Japanese Lessons

Japanese Exceptional Sounds: How to Pronounce っ - ん

Japanese Exceptional Sounds; っ, ー, ん

Description of the Japanese Pronunciation っ,-, ん 

When you pronounce っ, you don’t make an actual sound, but wait for ‘one beat’ with the form of your mouth to pronounce the following sound. When you pronounce ―, you don’t make a new sound, but elongate the sound of the vowel before ― for ‘one beat’. When you pronounce ん, you need to make the sound of ん for ‘one beat’ to make the proper pronunciation. In order to master the concept of ‘one beat’, you will learn these sounds with a Japanese poetry form; Haiku

Haiku consists of three phrases having five, seven and five sounds respectively. Please repeat the following Haiku after the tutor on the video while being conscious of っ, ―, ん playing the role of one sound.

Japanese Double Consonant; っ 

あのつきを ってくれろと かな (ばやしいっ
つき: moon, る: to take, く: to cry, : child
あきくさ まったくれぬ やまあめ (いいこつ
あき: autumn, くさ: grass, まったく; not… at all, れる: to get wet, やま: mountain
ゆきとけて むらいっぱいの こどもかな (ばやしいっ
ゆき: snow, とける: to melt, むら: village, いっぱい: be full of…

Japanese Macron; ー

春愁しゅんしゅうの つーんとささの とがる (ふじきよ
春愁しゅんしゅう: spring depression, ささ: bamboo grass, : leave, とがる: to get sharp


みずさっと ぬきついつい つーいつい (あくたがわりゅうすけ
みず: water, ぬき: overarm stoke, ついつい: unintentionally
ほーほけきょ やっとおいでか はなどり (Wasabi)
ほーほけきょ: song [of birds], おいで: to come (honorific), はなどり: Japanese bush warbler

Pronunciation; ん

閻王えんおうの くちたんを かんとす (与謝蕪よさぶそん
閻王えんおう: the King of Hell, くち: mouth, たん: purplish red, く: to vomit
朝市あさいちに いそものおおし かんづき (水原みずはらしゅうおう
朝市あさいち: morning market, いそもの: sea snails, かんづき: October
あおがえる おまえもペンキ てか (あくたがわりゅうすけ
あおがえる: frog, ペンキ: [house] paint, る to paint

*Please focus on the pronunciation practice, not the meaning. () shows its author.

Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons

Words Exercise with the Pronunciation っ,-, ん

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

Words Roman Letters Meanings
みっつ mi ttsu three
ざっし za sshi magazine
りっぱ ri ppa wonderful
せっけん se kke n soap
プール pû ru pool
クリーム ku rî mu cream
ケーキ kê ki cake
スープ sû pu soup
べんり be n ri useful, convenient
かんじ ka n ji kanji (Chinese character)



This is the how to pronounce っ, ー, 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. 

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