Should I use 鼻濁音 (びだくおん / bidakuon)? Usage in Tokyo-ben 🤔

Hello there. I’m sorry if this has been answered before (or if this exists on the internet), however I couldn’t find the answers to my questions. :raising_hand_man:t2:

In Japanese, there is the usage of [ŋ] which replaces /g/ in certain circumstances. For example, ありがとう is pronounced as [a-ri-nga-to-o] instead of [a-ri-ga-to-o]. If you noticed, Kenichi-san, the male voice actor uses 鼻濁音 while the female voice actress, Kyoko-san, does not.

Here are some things that I noticed (please correct me if I’m wrong):

  1. The particle が should always be pronounced with [ŋ]
  2. が at the start of words are always pronounced as [g]
  3. が in the middle of a word can be used as [ŋ] or [ɣ] depending on the speaker
  4. Sometimes speakers switch between both (???)
Additional Information & Resources

I’ve decided to add this for those that are new to this and would like to explore. I guess I’m sharing the info I got previously? Hope this helps!

  1. Dogen’s Phonetics “G” Sample Video
  2. Additional rules and circumstances of 鼻濁音 (Courtesy of @Leebo)
  3. SoraNews24 Article (Video Recommended)
  4. Discussion “My G Pronunciation Woes”
And here's some background on me, just in case it's needed.

I’m a high schooler (and perhaps a to-be Japan exchange student) interested in pursuing my higher education in Japan. I’m thinking of living in Tokyo as the university of choice is the University of Tokyo.

I’d love to use 鼻濁音 in my daily conversations since I find it cool, however I’m not sure how jarring it would be. Just how common is the usage of this in Tokyo-ben? Which is more common especially among younger individuals? Should I use /ŋ/ every time or just in certain circumstances? How about the other moras in the が column (げ, ぎ, ぐ, ご)?

ありがとうございます :bowing_man:t2:


Whether you use it or not won’t really be on anyone’s radar in Japan, unless they are really trying to nitpick your pronunciation.

I’ve heard people say that younger people tend to use it less, but I don’t know if there are any numbers for that.

You’ll hear it plenty, because it’s a part of the Standard Japanese that gets used by TV announcers for the major national news stations. But pretty much no one speaks Standard Japanese all the time in their daily life, even TV announcers. If they’re speaking casually, they’re likely to include regional elements of some kind.


Oh, is that so… Alright, thank you for the prompt reply!

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Oh, and here’s more information beyond just が rules if you are still interested.


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