Accent of the new audio guy

now now, let’s all be nice

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もうしもうし is not commonly said, but it’s how WaniKani is teaching that word.

When they add the “all readings have a recording” update soon, one for もしもし will be available as well.

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Ha, sorry - I asked the question during a moment of post-review frustration (not related to 申し申し) then realised I could just google it instead - didn’t manage to delete before you replied though!

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Oh cool, thank you!

Gabrielmpf, thank you for your comments - very balanced, and I appreciate your sharing your experience. I love the mnemonics, though I only occasionally use what is suggested. They have helped me think of my own, which work really well for me. Like you, sometimes I need them and sometimes I don’t, but I’ve got a crazy imagination, so I might as well use it to learn! I also like writing, because as a professional writer, that’s how I learn! It helps me look more closely at the kanji and distinguish similar ones.

But I believe in using multiple learning methods, and I’m wondering what the self-study script is that you mention. I would be very interested in trying it, if it can free me from mnemonics, at least partially! :wink: Thanks!

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Thank you :wink:

Here’s how to install the self-study script.
It serves as an additional tool to study WK unlocked items that you can use at any time outside the SRS timings. I mainly use it for kanji. I do it in blocks of 5 levels at a time (but you can do as many or as few as you like), and in a short time I refresh my memory of kanji, because I believe the more you are exposed to kanji the better. Repeat it as many times as you like. You can’t just rely on SRS. It has done wonders for me in terms of kanji recognition, especially the ones that look similar.

Wish you the best for your studies!
頑張れ!

Thanks SO much, Grabrielmpf! I will look into it!

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Hi everyone! How’s it going? I just got here (totally new to nihongo), and I’m configuring stuff. I had the same doubt, because I want to focus on Tokyo accent to mimic it. The site gives me two option for voice pronunciation: Kenichi and Kyoto. I think Kenichi is a name, so I’m not sure if Kyoto is the name of another person or is it because it’s an accent from Kyoto.
So, which one of these is a voice with the Tokyo accent, Kenichi or Kyoto?

Thanks!

Kenichi is the male voice, he has a Tokyo accent. The female voice is Kyoko with two k’s, not Kyoto. She also has a Tokyo accent.

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Both Kenichi-san and Kyoko-san have a typical Tokyo accent. The only major difference between them is the gender :upside_down_face:

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Thank you guys, didn’t saw it was Kyoko and not Kyoto XD.
Thank you!

I still find it interesting that they sometimes pronounce things differently. For example, with 歴史(れきし) Kyoko vocalizes the い in き but not Kenichi and the れ is pronounced differently too. The じ in 外人(がいじん) is also different. The が and ぐ in 東口(ひがしぐち) are also different.

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Yeah, I’ve noticed that it seems Kenichi puts more nasalization into the が-line sounds than Kyoko. I’m just going to assume that they’re both within the normal variation of Tokyo dialect.

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Hi all. Excuse me because I’m about to sound totally ignorant and noob, but can any native speakers or people who have been around native speakers enough give me a bit of feedback on the nature of Kenichi’s voice/accent? To me, he sounds very bold/masculine, and I almost feel like I’m listening to one of those boisterous, manly anime characters who is showy and confident and a “leader type”. It sounds that accentuated to me. I don’t yet have personal experience with native Japanese speakers. I’ve only seen animes, shows, news, dramas, etc. but I’ve experienced a wide range of male voices to know that some sound softer and more laid back while others are more bold and confident (as with any language).

My question is… is Kenichi’s accent and tone pretty typical/neutral/standard sounding in terms of Tokyo accent, or does he sound more on the masculine, assertive (etc.) side in terms of male voices? Is it just me, or does anyone else get an impression that is less than neutral? Kyoko’s voice sounds more neutral in tone to me, more akin to what I am used to from language learning programs.

None of this is a negative to me. I’m just asking b/c I’m male and I’ve chosen Kenichi’s audio as the voice to emulate. Just want to know more about the voice I am emulating here, as I’m sure some part of it will come through in my own accent since I’m modeling after it. Obviously I’ll use other sources for listening and speech emulation which will have an influence too, but this is a pretty influental source for me since I use it so regularly.

My usual English tone is fairly calm and low key and some have even said “deadpan”. I just had these flashes of foresight wondering if I model my Japanese after Kenichi, will it seem like I “suddenly become bold sounding” when I speak in Japanese vs. my English? Lol. Will that seem weird to people listening? It sounds sillier put in that context, but I’m curious if this is something that happens to people based on who they model language learning after.

Thanks in advance for any insights you can offer.

Edit and follow-up thoughts: As I’ve progressed past the first few levels (somewhere around level 4 or 5) I’ve noticed Kenichi’s tone started to sound more natural to me and not like bold anime hero guy so maybe it was just a matter of him getting used to saying the words for the recording. We’ll see if it comes back, but the feeling of “wow he’s really going for it” is kind of gone now and the vocab sounds much more natural.

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Yeah it sure shows how even if people are speaking with the same accent it doesn’t mean that they say words the same way. For example in Swedish, the word for “seven” can be pronounced with different “sh” sounds and still be correct.

The difference we hear between the harder R sound and the softer R sound might sound the same to Japanese speakers. I remember trying to ask a Japanese friend whether the Japanese らりるれろ is said more like an R or an L. After demonstrating both version he just looked at me confused and said that both are correct and that he couldn’t here the difference.

Edit: sorry, just noticed that I replied to something many months old…

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Nah, he sounds completely normal. He’s also only speaking single words, there’s not much to do with masculinity and boldness here.

Telephone, mah boi!”
lol

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I haven’t heard the new guy yet, so I have no specific opinion on his audios. However, there are a couple of fairly easy ways you can check for pronunciation, especially if it’s just for some sort of comparison, and not as an ‘official’ way to pronounce things. Basically, it’s to use a text-to-speech (TTS) application with a Japanese voice.

The first and easiest one is to go to an online site, such as Google Translate, that provides a reading service as part of its interface. E.g. on Google Translate, just paste in the text into the input box, make sure Japanese is selected, and I think there’s a little ‘audio speaker’ button to read out the text. It’s not perfect, especially if there’s kanji and it interprets the wrong reading; but if you convert everything to hiragana, it should read that just fine. This method requires a connection to the Internet to work, though.

The second option, which doesn’t require a constant Internet connection, is to use your operating system’s built-in TTS capabilities. These days, it’s pretty much universal on all operating systems, since it’s basically a requirement for providing full OS accessibility features, which are often mandated by law. The trickiest part is setting up an appropriate TTS tool that meets your needs (easy to use, whatever). I’ve ended up using the built-in Reader Mode on Firefox, mainly for reading online fiction without having to look at the screen the whole time (kinda like automatically-generated audio-books). On Windows, there’s also a tool called Narrator, but it’s not really intended for reading text, but rather for visually-impaired accessibility, to read out the user-interface controls on the screen. You can get it to work to read text, but it’s a bit more of a PITA than it’s worth, which is why I ended up going with the Firefox solution.

The other thing that’s probably necessary is to install the Japanese voice. You’ll have an English voice already, but other languages will need their own specialized voices to get a decent pronunciation. On Windows it’s pretty easy, you just go to settings and search for ‘language’, and then find the spot where you can install different ‘language packs’, and add Japanese as an additional language. You’ll get the option to install a voice (ostensibly for Narrator, but all these voices can be used by just about any other Windows application, at least in principle; e.g. Firefox allows using these voices). I think there are two Japanese voices (male and female), but it’s possible there are actually more than just two. I don’t actually use this technique for reading out Japanese that much.

I tend to just use the Google Translate tool if I really need to hear something. These days that’s less and less frequent, so the dependency on having an Internet connection usually isn’t an obstacle.

Haha! Got me sucked into your necromancy, too! Whoops! :sweat_smile:

Converting to just hiragana does reduce the chances that google will guess the correct word in question and could result in an incorrect pitch accent.

I just tried putting in はし now, with hiragana, and it decided on “chopsticks” as the meaning, which is fine for a no-context guess (but not as helpful if you actually wanted to know about “bridge” or “edge”)… but the text-to-speech said “BA-shi”. I guess it gets points for having the pitch accent right, but where the hell is the “ba” coming from when I didn’t even use kanji.

EDIT: It actually got the pronunciation and pitch accent right for all varieties of はし when I used kanji. It even properly distinguished the pitch accent of 橋 and 端 with particles attached.

But the fact that it flubbed the pronunciation of plain hiragana はし just still makes me want to never use it.

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I guess I said that imprecisely. I didn’t literally mean to convert everything to hiragana before trying the raw quote with kanji. I see now that what I wrote sure sounded like that, though. Oops! I only meant that if GT does pick the wrong reading for a kanji (which you can check in the romaji reading below the Japanese input box), then you can correct these misinterpretations by replacing that kanji with hiragana. And, as I said, it’s not perfect. But it is useful.