Kiyomi Ogawa 小川清美
Professional Teacher
Learning Article : 22 Japanese Words You Don't Want To Get Wrong!

Discuss the Article : 22 Japanese Words You Don't Want To Get Wrong!

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Due to its relatively small number of syllables, the Japanese language contains many words with similar pronunciations (but of course, very different meanings). Let’s look at a few common examples:...

Apr 24, 2014 12:00 AM
Comments · 8








April 24, 2014

I really really enjoyed this article! 本当にありがとう!

The only thing that was confusing me at one time is the differences between おじさん・おじいさん and おばさん・おばあさん! I still remember the reaction of my Japanese friend whom I accidentally addressed as おばあちゃん instead of おばちゃん!


Another confusion that long vowels might cause to the Japanese learners (even though it didn't happen to me since I was able to know about it beforehand) is the difference between お兄ちゃん (おにいちゃん) and  鬼ちゃん (おにちゃん)!!! Obviously no one wants to talk about his/her older brother as: 私の鬼ちゃんは優しい人です!




April 24, 2014
My method for the long and short vowels that seems to work is to emphasize the long syllable when it's long, and the other syllable when it's not. It's not 100% perfect since native speakers don't usually stress any syllables at all, but it prevents a lot of flubs and misunderstandings. So for example with おばあちゃん you should emphasize the ばあ part, and with おばちゃん you should emphasize the お part. They will help you make the ’ば' as short as possible. Probably you eventually want to stop emphasizing any syllables, but I think this technique will help you pronounce them better while you're learning.
August 12, 2016

Considering I'm Polish and the fact that pronouncing Japanese is VERY easy for Polish native speakers, I never had to worry about those when I was in Japan.

April 30, 2015

Haha, I can't believe people actually get these mixed around, would make for some interesting conversation!

April 30, 2015
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Kiyomi Ogawa 小川清美
Language Skills
Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
Learning Language
Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Italian, Korean, Spanish