Description of the Japanese Pronunciation ん
The pronunciation of ん varies depending on the following sounds because the place of articulation assimilates the latter consonants. Let’s check one by one.
When the Following Sound Is [m] [p] [b] (コンマ、さんぽ、とんぼ).
You pronounce ん as [m].
When you pronounce [m], you are going to close your lips and make a sound by allowing air to pass out through your nose. [m] is a voiced sound.
When the Following Sound Is [k] [g] (てんき、おんがく).
You pronounce ん as [ŋ]. Unlike the sound of [n], you need to touch the back part of your tongue with the back part of the roof of your mouth. Then, you make a sound by allowing air to pass out through your nose.
When ん Is at the End of Utterances (ほん、こうえん).
You pronounce ん as [N]. Unlike any other sounds, you need to touch the root of your tongue with your uvula. Then, you make a sound by allowing air to pass out through your nose.
You pronounce ん as [n].
When you pronounce [n], your tongue is going to touch the roof of your mouth just a little farther back than your upper gums and you will make a sound by allowing air to pass out through your nose. [n] is a voiced sound.
Does it make sense to you? Let’s try to pronounce ん after the tutor on the video!
Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons
Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [m] [ŋ] [N] [n] ん
Please repeat the following words after the tutor on the video.
|あんまり||a n ma ri||unreasonable, too much|
|さんぷん||sa n pu n||three minutes|
|ぜんぶ||ze n bu||every, all|
|こんげつ||ko n ge tsu||this month|
|かんがえる||ka n ga e ru||to think|
|でんき||de n ki||electricity|
|みなさん||mi na sa n||everyone, everybody (polite)|
|たくさん||ta ku sa n||many, a lot of|
|びょういん||byo u i n||hospital|
|こんにちは||ko n ni chi wa||good afternoon|
|洗濯||se n ta ku||washing, laundering|
|階段||ka i da n||stairs|
Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [m] [ŋ] [N] [n] ん
Please repeat the following sentences after the tutor in the video.
|Japanese Sentences||English Translations|
|みんなで弁当を交換しました。||We all exchanged our [box] lunches.|
|図書館に鉛筆を忘れました。||I left my pencil in the library.|
|この音楽が一番好きです。||I like this music the most.|
Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [m] [ŋ] [N] [n] ん
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|
万馬券: betting ticket with a payout of at least 100 times (horse racing) 換金: to change … into cash
新宿: town’s name 雀荘: mah-jongg parlor
新人: newcomer 歌手: singer 新春: new spring シャンソン: chanson ショー: show
This is the how to pronounce [m] [ŋ] [N] [n] ん. 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; [kj] [gj] きゃ きゅ きょ、ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ.