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Travel, Teach, Live in Japan

Japanese Pronunciation Tips #13
By:Brett McCluskey

Of the 46 syllables in the Japanese syllabary, there are three that are mispronounced frequently by native English speakers. The focus of this mini lesson is on one of the more difficult syllables to pronounce in the Japanese Language, namely the tsu syllable. The way you go about conquering the pronunciation of words that contain tsu or begin or end with the syllable tsu requires a little cleverness, patience and of course consistent practice. The pronunciation is not that difficult but can be comprehended by using two English words to pluck out, if you will the pronunciation. Two English words that are elided together, like in the following phrase eight suits gives a close approximation of the sound of tsu in Japanese say the following out loud

eight suits, eight suits, eight suits, eight suits, eight suits, eight suits

Now say loud a couple more times and concentrate on the elision that occurs between the words eight and suits. Say it faster and faster until you can feel the tsu come out of eigh –tsu- its The correct or nearest equivalent that native English speakers of Japanese can get to saying the tsu syllable is taking the t from the eight and adding the su in the previous example. Practice with your newly acquired, authentic sounding, near native pronunciation, the following words containing tsu

Tsuitachi – 20th of the month
Tsuyuu – the rainy season
Itsu? – when?
Hachimitsu –honey
Itsutsu – 5 counter
Itsumo – always
Motsuaruto –mozart

Ganbatte ne. Do your best.

McCluskey Sensei, yori

His love of the theatre and music is apparent. He love music performance and worked as house accompanist for a plethora of choirs. Musical Directing, Acting, Composing are just some of his hobbies he says. Was involved in live perfoming bands in particuliar Stinger since the age of 13. Moved to Japan when he was 19 and now boasts a vocabulary of over 9000 words. Is a 6' handsome guy with blonde hair and blue eyes living in sunny southern california. Received his Bachelors degree in Music Education from California State University San Bernardino. He is a teacher of piano and general music So why is this guy so good at Japanese? We all want to know. Go check out his site http://www.jappermon.com

Messages In This Thread

Japanese Pronunciation Tips #13 -- Brett McCluskey
Re: Japanese Pronunciation Tips #13 -- Commodore Luke Perry

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