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Each time I introduce a new word, I'll explain how to pronounce it. But I believe the following excerpt will help you to familiarize yourself with the Japanese vowels.


In some English dialects, Japanese vowels can be approximated as follows:

  • /a/ as in father
  • /i/ as in feet
  • /u/ as in soup
  • /e/ as in get
  • /o/ as in go
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Japanese phonology."


Learning the five vowel sounds shown above is essential. Then, memorize the five hiragana letters below.
  • あ /a/ as in father
  • い /i/ as in feet
  • う /u/ as in soup
  • え /e/ as in get
  • お /o/ as in go

Refer to the table 1. in the Japanese Alphabets page for the hiragana letters.

Back to the Words List page

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