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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone! I’m Michelle Yamamoto.
Welcome back to The Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide at JapanesePod101.com.
In this lesson, you'll combine sounds with the Y-group や ゆ and よ.
Do you remember the syllables ending in an "i" sound?
They are き、し、ち、に、ひ、み、り.
These syllables are combined with や、ゆ、よ.
For example, when き is combined with や、ゆ、よ, it will become きゃ、きゅ、きょ.
In pronunciation, the "y" sound is called a glide. Take a look at this chart.
When you write the y group, you write や、ゆ、よ smaller.
Okay, let's get started.
The first one is...
きゃ、きゅ、きょ
き is combined with や to get きゃ
You need to say き and や together very quickly to form them into one syllable.
Repeat after me.
きゃ
きゃ
き combined with ゆ to get きゅ
Say き and ゆ together very quickly in one syllable. Let's try it together!
Repeat after me.
きゅ
きゅ
き is combined with よ to make きょ.
Repeat after me.
きょ
きょ
Let's try some words.
きゃく customer, きゃ・く、きゃく
きゅう nine, きゅ・う、きゅう
きょか permission, きょ・か、きょか
Next is し. When し meets や、ゆ and よ, the sounds merge.
しゃ、しゅ、しょ
し combined with や, ゆ、よ to get しゃ、しゅ、しょ
Be sure to pronounce two sounds in one syllable.
Repeat after me.
しゃ
しゅ
しょ
For example
しゃしん photo, しゃ・し・ん、しゃしん
しゅみ hobby, しゅ・み、しゅみ
しょくじ meal, しょ・く・じ、しょくじ
The next sound combination is...
ちゃ、ちゅ、ちょ
ち combined with や, ゆ、よ to get ちゃ、ちゅ、ちょ
Be sure to say two sounds in one syllable.
Repeat after me.
ちゃ
ちゅ
ちょ
Ready for some examples?
ちゃいろ brown, ちゃ・い・ろ、ちゃいろ
ちゅうごく China, ちゅ・う・ご・く、ちゅうごく
チョーク chalk, チョ・ー・ク、チョーク
The next one is...
にゃ、にゅ、にょ
に can be combined with や, ゆ、よ to make にゃ、にゅ、にょ
Repeat after me.
にゃ
にゅ
にょ
Let's practice them in some words.
にゃーにゃー meow, meow, にゃー・にゃー、にゃーにゃー
ニューヨーク New York, ニュー・ヨー・ク、ニューヨーク
エルニーニョ El Nino, エ・ル・ニー・ニョ、エルニーニョ
The next one is...
ひゃ、ひゅ、ひょ
ひ can be combined with や, ゆ、よ to make ひゃ、ひゅ、ひょ.
Repeat after me.
ひゃ
ひゅ
ひょ
Here are some words.
ひゃく hundred, ひゃ・く、ひゃく
ヒューストン Houston、ヒュ・ー・ス・ト・ン、ヒューストン
ひょう leopard、ひょ・う、ひょう
The next one is...
みゃ、みゅ、みょ
み combined with や, ゆ、よ to get みゃ、みゅ、みょ
Repeat after me.
みゃ
みゅ
みょ
Let's try some words.
みゃく pulse, みゃ・く、みゃく
ミュージック music, ミュ・ー・ジッ・ク、ミュージック
みょうじ family name, みょ・う・じ、みょうじ
The next one is...
りゃ、りゅ、りょ
り combined with や, ゆ、よ make the merged sounds りゃ、りゅ、りょ
Repeat after me.
りゃ
りゅ
りょ
Now for some words.
りゃく abbreviation, りゃ・く、りゃく
りゅう dragon、りゅう、りゅ・う、りゅう
りょうり cook, りょ・う・り、りょうり
We have more syllables ending in an "i" sound, which are ぎ、じ、び、ぴ.
The next group is when ぎ combines with the y group.
ぎゃ、ぎゅ、ぎょ
Repeat after me.
ぎゃ
ぎゅ
ぎょ
Let's take some examples.
ぎゃく reverse、ぎゃ・く、ぎゃく
ぎゅうにゅう milk, ぎゅ・う・にゅ・う、ぎゅうにゅう
きんぎょ gold fish, き・ん・ぎょ、きんぎょ
Next up is the じ group
じゃ、じゅ、じょ
Repeat after me.
じゃ
じゅ
じょ
Let's get these words down.
ジャズ jazz, ジャ・ズ、ジャズ
ジュース juice ジュ・ー・ス、ジュース
じょうだん joke, じょ・う・だ・ん、じょうだん
Let's look at び。
びゃ、びゅ、びょ
Repeat after me.
びゃ
びゅ
びょ
Let's try some more words.
さんびゃく three hundred, さ・ん・びゃ・く、さんびゃく
デビュー debut, デ・ビュ・ー、デビュー
びょういん hospital, びょ・う・い・ん、びょういん
Don't confuse びょういん with びよういん. Remember you need to say び and よ sounds in one syllable, to say びょういん.
The last one is...
ぴゃ、ぴゅ、ぴょ
Repeat after me.
ぴゃ
ぴゅ
ぴょ
Here are some sample words...
ろっぴゃく six hundred, ろっ・ぴゃ・く、ろっぴゃく
ピュア pure ピュ・ア、ピュア
はっぴょう announcement, はっ・ぴょ・う、はっぴょう
These are combinations of sounds that you've already learnt, so you're reviewing and learning at the same time!
In the next lesson, you'll learn a secret to mastering the Japanese long vowel. Here is a sample. Can you hear the difference between おばさん, meaning "aunt" and おばあさん, meaning "grandma"? You'll learn how in the next lesson.
What's the worst pronunciation mistake you've made? Share in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide lesson!

44 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Hello Listeners! So far, do you feel more confident pronouncing in Japanese?

JapanesePod101.com
February 7th, 2019 at 9:26 pm
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Hi Christine,


Thank you for your positive feedback on our lesson!


Keep up practicing and soon you’ll get great results! 👍


Sincerely,

Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Christine
February 3rd, 2019 at 10:08 pm
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Konnichiwa

I find the advice on where to put your tongue very useful. The biggest problem I am having is with the r sound. I used to have a scottish accent and I still roll my rs. This has been very useful.

Nick
January 29th, 2019 at 12:05 pm
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Pronouncing the standalone 'ん' without touching the tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth is quite difficult sometimes. Is that really how it it done? It just feels unnatural, but I guess it'll get better with practice 👍

JapanesePod101.com
May 25th, 2018 at 5:02 am
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Hi Artyom,


Thank you for studying with us and leaving a comment. It's good to know you can pronounce these words easily.


Keep up the good work!


Sincerely,

Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

Artyom
May 13th, 2018 at 7:39 pm
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It was actually no problem for me to learn to pronounce these sounds correctly, because Russian has the concept of palatalization (my name is an example), and so another way to approach yōon could be to palatalize the existing syllables, softening the hard consonants.

JapanesePod101.com
June 24th, 2017 at 4:46 pm
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> Savannah-san,

konnichiwa!!

I'm very very sorry that no one has replied until now...??

I love your 'punch line' ??? I laughed a lot!!! Well done! ?


> Marco (マルコ) さん、

こんにちは!

I'm sorry for the late reply!

Yes; you're right. ぢゃ、ぢゅ、ぢょ are not used and those would be じゃ、じゅ、じょ ?


Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

Marco
April 29th, 2017 at 9:50 pm
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おはよおございます

regarding ぢゃ、ぢゅ、ぢょif they are not presented, is it because they are not used and only じゃ、樹、じょare used instead?

ありがとうございます! ?

マルコ

Savannah
December 16th, 2016 at 8:44 am
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You learn the gojuuon and think, "Okay, only 46 syllables, I can learn how to read/write/say these no problem."


Then you realize that you have to learn twice that many in order to read and write, on account of katakana.


Then the dakuten and handakuten are are introduced and you're like, "Okay, it's only like 20 more syllables, bit more than I thought, but no big deal."


Then the youon combinations are introduced, adding 33 new syllables and bringing the total count up to 99.


Then you throw in the many katakana variants that are only used in loanwords.


By this point, I think an episode of chabudai-gaeshi would be justified…


(I already know how to read and write all kana; but when you see every single kana combination in use today on one chart, it can be really overwhelming!)

JapanesePod101.com
November 27th, 2016 at 6:22 pm
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Khanh san,

Konnichiwa.:smile:

I see.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.

Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

Khanh
November 16th, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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Mina san, konnichiwa!


I find the combining sounds are the most challenging to pronounce? How about you?