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Your Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide

When learning a new language, pronouncing words correctly is one of the most important things, especially for practical communication. Learning Japanese pronunciation isn’t as difficult as learning Japanese grammar or its writing system, and if you can speak clearly, Japanese people will understand you even if your grammar and vocabulary aren’t perfect.

Compared to English, Japanese pronunciation is easier as it has less vowels and consonants than English does. Further, each syllable in Japanese has the same length and strength, as opposed to English where you have to be careful about which syllables to stress and speak strongly. As such, don’t be afraid to learn Japanese pronunciation. You can master Japanese pronunciation much faster than you think once you know the rules and tips.

Here’s our detailed guide to Japanese pronunciation to help you learn efficiently with JapanesePod101! Consider this our Japanese pronunciation key.

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1. Introduction to Japanese Pronunciation

It’s essential to know the Japanese writing systemin order to learn Japanese pronunciation efficiently and effectively. Once you master Hiragana / Katakana, you can pronounce anything in Japanese, as they’re the cornerstone of pronunciation in the Japanese language.

1- What is the Japanese Language Writing System?

The Japanese writing system is a combination of three different characters: Hiragana (ひらがな), Katakana (カタカナ), and Kanji (漢字). Kanji is Chinese characters and both Hiragana and Katakana are a syllabic grapheme. For learning Japanese pronunciation, Hiragana is the most important and thus we focus on Hiragana here. Later, we’ll also go more into comparing Japanese pronunciation to English.

Hiragana

Hiragana

Hiragana is the most basic Japanese writing system, the core Japanese alphabet. Japanese children and foreign Japanese learners start learning Japanese from here in order to read and write Japanese. 

Hiragana consists of 46 basic characters which can represent all of the sounds in spoken Japanese, with a few variations which are closely related to some basic Hiragana and its sounds. 

How to Read Hiragana

Unlike in the English alphabet, eachHiragana character represents one mora, the shortest syllable, and each character is read for the same length of time and spoken with the same strength. The characters represent the exact same sounds (please see the chart above) and all the Japanese sounds can be expressed by a single hiragana, or a combination of two hiragana letters. 

All Hiragana end with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u).In this respect, Japanese pronunciation is far simpler than English pronunciation. Take the English alphabet “i,” for example. “I” itself is pronounced /aɪ/, but when it’s used in words such as “alive” and “ink,” the pronunciation of “i” changes. 

On the contrary, the sound and pronunciation of Hiragana is the same, no matter what order the characters are in, or what combination of characters are in a word.

So once you master Hiragana, you’ll be able to pronounce all the Japanese words perfectly!

The first step to learn Japanese is to master Hiragana. When you can properly pronounce each Japanese words, your conversation skill will greatly improve.

2- How Many *Sounds* are there in Japanese?

As mentioned above, the basic sounds are represented by forty-six Hiragana characters.

However, there are fifty-eight other variations of sounds listed below. All are based on forty-six basic Hiragana.

1. Sound Variations

These are related to some of the basic Hiragana sounds. These characters are considered to be variations of the basic Hiragana, thus they don’t appear in the main syllabary.

For example:

When you look at the vertical “k” line in the Hiragana Chart above, there are “か (Ka), き (Ki), く(Ku), け (Ke), こ (Ko).” When adding “dakuten濁点” or two small lines to the upper right of each of the ka-line characters, the hard “k” sound changes into a softer “g” sound:

か (ka) → が (ga)
き (ki)→ ぎ (gi)
く (ku) → ぐ (gu)
け (ke) → げ (ge)
こ (ko) → ご (go)

Similarly, the lines of “s,” “t,” and “h” change into “z,” “d,” and “b” with dakuten as shown below.

When you add “handakuten 半濁点” or a small circle to the upper right of each of the h-line characters, the sound of “h” changes into the “p” sound: 

は (Ha) → ぱ (Pa)

ひ (Hi) → ぴ (Pi)

ふ (Fu) → ぷ (Pu)

へ (He) → ぺ (Pe)

ほ (Ho) → ぽ (Po)

  あ段 い段 う段 え段 お段
が行 が ガ
ga
ぎ ギ
gi
ぐ グ
gu
げ ゲ
ge
ご ゴ
go
ざ行 ざ ザ
za
じ ジ
ji
ず ズ
zu
ぜ ゼ
ze
ぞ ゾ
zo
だ行 だ ダ
da
ぢ ヂ
ji
づ ヅ
zu
で デ
de
ど ド
do
ば行 ば バ
ba
び ビ
bi
ぶ ブ
bu
べ ベ
be
ぼ ボ
bo
ぱ行 ぱ パ
pa
ぴ ピ
pi
ぷ プ
pu
ぺ ペ
pe
ぽ ポ
po

The number of sounds in Japanese pronunciation is not as many as those of English, so learning Japanese pronunciation is not so difficult if you know English.

2. Small Ya-Line Combinations

The three ya-line (や [Ya], ゆ [Yu], よ [Yo]) sounds can be combined with any of the sounds that end in い (i) (except for “い [i] ” itself from the “a-line”) to create another variation of sounds. In such cases, the ya-line sounds are represented by smaller characters of や (ya), ゆ (yu), よ (yo) instead of the regular-sized characters.

For example:

“き (Ki)” + “small ゃ (ya)” becomes “きゃ (kya).” When “ki” and “small ya” combine, the “i” sound disappears and it changes into the “kya” sound. The k-line becomes きゃ (kya), きゅ (kyu), and きょ (kyo).

Similarly, it applies to other sounds as shown below.

  や段 ゆ段 よ段
か行 きゃ キャ
kya
きゅ キュ
kyu
きょ キョ
kyo
さ行 しゃ シャ
sha
しゅ シュ
shu
しょ ショ
sho
た行 ちゃ チャ
cha
ちゅ チュ
chu
ちょ チョ
cho
な行 にゃ ニャ
nya
にゅ ニュ
nyu
にょ ニョ
nyo
は行 ひゃ ヒャ
hya
ひゅ ヒュ
hyu
ひょ ヒョ
hyo
ま行 みゃ ミャ
mya
みゅ ミュ
myu
みょ ミョ
myo
ら行 りゃ リャ
rya
りゅ リュ
ryu
りょ リョ
ryo
が行 ぎゃ ギャ
gya
ぎゅ ギュ
gyu
ぎょ ギョ
gyo
ざ行 じゃ ジャ
ja
じゅ ジュ
ju
じょ ジョ
jo
だ行 ぢゃ ヂャ
ja
ぢゅ ヂュ
ju
ぢょ ヂョ
jo
ば行 びゃ ビャ
bya
びゅ ビュ
byu
びょ ビョ
byo
ぱ行 ぴゃ ピャ
pya
ぴゅ ピュ
pyu
ぴょ ピョ
pyo

Listening to the native’s pronunciation is very effective for learning. Please check out our YouTube channel of JapanesePod101.

2. Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Beginners in the Japanese language often make similar pronunciation mistakes. Japanese people may not understand you when you pronounce words incorrectly. 

Here are the top five common mistakes in Japanese pronunciation. 

Do you recognize any? Let’s get it fixed!

1- Shortening Double Vowels

While Japanese vowel sounds pronunciation are typically easy to grasp, this is one of the most common mistakes made by foreign learners. There are many Japanese words which have double vowels and a lot of beginners shorten long vowels. By shortening the double vowels, a word can have a different meaning despite sounding similar.

For example:

Tsūki (つうき:通気) — Ventilation / Air inflation

Tsuki (つき:月) — Moon

Hāku (はあく:把握) — Grasp / Comprehend / Understand

Haku (はく:吐く) — Vomit / Puke

When you omit the sound of “u” in Tsuuki, it becomes a different word (Tsuki) with a different meaning. There are many words that sound almost alike in Japanese like these, but be careful not to shorten vowels! 

2- Not Pronouncing Vowels after Consonants, Especially for “Imported” Words

There are tons of “imported” words, or 外来語 (Gairaigo), in Japanese which are originally from foreign words, especially English. Although the sounds of these words are similar to the original ones, they became “Japanese” words and are pronounced in the Japanese way. If you pronounce them like they sound in English, most Japanese people unfortunately won’t understand you! 

For example, check out this Japanese pronunciation list:

  • hamu (ハム) — ham
  • konpyūtā (コンピューター) — computer
  • resutoran (レストラン) — restaurant
  • koppu (コップ) — cup
  • aisukurīmu (アイスクリーム) — icecream
  • terebi (テレビ) — TV
  • basukettobōru (バスケットボール) — basketball
  • kurejitto kādo (クレジットカード) — credit card

In order to pronounce them correctly in Japanese, check how they’re spelled and listen carefully to how Japanese people pronounce them. Keep in mind that each Japanese sound is always “consonants + vowels,” except for ん (n).

3- Pronouncing Syllables too Strongly

If you’re a native English speaker, it’s natural to stress syllables in a word. But it’s not the case in Japanese! Each syllable has the same length and strength in Japanese, and a word sounds flat without stressed parts.

For example:

  • The word “hamburger” is /ˈhæmˌbɜː(r)ɡə(r)/
  • In English, “ha” is stressed and pronounced strongly.
  • In Japanese, however, it’s pronounced “han-bā-gā,” with equal stress on all syllables.
  • Japanese 3-Hiragana-name, such as Mariko, Naomi, Kaori, Takashi, Tomoki, Yutaka., etc.
  • When native English speakers call Japanese 3-Hiragana-name, they tend to stress the latter syllables too strongly. 
  • In case of “Mariko,” ri is often stressed too strongly: “mah-REEEE-koh,” although it’s just “Ma-ri-ko” in Japanese, without stressing any particular syllable. 

4- Japanese “R” is not English “R”

This might be very difficult and confusing for native English speakers (or native alphabet users). 

In Japanese, the “R” sound in ら (ra), り (ri), る (ru), れ (re), ろ (ro), which compose the r-line in the Hiragana Chart, is not exactly the same as the English “R” sound. It actually sounds like something between the “R” and the “L” sound.

As the Japanese language doesn’t use Roman Alphabet, it’s hard to express “ら、り、る、れ、ろ” precisely in alphabet. However, alphabet “R” is commonly used to express “ら、り、る、れ、ろ” sounds nowadays, although it doesn’t represent the sound accurately.

Here are some tips for pronouncing “R” in ら (ra), り (ri), る (ru), れ (re), ろ (ro) in Japanese:

1) DO NOT ROLL your tongue for “R!” 

Native English speakers tend to “roll” their tongue strongly when they pronounce “R” = “aarrrrr,” so that it sounds like it’s coming from deep in your throat. However, don’t roll your tongue with the Japanese “R” sound. 

2) Pronounce “L” instead of “R.”

It sounds more similar to native Japanese pronunciation when you replace “R” with “L” in words.

Examples:

  • Ringo (りんご) — Apple → “Lingo
  • Roku (ろく・6) — Six → “Loku
  • Rainen (らいねん・来年) — Next year → “Lainen
  • Rikai (りかい・理解) — Comprehension → “Likai

5- Pronouncing the Little っ (Tsu) Incorrectly

This is probably one of the most difficult words to pronounce in Japanese for foreigners.

The small っ (tsu) , or 促音 (Sokuon), represents that the following consonant is a double consonant (except when the following consonant is “ch”). It denotes the gemination of the initial consonant of the kana that follows it.

Examples:

  • Matte (まって・待って) — Wait → the sokuon represented by the doubled t consonant.
  • Kippu (きっぷ・切符) — Ticket → the sokuon represented by the doubled p consonant.
  • Gakkō (がっこう・学校) — School → the sokuon represented by the doubled k consonant.
  • Shippai (しっぱい・失敗) — Failure → the sokuon represented by the doubled p consonant.

Many beginners don’t pronounce the small っ (tsu), or the sokuon with the doubled consonant, correctly 

and tend to omit one consonant of the pair. For example, まって (matte) → まて (mate). This can change the meaning of a word, or cause it to not make sense.

Make sure you know the spelling of these words and how Japanese people pronounce them. 

Knowing the correct spelling and how to read them helps you understand how to pronounce properly.

3. Vowel Sounds

Correct Pronunciation

1- Only 5 Japanese Vowels

Japanese pronunciation is far simpler than English pronunciation! 

Japanese has only five vowels and these are terse vowels, pronounced clearly and sharply. Each letter almost always represents one single vowel sound. This makes Japanese vowel sounds pronunciation pretty simple to learn.

While English also has five vowels, they’re each pronounced differently when used in different combinations with other letters, bringing the total number of different vowel sounds up to around 20. In this respect, English vowel sounds cover all the Japanese vowel sounds.

Compared to English, Japanese vowels have only five basic sounds and they won’t change. Thus, they’re easy to learn!

a

i

u

e

o

These five vowels are the first five “letters” of the syllabary (look at “a-line” in the Hiragana Chart in section 1). These are the most basic Hiragana and sounds of all.

  • あ (a) represents the sound of “a” in “father.”
  • い (i) represents the sound of “ee” in “feet.”
  • う(u) represents the sound of “oo” in “food.” (”u” is pronounced with no forward movement of the lips.)
  • え (e) represents the sound of “e” in “pet” (a short “e”).
  • お (o) represents the sound of “o” in “on.”

Both in speaking and writing, each of these sounds is used on its own, or in combination with consonant sounds to produce other Hiragana or “letter.” 

For example:

Look at the k-line in the Hiragana Chart. 

The first consonant sound is a “k” sound, and by combining it with any of the five vowel sounds, it creates the k-line Hiragana and its sounds as follows.

ka

(k + a)

ki

(k + i)

ku

(k + u)

ke

(k + e)

ko

(k + o)

In the case of double vowels, such as 空気 (kūki)meaning “air,” the two vowels comprise two syllables, and they’re exactly twice as long as one vowel with equal stress. You may find that listening to the pronunciation yourself will help you grasp this better.

4. Consonant Sounds

Consonant Sounds

1- 14 Japanese Consonants 

There are 14 consonants in Japanese:

  • /k/
  • /s/
  • /t/
  • /n/
  • /h/
  • /m/
  • /y/
  • /r/
  • /w/
  • /g/
  • /z/
  • /d/
  • /b/
  • /p/ 

If you’re a native English speaker, all of these 14 consonants should be familiar sounds as English has more consonants ( /p/ , /ʃ/, /b/, /t/, /h/, /d/, /ʧ/, /k/, /ʤ/, /g/, /m/, /f/, /n/, /v/, /ŋ/, /θ/, /l/, /ð/, /r/, /s/, /j/, /z/, /w/) including these 14 Japanese consonant sounds.

When you look at the Hiragana Chart in the first section, you’ll see that consonant sounds have the same combination pattern with the five vowels “a, i, u, e, o” as explained above. 

Following the k-line, the s-line represents: さ (sa),し (shi), す (su), せ (se), そ (so). 

For the second sound, it’s written and pronounced shi instead of si.

sa

si

su

se

so

The pattern continues after the k-line, followed by sa, ta, na, ha, ma, ya, ra, and wa.

2- Japanese Syllables are Open

Unlike in English, all the Japanese syllables are open. This means that all syllables end with a vowel. 

(A syllable ending with a consonant is a closed syllable. For example, “bag,” “that,” “complain,” and “meal” are closed, and “era,” “tomato,” “no,” and “data” are open.) 

The Japanese consonants always end with any of the five vowels, as you can see in the Hiragana Chart. 

The only exception to this rule is (n).

Examples:

  • mikan (みか) — orange
  • jikan (じか・時間) — time
  • hon (ほ・本) — book
  • kantan (かんた・簡単) — easy

5. How to Improve Japanese Pronunciation

Introduction

1- Master the 5 Japanese Vowels

Vowels are very important in Japanese pronunciation! Here’s some advice for Japanese pronunciation practice with vowels. 

As mentioned above, all the Japanese syllables, except for (n), end with any of the five vowels: あ (a), い (i), う (u), え (e), お (o). Japanese pronunciation and sound is always the combination of “consonants + vowel.”

In addition, a lot of mistakes in Japanese pronunciation are associated with vowels (see “Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid” in section 2). 

Therefore, pronouncing vowels correctly is the first step in improving Japanese pronunciation! 

Make sure you check the spelling of a word and how it’s pronounced before you try to say it. 

In order to master Japanese vowels, please visit Perfect Pronunciation of the 5 Japanese Vowels to watch our video and actually listen to the five vowel sounds.

2- Listen and Speak Repeatedly! 

There’s no easy road to learning. No matter what you study and learn, continuous and repetitive practice is always the best way to improve. When it comes to improving pronunciation, saying the words and phrases you’re learning out loud is essential. 

  • In order to learn the right way, make sure you read (learn spelling), write, and listen before you actually say words out loud. Repeat these actions as much as possible. For listening, you can use Japanese learning materials such as CDs, audiobooks, our website, YouTube, and so on.
  • When you listen to Japanese words and phrases, pay attention to the ups and downs, or intonation, of the language carefully, and also to the tricky sounds you have difficulty pronouncing. 
  • When you speak Japanese, try to record your pronunciation. It’s a helpful way to detect your own pronunciation errors by recording yourself and comparing how you pronounce with a native speaker’s voice. 

3- Practice Conversation with Native Japanese Speakers

Speak Japanese as much as you can, ideally with native Japanese speakers. Try your best to listen to them; listen carefully to how they pronounce words and how their intonation of words and phrases go up and down when they speak. Also try to repeat and imitate them.

If you have native Japanese friends, talk with them in Japanese and ask them for help in correcting your Japanese pronunciation. When you make mistakes during conversations, Japanese people won’t usually correct your pronunciation unless you ask them to do so. So simply ask your Japanese friends for help to correct your mistakes and to practice. They’ll be happy to help you.

If you don’t have any Japanese friends you can ask, there are many other options for talking to Japanese people. You can find Japanese friends through various websites and applications for making international friends, and language exchange services. Some websites/applications offer their services for free, but even if it costs to register for services, there are many online services that cost much less than actual language classes.

It’s always much more fun when you have friends to practice with! 

4- Use Anything You Can Find to Shadow and Mimic

Thanks to modern technology and the internet, there are various free resources you can find easily. Whether it’s music, a TV program, a movie, or an audio book, use it repeatedly to practice Japanese pronunciation. 

The fastest way to start speaking like Japanese people is to mimic everything that native Japanese do. Copy and imitate Japanese pronunciation and intonation from whatever is available!

For example:

  • Read and listen to lyrics carefully first, and then sing along to your favorite Japanese songs in Japanese.
  • Repeat lines from movies or TV shows and say entire phrases out loud to practice the rhythm of Japanese pronunciation and intonation.
  • Watch YouTube, TED Talks, and so on, in Japanese with the Japanese subtitles. Do this repeatedly, and shadow a native Japanese speaker to practice your pronunciation.
  • Listen to audiobooks, and shadow and mimic a Japanese speaker in order to sound and look identical to them.

Watching videos makes it easier to learn how to pronounce Japanese correctly with both visual and sound effective support. 

6. Hard Words to Pronounce & How to Overcome

When it comes to some Japanese words, pronunciation can be a struggle. Some Japanese sounds are difficult for foreign people to pronounce. 

As mentioned above in “Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid,” the r-line ら (ra), り (ri), る (ru), れ (re), ろ (ro), is one of the most difficult Japanese sounds for foreigners to pronounce correctly.

In addition to the r-line, the short compound syllables of the “small ya-line” combinations are also very hard to pronounce. Even Japanese people bite their tongues sometimes when it comes to saying words which contain the short compound syllables, such as:

  • りゃ (rya), りゅ (ryu), りょ (ryo)
  • きゃ (kya), きゅ (kyu), きょ (kyo)
  • にゃ (nya), にゅ (nyu), にょ (nyo)
  • ぴゃ (pya), ぴゅ (pyu), ぴょ (pyo)

Here’s a list of difficult words to pronounce. Please feel free to listen to each word’s pronunciation as well. Each syllable is indicated and divided with “-” below.

  1. Te-n-i-n (てんいん・店員) — staff/clerk

This word isn’t English “ten” and “in.” Try to say each syllable clearly.

  1. Shu-tsu-ryo-ku (しゅつりょく・出力) — output power

You could tangle your tongue when you say this word. Speak slowly and pronounce each syllable clearly. 

  1. Ryo-u-ri (りょうり・料理) — cuisine

The “o” has a long sound and “u” isn’t really pronounced. 

  1. Chū-sha-jō (ちゅうしゃじょう・駐車場) — parking lot

The “u” and “o” in bold have a long sound and the following “u” is pronounced slightly.

  1. Ryo-kō (りょこう・旅行) — traveling

The “o” in bold has a long sound and the “u” isn’t really pronounced. 

  1. Be-n-ri (べんり・便利) — convenient

It’s easier to say “li” instead of “ri” to pronounce this word. Please remember that the Japanese “R” sound isn’t the same as the English “R” sound, and you don’t roll your tongue. Japanese “R” is a sound somewhere between “R” and “L.”

  1. Shi-n-rya-ku (しんりゃく・侵略) — invasion 

 In order to pronounce this correctly, speak slowly and pronounce each syllable clearly.

7. Why is Correct Pronunciation in Japanese Important?

Mistakes

Proper pronunciation is important, very important. Some say it’s even more important than getting the grammar perfectly correct! Why would this be?

1) Good Understanding 

If communicating with native speakers matters to you when learning Japanese, you need to be understood when you talk, and you need to be able to understand the native speakers. After all, without understanding, the purpose of language is null and void! In order to be understood, you need to be able to speak the language in a way that is familiar to native speakers, or at least recognizable by them. 

When learning to speak a new language, you will learn that the more you progress the more intricate it becomes! For instance, almost every language has vocabulary that may look the same in writing, but because the words are pronounced differently, they have very different meanings. This means that you may say a word in Japanese, and because of a slight change in pronunciation, the meaning of the word changes completely. Understandably, this can make for pretty embarrassing situations! At worst, your mispronounced Japanese will sound garbled to a native speaker. 

Knowing the nuances of how a word or letter is pronounced will also help you to understand spoken Japanese better.

No worries if this feels hard; you’re learning, and with our help at JapanesePod101, you will not have a problem with mispronunciation if you follow our advice and examples carefully.

2) Good Communication 

Not pronouncing Japanese or any other language correctly can lead to a lot of frustration because you’re unable to express what you mean, and you will not be understood correctly. Even if you have total knowledge of Japanese grammar, and can write it like a native, not knowing how to speak it properly will only make for very frustrating communication all around.

3) A Good Impression 

Even if you’re only a beginner, it is possible to speak any language correctly. This way, you are bound to make a good impression on native speakers, and when you’re more fluent, you will be likely to garner a lot more respect than a fumbling newbie speaker who doesn’t care much for correct pronunciation. 

People often have a lot of patience for someone who learns to speak a new language, but native speakers are more likely to address you and engage with you in conversation if you work hard on your accent. This is simply because you’ll be able to understand one another! So, proficiency in pronunciation can mean the difference between having none or plenty of Japanese speaking friends. It will also serve you well in the workplace, and make you popular with your Japanese speaking managers and employers or employees.

Learning to speak Japanese properly is also a sign of respect for not only the language, but also the native speakers and their customs. 

8. Secrets to Learning the Correct Japanese Pronunciation

Improve your pronunciation!

1) Use voice recording tools to perfect your pronunciation

JapanesePod101 has plenty of resources to help you with your Japanese pronunciation, so be sure to make thorough use of our recordings with native Japanese speakers. These are available not only to demonstrate to you how you should pronounce Japanese vocabulary, but also sentences and dialogues. Watch and listen to these over and over again to train your ear, and watch the teacher’s mouth as she speaks in the video lessons. Then, copy the speech as best you can. Later, you can record yourself to hear if you sound like a native speaker and compare yourself with native speakers. Great for self-motivation.

2) Practice in front of the mirror.

And see that you’re copying the correct lip and mouth movements.

3) Use our JapanesePod101 dictionary!

Use the Japanese dictionary provided by JapanesePod101 to look up words and listen to the audio pronunciation. This will go a long way towards giving you an idea of how to pronounce a word or letter correctly.

4) Train your ear to the language!

Make an effort to listen often to Japanese music and recorded books, and watch plenty of Japanese movies and/or TV shows in Japanese. This will train your ear to the language, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you pick up the accent. Remember, this is the way we learned to speak when we were young - mostly by listening to the adults talking, and repeating what they say!

5) Practice, practice, practice… 

Repetition of the same thing may be boring, but in learning a new language, you’re creating new pathways in your brain. For these to remain and become habitual, you will need to repeat the correct pronunciation often.

6) Make friends with a native Japanese speaker.

Don’t be shy to address them in Japanese! Ask them to correct you when you make a pronunciation mistake - this is a wonderful way to practice and learn the language first-hand, and also to make new friends.

7) Practice your pronunciation with your Japanese teacher!

If you’re a serious student and don’t know where to meet native Japanese speakers, consider investing in JapanesePod101’s Premium PLUS plan. This means you will have your own native Japanese teacher available to practice your pronunciation with, and much more! Send recordings of yourself speaking Japanese and get feedback from your Japanese teacher.

9. How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

Secrets to Learning

I hope this article about Japanese pronunciation is helpful and that it makes your pronunciation practice more enjoyable! Keep up the practice, and you’ll sound like a native when you pronounce Japanese words! Japanese pronunciation can test your patience at times, but keep it up!

If you would like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find more useful contents on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills. 

Need more Japanese pronunciation help? 

Practice your pronunciation with your Japanese teacher on JapanesePod101! This means you will have your own native Japanese teacher available to practice your pronunciation with, and much more! Send recordings of yourself speaking Japanese and get feedback from your Japanese teacher.

10. How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Japanese

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Japanese!

If you want to master the Japanese language and become fluent, you must learn the Japanese alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Japanese learning beginners!

FREE Japanese eBook

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This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

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3 Reasons to Learn Japanese Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Japanese lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Japanese through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve downloaded the Japanese lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Japanese using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Japanese Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Japanese lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Japanese lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Japanese using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Japanese at JapanesePod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

11. Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Japanese
Do you know how to say hello in Japanese? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Japanese. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Japanese
Can you introduce yourself in Japanese? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Japanese Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Japanese Alphabet
Learn everything you need to know about the Japanese alphabet. At JapanesePod101, we introduce you to Japanese writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Japanese alphabet completely from the start.
How to Say Thank You in Japanese
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Japanese. It’s one of the most important Japanese phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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