Pronunciation of じ


#1

Hi,

I’ve heard じ pronounced as both [ʑi] (similar to the American pronunciation of “garage”) and [dʑi] (like the pronunciation of the letter “g”). Does it vary depending on the words or is this a regional difference?


#2

I never really got the hang of IPA, but I’m pretty sure it’s the latter.


#3

Any examples of ge version?


#4

I’ve only ever heard [dz], but there’s going to be level 60 here in a minute to provide a paragraph of info on this :man_shrugging:


#5

It might be a regional thing or a formal vs. informal thing. By far, I have heard it said like “gee whiz” more often. I do feel like I have heard the shortened version which becomes more a garage sound though a few times, in informal speech or possibly specific regional speech, I can’t remember exactly which. Curious to see what people say though.


#6

Where?? Where is this level 60 knowledgeable fellow you speak of? I see no such creature yet…


#7

Well, how about a level 8 instead?
According to Wikipedia, the standard pronunciation is d͡ʑi̞
(Standard, as usual, means in Tokyo). Other places in Japan may use different pronunciations.
Example:

京阪の発音では文頭が/zi/で文中は/zi/か/ʣi/

In Kyoto/Oosaka area, it is pronounced /zi/ at the beginning of a sentence, and either /zi/ or /ʣi/
in the middle.


#8

I’ve noticed in Kyoto either people over-pronounce their endings (The す in です is a great example), or chop them off in odd ways, pronouncing “Kyoto” as if it rhymed with “note”.


#9

Given you know more japanese than plenty of level 60s on here, I think you don’t get to count as a real level 8.

it would have been perfect if everyone waited a couple days for you to get 60 and then you edited your reply to answer the question.


#10

level 60 here, can confirm it is じ. paragraph to follow. now someone tell me how to pronounce ぢ


#11

「じ」と全く同じじゃなかったっけ?


#12

Nope. That has only been the case since the last reform of the language.
For the same link I posted above:

現代標準語では「じ」と「ぢ」を音の上で区別しない

In modern standard language, there is no difference in pronunciation between じ and ぢ.
The page on explains further:

江戸時代に入ると「ぢ」(/dʒi/)と「じ」(/ʒi/)の発音上の区別が失われ、仮名遣いの混乱を生じるようになった

Upon entering the Edo period, the difference in pronunciation between じ and ぢ was lost, and kana usage started being mixed.


#13

So what you’re saying is that I wasn’t wrong… cause ya gotta indicate if you’re not talking about modern usage yo


#14

Well, yes. But the way you said it made me think that it is and always was the same.
Also, I pretty sure some old professors of literature or the like still use the “correct” (= old) pronunciation just for kicks.

Better be prepared, you never know when you will bump into a wild old professor of literature in the high grasses.


#15

I think it’s closer to Jesus.


#16

I’ve noticed some of my Japanese friends tend to use the hard sound when it begins a word and the softer sound in the middle of words. For example, they might say はじめまして like in ‘Frere Jacques.’ But they might say じょうず like ‘cup of Joe.’

May not be anything to it, but just something I’ve observed.


#17

。。。謎々だよね。。。


#18

Thanks for all of your replies.

The idea that the pronunciation is altered in the midle of the word is interesting. As per wakinaki’s recording, it seems to be the case in 徐々 (じょじょ), pronounced first as [djo] then as [jo].

Actually the same question applies to the pronunciation of づ/ず. I found a couple of differing examples in wanikani’s recordings:

近づく is pronounced [dzu]

気付く is pronounced [zu]

However in the last two, the づ occurs in the middle of both words and is pronounced differently.


#19

If you watch that youtube video with the guy explaining じぢずづ, while he’s mostly talking about when to choose the correct one for writing, the reason it might be hard to choose the correct one when writing in the first place is because there’s no difference in pronunciation.

This topic comes up every now and then, and people claim to hear differences, but eh, okay.


#20

I am not talking about a difference in pronunciation between じ and ぢ or between ず and づ, I know they are interchangeable.

What I am saying is that either of these morae can be pronounced in two different ways and I’m wondering why. If you listen to the recording of 徐々 (じょじょ), the first じょ is pronounced [djo] and the second じょ is pronounced as [jo].