ふ : Fu vs Hu?

Same as the label on the can; how would ふ be prounded? I’ve read equal arguments on both sides, some saying it’s hu but sounds like fu and some saying it’s a mix between the f and h sounds, parallel to r being a mix of r and l. Help is very welcome ;e;

Don’t try to base it on the English alphabet or the way an English speaker would pronounce those syllables if presented with them.

Listen to recordings of it.

There’s IPA pronunciations as well, but they might not help if you aren’t well versed in them.

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The best way I can describe it is that it’s like you’re gently blowing on something to dry it but with sound.

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I just found out from my language partner that I’ve been pronouncing し incorrectly from the beginning. It seems like the romaji versions are not good enough approximations. I need to go rethink my life now.

I think of it like a blown “fu” sound while also exhaling at the same time for a mixed “hu/fu” effect.

ホゥ

Don’t let your front upper teeth touch your bottom lip; instead purse your lips (your side upper teeth will probably touch your bottom lip from this) and blow a ”hu" through the gap. A more detailed explanation (if you need it) here: https://www.italki.com/question/330606

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How were you pronouncing し?

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Like “she” with a heavy emphasis on the “sh” part. When I’m pronouncing ~ました it sounds like mashhhta which is more drawn out than native speakers will pronounce it. I’m not sure if I can describe what is correct, but I’ve started watching some pronunciation videos and really watching their mouth movements.

At that point, I started wondering what else I have been doing to mispronounce words. It’s not that I can’t be understood, but I’m interjecting a lot of English pronunciation into my Japanese that I would like to correct before it becomes a continuous habit.

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One of the biggest things with English speakers is stressing syllables. I don’t mean using the wrong pitch accent. Stress is different, it’s that extra oomph that syllables get in English, and while it’s kind of analogous to pitch accent in some ways, it’s distinct. Rather than merely adjusting their pitch, English speakers often also stress syllables. So, listen carefully and make sure you’re not doing that.

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Try and make a fu sound but put both lips together, instead of your bottom lip and top teeth.

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I dont think its hu. I tried making japanese people say “hu” before, but they cant do it. For example when you make them say “who”, which is pronounced “hu”, they will say “fu” instead. Its really funny actually, they cant help themselves. :smiley:

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I’m not sure this is true for everybody; in college I had a science professor who happened to be Japanese, and she told us to pronounce her name as “Who me?” And it’s not that she had exceptionally good English skills either - as just one example, we were at the observatory one night, and she kept insisting that it was very “hoggy” out. Despite there being no pigs in sight, it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what she was trying to say :sweat_smile:

For me it’s much more “fu” than it is “hu”, but it really depends on your native language how you interpret these sounds.

The problem is not with the consonant, its with the pronunciation of the “u” vowel. The reason ふ sounds like it has a different consonant sound than the rest of the H row is that the shape of your mouth to make the vowel correctly puts your mouth in a position that is closer to the english “F”.

If you say the vowel correctly, the consonant sound will automatically come out right.

Watch this video (it is weird but has good info):

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