WaniKani Pronunciation?

What, you don’t want to hear any mora about it? :wink:


You definitely seem to know a lot more about this than I do, so I’m probably just misunderstanding here, but I really can’t hear a k-sound at the end of the first syllable of がっこう. I even opened one of the core6k sound files and played only the がっ part and it sounds like just the “ga”, followed by silence, to me. What am I missing?

Is this somehow related to the way words like 店員, 原因 and 全員 are pronounced? Seems to me like the ん more or less just becomes an い there. (tei-in etc).

Isn’t that more or less what a glottal stop is? My English accent is full of glottal stops, and at least hearing がっこう etc said by native speakers sounds a lot like me saying a word that I throw a glottal stop in (which for me is words like Britain, kitten, etc)


Try pronouncing something like いっぽう.
Now pronounce い on it’s own.

or pay attention what your tongue does with かった
compared to か alone

For me there’s a difference (closing the mouth at the end of the い, pressing my tongue against the roof of my mouth at the end of the か)
It’s not like pronouncing an audible p or t sound, but a light carry over.
(Obviously I could be wrong about this though :’D)

Ah, OK, you’re right, I do that too!


That’s what I thought too… regardless of whether I’m starting to mouth the next syllable or not, I still feel like I am inserting a glottal stop in がっこう (but not in おんな)

Just keep in mind that Japanese think in terms of おんな and がっこ, not onna and gakko. So it’s important to approach it from that direction. And ん is every bit equal to が for example as a mora in how much weight it’s given in a word. Same with っ.

So while an English speaker might look at a word like onna and see two syllables: on-na, a Japanese person will see three mora: お ん な. One beat for each.

But for practical pronunciation purposes, the big difference between ん and っ is that ん is voiced and っ isn’t.


You’re not wrong!

@crihak, @Ashiko, a glottal stop is produced much further back in the throat than /k/. What should happen is what @GrumpyPanda says, which is pausing for a mora in the position where you’d start pronouncing こう.

Voiced and nasal. :wink:

ん isn’t an /n/, but more of an /ɴ/ in isolation. The tip of the tongue doesn’t really touch anywhere, but rather the uvula is blocked and air goes through the nose to produce it. In isolation it would sound more like the ng in -ing (though without the g aspect) than n. If you don’t keep in time with the mora (something I have difficulties with, too), it really does bleed into the next vowel.

You can read more about the consonant here and here.


Yes, っ is not used in front of the n-row kana, so if you see something written in romaji with ‘nn’, it should have ん.

My native language has glottal stops and I’ve been pronouncing both 学校 and いっぽう with a full stop in the back of my throat regardless of what the rest of my mouth is doing just because it feels more natural to me. Should I be doing it the way @GrumpyPanda suggests?

This is so cool. I do the same thing, but I’ve never consciously noticed until I read this.

Yeah. The glottal stop shouldn’t be there in either of these examples (or any other places). In these cases you should put your mouth & throat in the position for the next syllable, wait a second, then produce the syllable.

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