What are Low and High Pitches in Japanese?

I've started to learn Japanese on my own about four months ago and so far I know some basic grammar such adjectives, nouns and which particles are need to construct a basic sentence with verbs (in plain form) and adjectives. However, my pronunciation is very bad, since I don't get a chance to talk to a native speaker often so I don't know whether I'm pronuncing words right or not. When I first to learn Japanese I read that there are two kinds of pitches in Japanese: Low and High pitch. I'm wondering if I should take this reference towards improving my pronunciation and if they are really important to becoming fluent in conversational Japanese. If someone could explain this in higher detail I would kindly appreciate it. Thanks

Nov 26, 2015 4:13 AM
Comments · 3

Hi Bryan,


I'm a bilingual in Japanese and English with experience teaching Japanese in college.


In brief, pitches/tones in Japanese are not as important when compared to more tonal languages like Chinese and Vietnamese. To communicate clearly, it is more important to pronounce each syllable in a letter than getting the tone/pitch correct.


Feel free to message me any questions.



November 26, 2015

I'll leave this here since I can't explain this very well. ;

November 26, 2015

I see, but I assume that just live with most languages there is a way in which word is pronounced, like for example the word 日本語 it would said as NiHONGo with the emphasis on the syllabes ほ and ん just like in ENglish the emphasis on the letters E and N. However I could be wrong and it may not be the same case in Japanese.

November 26, 2015