Is there some grammatical rule that explains the pronunciation of 五月?

Or is it just some anomaly of Japanese spelling? It’s written out as ごがつ, but pronounced in the audio as ごまつ.

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You’ve discovered the nasal g in Japanese.

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(And also the fact that the system used to record the audio doesn’t make for perfect reproduction of the sound when played back on the internet.)

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Yep. The nasal g sounds kinda like an ‘n’, which came across over speakers as an ‘m’. I think I had the same confusion with a few vocab words early on.

Much like R and L are the same sound in Japanese, so is G and NG (at least in certain dialects like Tokyo?)

Hearing things like あたらしい pronounved atalashii or あげる pronounced angeru threw me off a bit in beginning, but you’ll get used to it.

Both the nasal g and the non-nasal g exist in the standard Japanese pronunciation scheme, but they are generally not explained to learners.

So in the sentence 五月に学校が始まる (ごつにがっこうはじまる), both can appear, and I’ve bolded the nasal ones.

Here’s a thorough explanation.


Thanks man.

That’s funny, I’ve never heard it pronounced as ごまつ.

I heard it wrong. I was just hearing the nasal G (i.e. ‘ng’) as an ‘m’ sound through my cheap speakers.

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