ きょ, ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ

Please repeat the following sentences after the tutor in the video.

Japanese Sentences English Translations
キャベツと牛乳ぎゅうにゅういました。 I bought a cabbage and [a carton of] milk.
今日きょうはおきゃくさんがおおいです。 There are many guests today.
このCDシーディーきゅうきょくが好きです。 I like the ninth track on this CD.

Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [kj] [gj] きゃ きゅ きょ, ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ

Please repeat the following tongue twisters after the tutor on the video. Also, please focus on the pronunciation practice, not the meaning, because they were made only for the sake of practice.

Japanese Tongue Twisters Vocabulary


さま: you, きゃはん: gaiter, かわ: leather, われ: we


特許とっきょ: patent, きょ: approval, きょく: bureau


きゃくせん: cargo-passenger ship, かく: each, きゃくしつ: room



This is the how to pronounce [kj] [gj] きゃ きゅ きょ, ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ. We recommend that you practice the sentences above at least 5 times for each exercise, though we understand that pronunciation practice can be dull. Good pronunciation will give you listening and speaking ability, and thereby you will be confident enough to speak Japanese with native speakers. Thus, the ability you gain is well worth the time spent. We are looking forward to seeing you in the next lesson; [bj] [pj] びゃ びゅ びょ、ぴゃ ぴゅ ぴょ.

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