Japanese Lessons

Japanese Consonants: How to Pronounce さ す せ そ、ざ ず ぜ ぞ

Japanese Letter sa su se so

Description of the Japanese Pronunciation さ す せ そ、ざ ず ぜ ぞ

Japanese Consonants s, z
さ・す・せ・そ and ざ・ず・ぜ・ぞ consist of the Japanese consonants [s] and [z], together with the Japanese vowels, [a], [u], [e] and [o] respectively. When you pronounce [s] and [z], you are going to make a chink between your upper gums and the tip of your tongue. Then, you will pronounce them by causing friction as the air passes through the chink. [s] is an unvoiced sound and [z] is a voiced sound.

Does it make sense to you? Let’s try to pronounce さ す せ そ、ざ ず ぜ ぞ after the tutor on the video!

Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons

Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [s] [z] さ す せ そ、ざ ず ぜ ぞ

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

Words Roman Letters Meanings
sa ku to bloom
さむい sa mu i cold
はいざら ha i za ra ashtray
すこし su ko shi a little
すわる su wa ru to sit down
みず mi zu water
せんせい se n se i teacher
かぜ ka ze wind
そこ so ko there
かぞく ka zo ku family

Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [s] [z] さ す せ そ、ざ ず ぜ ぞ

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

Japanese Sentences English Translations
そこにすわります。 I will sit down there.
先月せんげつすこさむかった。 It was a little cold last month.
さくらいた。 The cherry blossoms bloomed.


Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [s] [z] さ す せ そ、ざ ず ぜ ぞ

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


すっぱい: sour, スイカ: watermelon, きずき: matter of taste


しずか: calm, すずしい: cool, そら: sky, そう: priest


禅宗ぜんそう: school of Mahayana Buddhism, ぼう: Buddhist priest, 全然ぜんぜん: (not) at all, ぜん: meditation in Zen Buddhism



This is the how to pronounce [s] [z] さ す せ そ、ざ ず ぜ ぞ. 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; [ɕ] [ʑ] し、じ.

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