Input system issue and long vowels

I use Microsoft IME to type Japanese. Is there an option somewhere or an alternate input method to address the following issue?

When i type long vowels using the う, for example しょう、びょう、しゃう、etc, I have to type Shou (or Syou), Byou, Shau respectively. My issue with that is that, over time, it fools me into thinking there are OU sounds there. I know there aren’t, but typing the U so much still has a real effect on how I think of those sounds. Is there a way to produce the う by repeating the previous vowel without interfering with other usages? Ideally, I’d want to type Shoo, Byoo, Shaa for these.

As far as I know, that’s how Japanese people type it, too. It’s just how the vowel is extended.

How do you deal with typing English? Like ‘good’ doesn’t have an o-sound. ‘foam’ doesn’t have an a-sound.


That’s the correct spelling though. Some words spell differently, for example 通る(とおる)uses O instead of U to elongate TO.

And when speaking very slowly with clear enunciation Japanese people will pronounce that elongating U as U.


english is so ingrained the typing doesn’t affect the established sounds, but i definitely catch myself placing incorrect OU sounds to long O vowels in japanese. It’s mostly with the O’s too.

EDIT: I’m aware of 通る、氷。I’m not sure how a solution would work and still mesh with these

The trick, then, is to get it ingrained in Japanese as well. Practice, practice. Maybe say it aloud as you type it.


You could type directly in Hiragana?

If you’re sticking to romaji to type, how would you spell it instead?

The official readings of kanji that use these elongations is with う so, no, you couldn’t do it any other way.

The sounds are there, though, I think. Often when Japanese emphasise or otherwise exaggerate the words you will hear it quite clearly. You can sometimes hear them quite clearly in songs, too.

There are some words that actually do have the お elongation, though, like 大きい、氷、通す. In those cases, even though the pronunciation is pretty much the same, you have to use お.

This one definitely is not a vowel elongation. When following an a-sound You definitely do need to pronounce the う as an う. う only acts as a vowel elongation of u- and o-sounds. For e-sounds you use え or い.


What do you mean by this exactly? Do you say お and う separately, or do you say a different sound entirely, like ou in sound, for example?

Dutch people learning Japanese seem to have trouble with えい starting out, since ei has a specific pronunciation in Dutch. So it ends up sounding like that one instead. But it usually just takes a some correction and selfcorrection to get rid of the mistake.

Only when they make a point of enunciating the difference.

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Not sure I agree, since I have a vague memory echoing in the back of my head, of my friend talking and pronouncing the う very clearly, but not specifically talking about the word in question. Buti don’t really remember the exact word she was saying, just the feeling of it, if that makes sense? Needless to say, I do not have a recording.

Luckily I hate eggs so that’s not a problem.


Here’s your answer though…

Stop typing Japanese so much. Starting listening to it more. Start ingraining Japanese sounds, versus spellings.

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thanks for the advice everyone

I’ve heard it in music too where the う is clearly pronounced. But that’s probably a stylistic and rhythmic choice.

I’ve also heard it when people say あのう they’ll sometimes go あの・・・う with a slight rounding of the lips for the う.

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I’m surprised you haven’t seen any of the other knock down-drag out fights we’ve had about it. Officially the う is just a spelling convention. It’s how the elongated vowel is spelled for things originating from Chinese.

If some people have started to say it because of seeing the spelling, that’s a different thing.


I don’t think what you said about precise speech/songs is correct. おう is just the convention for spelling ō on most words. It’s a quirk that the spelling reform left in, that they could have taken out. In songs, I’ve only heard おう be sung as お・お.

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