Different Intonations for Words that are Spelt the Same in Glomaji

In the Japanese language, one sound corresponds to one word composed of a combination of vowels and consonants. Also, there are multiple words with the same spelling in Glomaji, but different meanings.

Example

ame: (1) rain (2) candy
hashi: (1) chopsticks (2) bridge (3) edge

When words that are spelt the same, but have different meanings, arise in conversation, Japanese speakers indicate meaning by using different accents.

You don’t always need to use accents correctly because Japanese speakers can identify the meaning from the context of the conversation, but I would like to advise you to be aware of the above differences in accent when starting a new conversation yourself.

How to Practice Japanese Pronunciation

Except for some sounds, you can refer to English sounds in the MAMA list on how to make Japanese sounds (how to move your mouth and tongue). While listening to a Japanese person talking, confirm the Glomaji spelling in order to practice pronunciation.
https://hiraganatimes.com/super_j/MAMA/009-011Link.pdf

It is easier to check the high and low tones by recording your own voice and comparing it with the teacher’s voice. Those studying by themselves can also train themselves to use high and low tones by using the audio files that come with the teaching materials.

Be aware that English speakers tend to pronounce high-pitched Japanese words more strongly and to overextend the sounds.

Author Profile

Akiri Morishita
Akiri Morishita
Super Japanese Language Coach Master

After learning Chinese (Mandarin) and Cantonese, Akiri worked with speech software (speech recognition / speech synthesis), branding, and marketing for overseas markets in the commercial sector.

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