Japanese Lessons

Japanese Vowels: How to Pronounce お

Today's Lesson 「お」

Description of the Japanese Pronunciation お

Japanese letter o

The pronunciations of Japanese vowels are determined by 3 factors; two of which are the position of your tongue, high or low (1) and front or back (2), and the final factor is the form of your mouth (3). When you pronounce お, you are going to make a circle with your mouth and raise the back part of your tongue up to the upper-middle and the back position. The shape of your mouth should be between あ and う. 

Does it make sense to you? Let’s try to pronounce [o] お after the tutor on the video!

Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons 

Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [o] お

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

Words Roman Letters Meanings
おく o ku to put
おす o su to push
おなか o na ka stomach
おそい o so i slow, late
おとな o to na adult
おなじ o na zi same
おととい o to to i the day before yesterday
おくさん o ku sa n your wife (polite)
しお shi o salt
あおい a o i blue

Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [o] お

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

Japanese Sentences English Translations
大人おとなおなじお弁当べんとうべました。 I ate the same bento box as an adult.
つくえうえしおきます。 I’ll put the salt on top of the desk.
あおいハンカチをとしました。 I dropped a blue handkerchief.

Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [o] お

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


大人おとな: adult, おとこ: man, おろおろ: be upset


美味おいしい: delicious, おでん: a Japanese food name 一緒いっしょ: together


おお: person’s name おお: person’s name, おお: plant’s name 織田おだ: person’s name




This is the how to pronounce [o] お. 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;  [k] [g] か き く け こ、が ぎ ぐ げ ご.

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