Japanese Vowels: What They Are + How To Pronounce Them

Written byIchika Yamamoto

Speaking Japanese as a second language is an interesting way to learn other culture understandings or impress your friends speaking a millenary tongue. However, Japanese, as any other Asian tongue, is quite difficult and a little bit different. People who want to speak Japanese (日本語) properly need to understand that the learning process is very exigent and requires a lot patience and perseverance from the student.

The Japanese vowels have a special characteristic; they are pure and their pronunciation is quite simple and basic. In addition, there are plenty of monophthongs and allophones in the Japanese vocabulary. In order to provide useful information, here is a list of the most important Japanese vowels with possible approximations in English dialects.

First, the more or less invariable sounds:

  • A is pronounced as in "Fantastic"
  • I is pronounced as in "Peek"
  • U is pronounced as in "Bull"
  • E is pronounced as in "End"
  • O is pronounced as in "Go"

Event though, the pronunciation of the vowels sounds is pretty important, Learners need to assimilate the complex Japanese writing properly. There are 4 main alphabets in Japanese language that learners need to understand in order to have a good command of the language. We can find the Hiragana (ひらがな), katakana (カタカナ), Kanji (漢字) and the Romanji.

Here is a list, of the vowels in Hiragana alphabet and their equivalences in English words.

  • /あ/ (a) as in fabulous
  • /い/ (i) as in Greek
  • /う/ (u) as in Tube
  • /え/ (e) as in Cake
  • /お/ (o) as in Open
  • Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Japanese Language Guide
Learn Japanese
Make sure to subscribe.
This online learn Japanese resource guide is for anyone who wants to learn the Japanese language. My goal is to help you learn Japanese grammar and phrases, and share the best Japanese resources to help you learn.
Japanese Language Guide
Author: Ichika Yamamoto
新しい言語は、新たな人生の始まり。Learn Japanese here.Make sure to subscribe.
© Japanese Language Guide, 2024. Privacy Disclaimer Contact