How do you realistically pronounce 女王

The romaji implies saying “joou” but I think it might be kinda confusing with the extra long oo sounds, how would you say it in conversation to not be confused with something else?

I wouldn’t try to use romaji to think of the pronunciation, honestly.

Regarding your question: there are many words in Japanese which are differentiated by the vowel length. And the vowel length IS important. So Japanese are perfectly capable of hearing the difference between oo and o. Each Mora in speech has the same sound length so that you have a rhythm to which you can “count” to see if it is a double oo or a single o.


Here’s some pronunciations I found on Forvo. Sounds like you say じょ then おう (as in, don’t blend them together into one long おーー sound. Say them separately)


Adding to that if you listen to audio examples there’s an ever so subtle “break” (not quite an H sound, but close) between じょ and おう.


As @yamitenshi points out:

女王 is literally a jukugo (compound word) for “female king”. They unconsciously enunciate (and think of) each half of the compound.

It’s no different than the jukugo word for “female”: 女性 (female-gender). One concept, compound word.

It’s like English speakers saying “bellboy” or “bedbug” — we think of them as one thing, but haven’t completely forgotten that they are comprised of individual components that comprise their meaning.

This is very different from words like 嬢 (unmarried lady / miss) or 情 (feelings / emotion). Both are pronounced 「じょう」.

じょおう sounds different than じょう because it is different — there’s one more 音 entirely. That’s why it’s rendered differently even in romaji: 女王 should be written “joou” and not “jou” if you are attempting to transliterate the pronunciation accurately.


I’d say it’s not so much about a different sound or a pause, but rather it’s about the pitch change breaking it up.



You can hear the pronunciation on the vocab page, just under Reading, there is a female and male recording.

I think it’s a bit easier in conversation, because it’s often not just 女王 alone, but something like 女王さま or 女王へいか (へいか=majesty) or name-of-the-queen女王 (eg エリザベス女王)

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In my experience, it’s pretty much how you would pronounce “Joe O.” Like, you wanna talk about someone named Joe Orghlshtingle but have no Idea how Orghlstingle is pronounced so you just call him “Joe O”. There might also be a pitch accent thing, too, but the pitch accent in my neck of the Japanese woods is pretty flat so it doesn’t really come out over here.

Edit: Wait, why do I have cake? Is this a Wanikani anniversary cake?


It is your anniversary somewhere.


In conversation you wouldn’t normally say 女王 out of the blue. There would be context or something additional like

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Also, if you’d like a slightly longer sequence of vowel sounds, there are words like 鳳凰


That’s easy, though.

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