Description of the Japanese Pronunciation し、じ
し and じ consist of the Japanese consonants [ɕ] representing the sound of the roman letter /sh/ and [ʑ] representing the sound of the roman letter /z/ together with the Japanese vowel [i]. The way to pronounce them is similar to how you pronounce [s] and [z], but the point where you make a chink is a little farther back. Then, you will pronounce them by causing friction as the air passes through the chink. Be careful however, because if you used the same point as [s], it would sound like 「すぃ」. This sound is also similar to the English sound (she). The difference is that you need to purse your lips a little to pronounce (she), but your lips will remain in a natural shape to pronounce し. [ɕ] is an unvoiced sound and [ʑ] is a voiced sound.
Does it make sense to you? Let’s try to pronounce し、じ after the tutor on the video!
Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons
Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɕ] [ʑ] し、じ
Please repeat the following words after the tutor on the video.
|しかる||shi ka ru||to scold|
|みじかい||mi zi ka i||short|
|まじめ||ma zi me||serious|
|そうじ||so u zi||cleaning|
|初めて||ha zi me te||first|
Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɕ] [ʑ] し、じ
Please repeat the following sentences after the tutor in the video.
|Japanese Sentences||English Translations|
|白い犬がいます。||There is a white dog.|
|小学生を叱りました。||I scolded a schoolchild.|
|真面目に掃除をします。||I will clean seriously.|
Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɕ] [ʑ] し、じ
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|
|書写山の社僧正。||書写山: mountain’s name, 僧正: high priest|
|繻子ひじゅす繻子繻珍。||繻子: satin ひじゅす: red-dyed satin 繻珍: satin with raised figures|
|魔術師魔術修行中。||魔術師: magician, 魔術: magic, 修行: training|
This is the how to pronounce [ɕ] [ʑ] し、じ. 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; [t] [d] た て と、だ で ど.