So how do you pronounce Yoshizane anyway?

 

 

Did you notice something interesting about Pan Jama Lammy’s illustration this month, as shown below?

(c) Pan Jama Lammy

Yes. There are eight stars in the sky, as if to foretell the births of the eight samurai hounds! Cool. The artist even researches his historical facts before getting to work, so the coast of arms you see on the curtains indeed belongs to the real-life Satomi in history.

 

News about the next update; it’ll have to wait a bit. I’m hoping it’ll be on 1 May 2018. Meanwhile, be assured that my enthusiasm is as sparkling and bursting in torrents as ever, if I ever can!

Last week when I was patrolling my blog I realised the setting for comments was set to ‘require email address’. I honestly don’t remember doing that but knowing me I probably clicked that choice while fiddling with the setting – in the ‘what’s that button do?’ manner. I felt terrible. The inconvenience it must have caused the kind reader who cared to comment made me want to turn back time… And at the same time I felt thankful to all those who commented despite such trouble. Arigato gozaimas! m(_ _m)

Now I’ve fixed the setting so anyone can comment at a click. Please feel free to comment, share it on FB, tweet it to your friends and every move of yours will support the blog. I need your help.

 

On to something with more contents. Here’s a question.

How do our character names usually sound in your head? How do you pronounce Yoshizane for instance?

Yoshizane is actually pronounced like ‘yoshi-zah-nay’ with each vowel kept short at the same beat.

Sometimes when my Japanese brain’s on holiday and I’m absent-mindedly staring at the text I go like ‘yoshi…zane…zain…huh?’, or more often like ‘yoshi-zah-nee…, nope’. Of course I should know better, but it seems that habit is built in somewhere in our brain.

This is why I’ve been secretly wondering how the reader is coping with this problem.

Romanized Japanese (Japanese written in Alphabet letters) is easy to learn to read. There are only five basic vowels with very minor variations: a, e, i, o, u, and they are always read the same way. The below chart tells you how to pronounce them.

a: ‘a’ in ‘samurai’

e: the first ‘e’ in ‘legend’

i: ‘i’ in ‘wit’

o: ‘o’ in ‘occur’.

(This probably takes some practice as English speakers tend to replace this with ‘o’ in ‘dog’, which is too strong. Relax yours muscles and it should work.)

u: and ‘oo’ in ‘wood’

(Note it’s not the ‘w’ bit but the sound that comes after that.)

I’ll stick the note to the top so it’s easy to refer to.

 

As always, thanks for reading!

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