Pronounce better

I notice that my hiragana is prettyg good and because of furigana I have no problem reading kanji as well. But I have saw that pronouncing words makes my reading slower.
How can I practice that.

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Try not pronouncing words.

I am help ^^

Honestly though, I don’t know that there’s any better advice than “keep doing it”. Or that there needs to be. :slight_smile:

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I agree with @sebigator :slight_smile: If you read enough eventually you’ll be able to read hiragana as quick as the English alphabet!
(Unless you mean you can’t speak Japanese quickly? In that case, I would just repeat phrases and practice so your mouth gets used to speaking/pronouncing it. For example, keep saying たべられる until you can say it really fast 10 times)

Do you mean that you read slow because you’re pronouncing all words instead of just absorbing the meaning? (Like I don’t think we really “pronounce” the words when reading English, unless we’re reading out loud)

If so, i don’t have a solution. I’m not even sure you need a solution. Eventually with practice you’ll know the words at a glance without having to sound them out.

(and if i’m totally misunderstanding, my apologies)


That’s not true for many people, myself included. Pronouncing the words in your head is called subvocalization and is very common.

(I agree with the rest of your point by the way. Regardless of whether OP ever stops vocalizing or subvocalizing, practice is the only way to improve reading speed.)

If you’re interested:

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Nnyeah, I not only subvocalize when reading (in English), but also when thinking. I also tend to visualize the written word when thinking, sometimes. I’m lead to believe that latter part is a lot weirder, though.
Anyway, yeah, subvocalizing Japanese doesn’t slow me down anymore. It’s just practice.

I never realized there were adults who subvocalize when reading their primary fluent language, until I was talking with a coworker a few years ago! It still seems like a foreign concept to me. That could have drastically changed my speed-reading bibliophilic childhood…

Surveying my friends, the native Italian was an obligate subvocalizer, the native Chinese wasn’t, and results were mixed among native French and English speakers. Obviously too few data points to draw real conclusions from, but it makes some intuitive sense that perhaps it is correlated with how phonetic the writing system is. (Chinese is actually worse than non-phonetic: in general, written material is in Mandarin dialect, despite the huge regional variation of spoken language. Imagine if all Romance language speakers still read and wrote in Latin…)

So, I wonder what it’s like for most fluent Japanese readers and speakers, since the writing is a mishmash of phonetic kana and non-phonetic kanji. For me, it’s very distracting having to switch between being able to grasp concepts directly from kanji without subvocalization, then having to parse okurigana and other phonetic bits… although I’m not a fast enough reader for it to make much of a difference either way, yet.

Just to add, subvocalization increases accuracy/comprehension but reduces reading speed. If you’re trying to get faster at reading then you should stop doing it, but if you’re reading for comprehension then it’s obviously better to start doing it again.

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Subvocalizing thoughts: I also couldn’t believe that people did that until after some… err… vigorous discussion with my coworker, whose brain apparently works quite differently from mine. In this case I hypothesize a correlation with early bilingualism - it encourages you to hold abstract ideas disconnected from the spoken form. Maybe.

Depends on how fast you hope to read, of course. I think actual speed-reading requires minimalizing subvocalization, but subvocalization doesn’t make your reading necessarily slow.

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Yeah, but learning how to read faster is definitely a skill that requires deliberate practice. I’m a very good reader in English but I capped out at 150 WPM (which is pretty slow) until I started practicing without subvocalization. Like I said, it’s best to turn it back on when you’re not deliberately practicing reading speed though.

It’s interesting, because for a long time I assumed - based on my own experience - that people couldn’t think very well without words. I assumed that was part of why we tend not to remember much from our early life with little language, and I also assumed that before developing complicated language, humans must not have been capable of complex thought. I thought - because of the way that I think - that subvocalization was that vital to thought.

It remains difficult for me to understand - as I do now - that this isn’t really the case.

We have a mutually difficult time understanding each other! Yay…? :smile:

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