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How do you pronounce TOFU? Help needed from Japanese speakers, please. Can any Japanese speakers advise about the most authentic way to pronounce 'tofu' in an English sentence? Is is the 'o' of the first syllable closer to the English sound in 'top' or in 'tone'? Many thanks.
Jan 28, 2017 2:31 PM
Answers · 13
I think 'o' in torch is better.
January 28, 2017
the first "to" (sic!) is like "to" in "Tokyo" (sic!) when said in Japanese. That is, it is a loooong "o". Not like in "top" or "tone". Maybe more like in "law". In other words, the English "tofu" is pronounced "wrong".
January 28, 2017
It depends how accurate/pretentious you want to be. Tofu is a really well-known "Japanese" word so in English it has taken on the phonetic characteristics of our language. It's "to" as in "toe", and "foo" instead of a Japanese "u" sound. If you want to get really technical, the word is originally Chinese so you could start pronouncing it "dòufǔ" if you want. Overall, given how well-known it is, I would probably just go with the standard English-language pronunciation: "toefoo"
January 28, 2017
Thank you, Haru. That's really useful.
January 29, 2017
Hi, Su.Ki! If you would like to listen to it, here are some recordings: https://ja.forvo.com/word/%E8%B1%86%E8%85%90/#ja
January 29, 2017
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