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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone! I’m Michelle Yamamoto.
Welcome back to The Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll master perfect pronunciation of the 5 Japanese vowels.
There are 5 vowels in Japanese, and their pronunciation doesn't change.
The first vowel is...
Open your mouth a little, relax the tongue and say "ah."
Repeat after me.
The next vowel is...
Open the mouth, bring the lips up slightly, and raise the tongue – and say い. Here's a tip: it's like the "ee" in "meet", but shorter. い – raise your tongue almost to the roof of your mouth.
Repeat after me.
The next vowel is...
う [ɯ]
Purse the lips as if you are going to whistle or say the word "who". Like this う. Try it. Release a short "u" sound.
The lips are more relaxed for the Japanese "u" sound than the English "u." Compare Japanese "u" with English "u".
Repeat after me.
The next vowel is...
Open the mouth, raise the lips up from their natural relaxed position – as if you are about to start smiling – and release the sound, saying "eh".
Repeat after me.
The final vowel is...
Think of the perfect circle of an orange. Round the lips, as if you are surprised, and release a round Japanese "oh".
Repeat after me.
Congratulations! You've learned the 5 Japanese vowels. There are many Japanese words made up of vowels alone. Let's practice. Repeat after me!
あお "blue", あ・お、あお
あお
いえ "house"、い・え、いえ
いえ
うえ "up" う・え、うえ
うえ
Japanese vowels may seem simple, but mastering them is a crucial first step. Almost every syllable from here is formed on the basis of these vowels. Try practicing each one in a mirror.
Perfect these sounds, because in the next lesson, you'll master the first set of consonants.
Was seeing the pronunciation illustrations helpful? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide lesson!

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 14th, 2014 at 06:30 PM
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Do you find any of the Japanese vowel difficult to pronounce?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 7th, 2020 at 07:28 AM
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こんにちは Kai,


Great to hear that! 😇 Thank you very much for your message.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Kai
October 5th, 2020 at 12:14 AM
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Thank you for illustration. I've been in trouble about pronunciation but now I think I get better.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 29th, 2020 at 01:26 PM
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Serenaさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

So glad to hear that! Your effort started paying off 👍

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Serena
May 27th, 2020 at 06:44 AM
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The illustrations were helpful, I think I'm pronouncing vowels better now😄

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 24th, 2020 at 04:25 AM
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こんにちは Martinさん


コメントありがとうございます。Thank you for your comment. 😇

We are very happy to hear that you are enjoying our materials.

Let us know if you have any questions.


Wishing you good luck with your Japanese,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Martin
May 24th, 2020 at 03:58 AM
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Thanks so much for free e-book😄 and lesson recommendation❤️️. You guys are awesome tomorrow will print out the e-book. And last few days i know a lot new words 😁 and phrases I'm so truly happy.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 23rd, 2020 at 05:25 PM
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こんにちは Martinさん


コメントありがとうございます。Thank you for your comment. 😇 Please check out the following page where you can find a lot of information with a free ebook that might help you: https://www.japanesepod101.com/japanese-alphabet/

Furthermore, I'd strongly recommend you to check out our Kantan Kana series that has 25 lessons: https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson-library/classic-japanese-pod-101-kantan-kana/


Wishing you good luck with your Japanese,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Martin
May 22nd, 2020 at 04:31 AM
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Your lesson is totally worth the time 👍. Any book recommendation for absolute beginner in hiragana ?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 22nd, 2020 at 01:36 AM
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こんにちは Samiさん


コメントありがとうございます。Thank you for your comment. 😇

Let us know if you have any questions.


Wishing you good luck with your Japanese,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Sami Mandalawi
May 14th, 2020 at 05:18 AM
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Excellent lesson format. Michelle is superb 👍