I’ve put together a chart of all the sounds that are used in standard Japanese according the Wikipedia article for Japanese phonology and I thought I’d share it here in case it’s useful to anyone or if anyone can spot any mistakes/oversights in it.
It’s tricky to incorporate all the nuances at first (e.g. palatal before i or central u vs back u), but with a bit of practise, it seems to be becoming second nature. The one that came as the biggest shock to me was わ which turns out is not labial like wa in my first language English.
Oh my goodness, this is just amazing. Thank you so much for making this! I spent so long with what was essentially guesswork, seeing it all just lined up in a nice table like this is going to make things so much better for me.
That’s true, but I personally would say that that’s pretty close to bilabial (and if nothing else, you could probably find a dialect where it’s a true bilabial if you look hard enough - there’s a dialect for everything).
Phonetics was one of my most challenging linguistics classes, especially all of the non-English vowels (I’m looking at you, Swedish) and it took me an age to get my head (and mouth!) around it all. Ironically, it was learning about phonetics through French that got me interested in linguistics in the first place.
Are you studying it at uni, or for your own interest?
Awesome! A month ago I tried pronouncing a Polish friend’s name, and decided that IPA would be useful, but I found myself super interested in it!
I have worked on some natural language processing projects at uni though, so I guess that’s kinda related.
I take it you study/studied linguistics at uni then?
I don’t understand the phonetics for わ if I look up the weird symbol on wikipedia it gives me Voiced velar approximant and it sounds like a not too hard “r” but not a wa and Voiced labio-velar approximant sounds like an actual わ is there a mistake in the chart or am I hearing わ wrong everywhere
so if I understand correctly j is like as if you are pronouncing an i and mix it a bit with the next vowel
so then ɰ is like as if you are pronouncing a w and mix it a bit with the next vowel or something
I also just noticed that at the bottom of the page of ɰ it’s written “The sound in Japanese often denoted by ⟨w⟩ in IPA notation and described as unrounded is actually pronounced with lip compression and is therefore labio-velar, albeit with acoustic differences from other labio-velar consonants.”
So basically it’s noted as “ɰ” in IPA but it’s pronounced like a “w” in common japanese, right