Japanese Lessons

Japanese Consonants: How to Pronounce や ゆ よ

Japanese letters や ゆ よ

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Description of the Japanese Pronunciation や ゆ よ

Picture describing Japanese pronunciation /y/

や ゆ よ consist of the Japanese consonant [j] representing the sound of the roman letter /y/ with the Japanese vowels [a], [u] and [o] respectively. When you pronounce [j], you are going to raise your tongue almost up to the roof of your mouth, and then quickly move to the shape of upcoming vowels. Be careful not to make a fricative sound when you bring your tongue towards the roof. [j] is a voiced sound.

Does it make sense to you? Let’s try to pronounce や ゆ よ after the tutor on the video!

Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons

Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [j] や ゆ よ

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

Words Roman Letters Meanings
やる ya ru to give, to do
やっつ ya ttsu eight
やさしい ya sa shi i easy
ゆうべ yu u be evening
ゆうめい yu u me i famous
ゆうがた yu u ga ta evening
よる yo ru night
よぶ yo bu to call, to invite
よっか yo kka 4th (day)
ようか yo u ka 8th (day)

Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [j] や ゆ よ

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

Japanese Sentences English Translations
四日よっかよるいてますか? Are you available on the night of the 4th?
ゆうさんをびました。 I invited Yuko-san.
ゆうべは有名人ゆうめいじんいました。 I met a famous person this evening.

Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [j] や ゆ よ

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


あや: a girl’s name, おや: parents, あやまる: to apologize


夕方ゆうがた: evening, 友人ゆうじん: friend, 遊遊館ゆうゆうかん: amusement park’s name, ゆう: evening sun, 由々ゆゆしい: grave

よぼよぼびょう 、よぼよぼびょう、よぼよぼびょう 。

よぼよぼびょう = a disease’s name (*fictional)



This is the how to pronounce [j] や ゆ よ. 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; [ɾ] ら り る れ ろ.

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