Sunday, May 11, 2014

Can you read our names or Hepburn system writing?

(posted; Etymology page)
I'm linking this post to  Our World Tuesday, hope this post fits the idea of the site.

     I wish you can get the sound of Japanese from my Hepburn writing in my posts.

When Japanese children become third grade of elementary school, they should be able to write Hepburn system (one of Roman Alphabet; you can get the idea from the link), so that foreign people can pronounce their names as the same way with us.  That's how we tell them.


The letters in the bluish color in the chart is "hiragana" character one of our three characters. We have one of 5 vowels for the last of each sound of the word.    
      My name "みやこ;  mi-ya-ko"      I wish you can pronounce :-)                  
                                         Hepburn system 

It's been a wonder for me how much this way of writing can help you to pronounce words same way with us...   From checking through pc; I found that there are some cases that cause big differences. There are 2 major reasons causing the wrong image of the sound.  One is the "e" at the end of the word and the other is the way how you separate "syllable" in one word.

* "e" which comes last of the words*
We have vowel-based language, so each syllable has "a/i/u/e/o" sound at the end. Whereas in English, you don't pronounce the last "e" of the word.
          rope, lake, side, strike, cake   unpronounced
    As for the example,  you might know the baseball player Daisuke Matsuzaka.
       His name "Da-i-su-ke"  must be sounded like  "Dice-K" for you. 
       In English; the last "ke" pronounced "k, like cake".
       In Japanese; last "e" is pronounced like 'e' in "egg".  It is a vowel.

*How you separate "syllable"*
If the word has same kind of spelling with English, it may cause trouble for separating the syllables and pronunciation. 
     As for the example,  you might know the car company called "Toyota"
            Toy-o-ta  ←  You may separate this way because there are a word "toy"
            To-yo-ta   ←  This is how we (Japanese) separate this word.
                     This cause big pronunciation differences as well.

Hopefully, my name Mi-ya-ko may be pronounced like we do from you(*^_^*)


Extra; As a teacher, I've noticed that this way of writing really makes children confused to learn how to write English. 

If you kindly read this long post, thank you SO much.
I know you may not be able to understand my explanation.  However, if you have anything you realized related with this post or questions, I'd really appreciate it and I will reply every comment from you here.

50 comments:

Roan said...

Thanks for the lesson. It looks difficult to these aged eyes. :) Happy Sunday!

TexWisGirl said...

english is not easy, for sure - we set up different rules, and then break them, too. :)

i did understand the two differences you explained well. the chart is very foreign to me, though. :)

Rambling Woods said...

I have said that I love to learn about other cultures. As a teacher I appreciate this very clear and well,done post... Michelle

Naquillity said...

your explanation of the two differences is well received. i will have to share this with my husband as he works with Japanese and tries very hard to understand correct pronunciations. hope all is well. have a great day~

Tamago said...

Great post, Miyako san. I clearly remember the very first time when I encountered the English word that made me get confused. The word was "touch." I couldn't understand why it was spelled with "ou" and not "a." I was in elementary school. Your post refreshed this memory :-)
Have a wonderful new week, Miyako san xoxo

Linda said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, and Happy Mother's Day to you. You have a lovely blog.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Miyako, thank you for the lesson and sharing the chart..You are a great teacher.. Great post for Our World.. Enjoy your new week!

orchid Miyako said...

To Roan;
Thank so much for visiting♡♡♡ Oh, nothing to do with the the age. Although I thought no idea topic for my friends, wish to have some information :-)

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

orchid Miyako said...

To, Theresa;
Thank you SO much for your kind comment♡♡♡ I'm REALLY glad to hear that you understand my expression. Haha, that chart was just introducing purpose and really big one to post.

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

orchid Miyako said...

To, Michelle;
Thank you SO much for your comment. I truly appreciate your visits. There is no chance to see foreigner to ask this nagging thoughts, haha.
I visited my parents' and brother's grave yard to offer flower on Sunday(for mother's day). I thought about your flower lover mother (peony or bonsai)!

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

orchid Miyako said...

To Naquillity;
Thank you SO much for your sweet comment. Wow, I'm happy this post may be a slight help for your husband♪♪♪
I can guess he must have hard time to hear our vowel based pronunciation. Our English also must sound funny with less consonant p;)

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

orchid Miyako said...

To Tamago-san;
Oh MY! you have the same kind of memory :-) For me, "gh" in English words. For some unpronounced like "thought" and "enough" for the last part of the words(*^_^*) I felt SO funny or complicated.
I hope your name is pronounced properly from the people in America.

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

orchid Miyako said...

To, Linda;
Thank you so much for visiting♡♡♡ I DO appreciate your kind words for my blog.
I hope you started a wonderful new week.

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

orchid Miyako said...

To Eileen;
Thank you very much for your visit♡♡♡ As I commented for Theresa, the chart was for introducing purpose as our tool for foreigners to read p;)
I always feel grateful for your kindness♪♪♪

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Miyako,
Being Dutch by birth with a phonetic language we don't have that pronunciation problem but I certainly admire those Japanese kids able to differenciate betweeen the artistic Japanese characters and the Roman alphabet. It is sure NOT easy!
Great post about your passion.
Hugs,
Mariette

trishie said...

Miyako, I did a very basic Japanese course as a teenager so definitely have no problems pronouncing your name! Now I understand why it can be hard for Japanese to learn English...

orchid Miyako said...

To Mariette;
Thank you SO much for your kind words. Yes, our children need to learn many forms of writing.
Well, it must be fascinating to hear you speak Dutch♡♡♡ I've never heard of it yet! You might remember that I was attracted by English with its beautiful sound p;) I always think it is pity that our language is too different from English and there must be minus sides for us (hope I'm saying right way).

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

orchid Miyako said...

To Trishie;
Wow, I'm really glad to hear that you have learned our language a little and pronounce our names correctly♡♡♡ And made me feel SO rewarded to think that this post could help a bit for you♪♪♪ Thank you SO much for your comment.

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*  

Shelly said...

You are a wonderful teacher my dear friend, and I always enjoy so much these posts where you teach us more about the language. It was really eye opening to study the chart, and helped my understanding. Thank you! xo

Gail Dixon said...

This was so interesting! I have always thought your language is so artful in writing and the verbal part difficult to comprehend. Thank you for the lesson to help me learn more about you!

Sylvia K said...

What a great lesson and you are a great teacher, Miyako!! Thank you so much for this post! It is indeed so interesting and I enjoyed it because it brought back lovely memories of the years I worked for the Japanese company, Komatsu, here in Oregon! It was a wonderful experience and I got to know many wonderful people from your country.
Have a great week!!

Sylvia

Fun60 said...

What an interesting lesson in pronunciation.

Photo Cache said...

another interesting and educational post.

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

Thank you Miyako. I would definitely have pronounced your name and Daisuke's name correctly. But you're right - Toyota is pronounced with the 'toy' sound in English. Now I know how it should be - and to break the words down into the individual vowel sections. Thank you!

carol l mckenna said...

Thanks ~ Miyako for a very informative post about your language for OWT ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Snap said...

Interesting post, Miyako. You must be a wonderful teacher! Hope your week is wonderful.

orchid Miyako said...

To Shelly;
I REALLY appreciate your kind words♡♡♡ I thought that the chart may not much help unless you hear the real sound. But wished to use it :-)
It is always my wonder how Japanese sounds to foreign people, as I was facilitated with the beautiful consonant based English.

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Gail;
Thank you SO much for your thoughtful words♡♡♡ Since young, we do have to learn 3 language characters and plus this complication between Hepburn system and English p;) I always wish our vowel based language doesn't sound funny to you.

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Sylvia;
Oh, I remember your kind comment that you aware of our two calendars as you worked for Japanese company♪ Thank you SO much for your heartfelt comment and really happy to know that your experience with our people was a wonderful one♡♡♡

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Fun60;
Thank you very much for your comment; I do wish our name won't be so hard for you to pronounce :-)

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To, Photo Cache;
I always appreciate your kind visits. Thank you very much for your comment♡♡♡

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

Cynthia said...

That was an interesting lesson in pronounciation and very helpful.

orchid Miyako said...

To Janice;
Wow!!! I'm REALLY happy that you understood perfectly what I wish to introduce here♡♡♡ And SO happy that you expressed with correct English "to break the words down into the individual vowel sections". Now I know how I should explain about the pronunciation of our language♡♡♡ Thank you so much for teaching me and your kind comment☆☆☆

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Carol;
Thank you very much for your always kind visits♡♡♡ I hope you are having a wonderful new week.

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Snap;
Thank you So much for your kind visit. Haha, it's been always my wonder if this writing system can be a help to read for the foreign people or not :-)

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Cynthia;
Hello, thank you SO much for commenting.
Haha, this post is kind of from my nagging wonder but I'm happy if it was helpful♡♡♡

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

Karen said...

Very interesting. I speak two languages, but I doubt I could learn Japanese. It is so beautiful in the written form.

ladyfi said...

How fascinating to see the charts.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm amazed that Japanese children so young begin to learn the Roman alphabet. English is a hard language to learn.

Gary Phillips said...

Fascinating!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River.

Black Jack's Carol said...

I taught English to international high school students for many years so this was especially interesting. I think many students chose English names because they hated to hear their names mispronounced. I became much better at it once I understand that there are no silent vowels in Japanese :) Great post!

orchid Miyako said...

To Karen;
Oh, I guess you must speak French as you live in Canada (or Canadian). French sounds SO beautiful for me as well♡♡♡  I wonder if the two languages is different grammatically. Japanese is SO different like the verb comes last in the phrase p;)

Thank you SO much for your comment♪♪♪

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To EG CameraGirl ;
I remember having really confused that English is so different form Roman alphabet p;) Thank you SO much for your kind words♡♡♡

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Gary;
Thank you very much for visiting and commenting♡♡♡

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Black Jack's Carol;
Wow, I'm happy having comment from teacher♪♪♪ Do you mean many students prefer being called English nickname? Oh, now I know our names can be mispronounced a lot:-)
Oh, yes we (Japanese) tend to think vowel is only (a.i.u.e.o) p;) That's how even teachers think and teach.

Thank you SO much for your wonderful comment from the professional point of view♡♡♡

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

orchid Miyako said...

To Ladyfy;
Thank you very much for visiting and hosting your wonderful link♡♡♡
So sorry that I missed commenting you as without the picture, I accidentally missed you(^^;)

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

Michiko Johnson said...

Dearest Miyako San!
Japanese to English wa what is a easy to understand?
I find my explanation for my friend.
I don't know the posted in about life adventure learning Questioning,
Questions self knowledge.
I find with Japanes words are more
lovely word to me.
Have a nice day!
Michiko

orchid Miyako said...

To Michiko-san;
I think it is really hard to learn English for Japanese people. Living in foreign country and surrounded with another language must be hard. Thinking of you, Michiko-san,

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

This was so interesting (and helped to prove that one is never too old to learn something new, as I did in reading your post). I do know how to pronounce several Japanese baseball player's names (my husband is a baseball fan, so I watch too sometimes)...but I never thought about the way we pronounce the vowel at the end of the names. And knowing about the syllable division definitely does explain the pronounciation differences.

Thank you for the most interesting lesson. You are a good teacher Miyako. (And I'm sure I'm pronouncing your name correctly ;>)!!

orchid Miyako said...

To, Sallie;
OMG; I'm extremely happy to read your thoughtful comment♡♡♡ How wonderful to know I could help you and your husband to figure out our way of pronunciation(^_^)v Your comment really made me feel rewarded and happy♬♬♬
In fact, with my age I could still learn many things through blogging as well; I cannot agree more, my friend(*^_^*)

Sincerely, xoxo Miyako*