Unusual However True: Pronunciation Similarities in Spanish and Japanese

If you realize something concerning the historical past of Spain and Japan, you realize that there are few similarities between their cultures and languages. Culturally, and linguistically, Spain has a significant affect from historical Rome in addition to the lengthy Moorish rule of the nation.

Against this Japan had its strongest influences from Asia, largely Korea and China. The completely different types of Japanese writing have their roots in Chinese language writing, though Mandarin Chinese language and Japanese are linguistically utterly completely different.

The Mandarin Chinese language language is an effective instance of a language that’s in a separate class than each Japanese and Spanish. Chinese language makes use of a fancy set of tones to speak which means. A great instance is the phrase, “ma.” That phrase can imply something from “mother” to “horse” to even a sort of “pronounced query mark” on the finish of a sentence to point that you simply’re asking a query. There are 5 other ways (tones) that you should utilize to pronounce “ma,” and every tone would change the which means of the phrase utterly.

In distinction, Japanese and Spanish don’t use such complicated tones to alter the which means of phrases. Japanese and Spanish are, in that approach, in a separate class than Mandarin Chinese language and different tonal languages like Vietnamese and Thai.

We will additionally separate Japanese and Spanish from languages like English. When an individual learns English as a second language, they usually battle with English pronunciation guidelines. English isn’t one of many languages the place one can simply perceive the pronunciation of a phrase simply as it’s written, and there are sophisticated guidelines to when issues are pronounced in several methods.

Against this, Spanish and Japanese have constant pronunciation guidelines that make it potential to see the written phrase and know methods to pronounce it. In Spanish, as soon as you realize the sounds of the Spanish alphabet and a few easy pronunciation guidelines, you are just about set to see and have the ability to pronounce Spanish phrases.

In Japanese, the language’s sounds are represented by a small variety of Japanese characters known as, Kana (Hiragana and Katakana) every of which signify a syllable within the language. For those who grasp the sounds associated to these small variety of syllables, you possibly can piece collectively the pronunciation of any Japanese phrase.

So at a excessive degree, Japanese and Spanish share the attribute that their written kinds can be utilized to simply convey the pronunciation of phrases clearly and persistently. However whilst we dig deeper into the pronunciation, we see extra similarities between the 2 languages emerge.

The vowels in Spanish and Japanese are pronounced roughly the identical. The “a” is pronounced because the “a” in father. In Spanish an instance is “gracias” (thanks) and in Japanese an instance is “asa” (morning). The “i” is pronounced because the “ee” within the English phrase “meet”. In Spanish an instance is the phrase, “mi” (my) and the Japanese “ichi” (one). In each languages, the “u” is pronounced because the “oo” in “loot.” Examples are “umi” (sea) and “gustar” (to love) in Japanese and Spanish respectively. The “e” is pronounced because the “e” in “mattress”. In Japanese it is the preliminary sound of “ebi” (shrimp) and the preliminary sound of “el” (the) in Spanish. Lastly, “o” is pronounced because the “o” in “hope”. In Spanish an instance is “ocho” (eight) and in Japanese “otoko” (man).

The consonants in Spanish and Japanese are additionally roughly the identical with some well-known exceptions just like the Spanish and Japanese pronunciations of the “r”.

A Spanish phrase consists of a string of consonants and vowels which we are able to break up into syllables. The Spanish alphabet is used to piece collectively a phrase like “gustar,” which breaks up into principally two syllables, “gu-star”.

As talked about earlier than, Japanese pronunciation will break issues up into the sounds of the Kana character syllables. Every Kana character will signify one sound within the phrase and could be written as such. Utilizing one of many examples above, we may break up the Japanese pronunciation into particular person Kana character appears like this, “o-to-ko”.

So in each Spanish and Japanese, we have now most consonants and vowels having principally the identical pronunciation, a set of constant pronunciation guidelines, and the truth that each languages will not be tonal in nature. With these shared parts, we have now the substances we have to have pronunciation intersections between the 2 languages.

There may be no less than one instance the place a phrase is pronounced roughly the identical in each Spanish and Japanese. In Japanese it’s a type of the verb, “kaerimasu” (to return, go dwelling). In Spanish it is a type of the verb, “callar” (to cease speaking or to be quiet). In each languages the preliminary sounds of “ca” and “ka” are the identical. The verbs merely have to alter kinds to ensure that them to sound the identical.

In Japanese, a verb of the sort “kaerimasu” modifications into one the Japanese kinds known as the “-te type” like this, “kaette” (ka-eh-te). This verb type is utilized in sentences like “Chan-san wa Chuugoku ni kaette imasu” (Mr. Chan has returned to China).

In Spanish, a verb of the sort “callar,” in an crucial conjugation (giving a command), ends in the phrase, “callate” (Shut up). This can be utilized in a sentence like, “Callate la boca ” (Shut your mouth.)

Each of the phrases “kaette” and “callate” are in truth pronounced in a really comparable approach, owing to the impact that the “ae” mixture has on “kaette” and the way in which some Spanish dialects pronounce the “ll”.

With stricter evaluation, the similarities do begin to break down, however the purpose is to not show that Spanish and Japanese share the very same pronunciation, however solely that there’s a shocking quantity of similarity based mostly on the linguistic distance between the 2 languages.

There might even be different, higher examples of this. If the reader is aware of of different such examples the place Japanese and Spanish phrases share the identical or very comparable pronunciations of phrases, be happy to contact me at my web site listing on the finish of this text.

In conclusion, it’s certainly unusual however true that the languages of Japanese and Spanish can discover similarities regardless of their linguistic roots on reverse sides of the planet.

It’s unusual however true that the languages of Japanese and Spanish can discover pronunciation similarities regardless of a very completely different linguistic historical past. Discover out why that is the case and see an instance.


Supply by Barry J Smythe

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