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Ashley Winchester May 9, 2016

I'm working on something related to the standalone BOFII soundtrack and I'm having a hard time finding proper pronunciations of the names of certain composers.

1. Yuko Takehara

The first name is said "You-ko" if I'm correct, not Yoh-ko like Yoko in Yoko Shimomura.

Her last name really has me stumped... if it was spelled "Takahara" I'd be good, but I don't know how to say that e just right. All the tips on the internet I read said the vowel "e" is said like the "e" in "get" but I'm having a hard time isolating that sound for some reason.

Is the "ke" said like the end of a word like shiitake as in shiitake mushrooms?

Is it Ta-kay-har-a or Ta-kee-har-a? or are both wrong?

Last there is Mari Yamaguchi. The last name is no problem on this one; Yamaguchi is a common last name that even those unfamiliar with the language and sound out, that's no problem. But with the first name, that's a short i sound, correct?

It's mar-eye not mar-eee? Or is there something I missed on this one.

Sorry in advance if I butchered the language, but again, I'm trying to learn how to say them correctly.

If anyone could help me out and give me some pointers I'd greatly appreciate it.

Dragonfish Dog May 10, 2016 (edited May 10, 2016)

Ashley Winchester wrote:

I'm working on something related to the standalone BOFII soundtrack and I'm having a hard time finding proper pronunciations of the names of certain composers.

1. Yuko Takehara

The first name is said "You-ko" if I'm correct, not Yoh-ko like Yoko in Yoko Shimomura.

Her last name really has me stumped... if it was spelled "Takahara" I'd be good, but I don't know how to say that e just right. All the tips on the internet I read said the vowel "e" is said like the "e" in "get" but I'm having a hard time isolating that sound for some reason.

Is the "ke" said like the end of a word like shiitake as in shiitake mushrooms?

Is it Ta-kay-har-a or Ta-kee-har-a? or are both wrong?

Last there is Mari Yamaguchi. The last name is no problem on this one; Yamaguchi is a common last name that even those unfamiliar with the language and sound out, that's no problem. But with the first name, that's a short i sound, correct?

It's mar-eye not mar-eee? Or is there something I missed on this one.

Sorry in advance if I butchered the language, but again, I'm trying to learn how to say them correctly.

If anyone could help me out and give me some pointers I'd greatly appreciate it.

Takehara would be pronounced "Tah-kay-ha-rah."

"Ke" is usually pronounced "Kay," in my experience, anyway.

As for Mari, that would be pronounced "Mah-ree."

Not like I'm a linguist or anything (actually, I kind of am) but that's how I've heard them pronounced by legitimate English-Japanese bilingual people.

Qui-Gon Joe May 10, 2016

Japanese only has five vowel sounds, and once you get those locked down you can pronounce just about anything.

A = open your mouth and say "ah"
I = the same vowel sound as in "eel"
U = "ooh" that's some great music
E = the short e sound that's in "meh" or used in Canada, eh?
O = "Oh" as in George Takei's "Ohhhh my"

Those are combined with different consonant sounds to make syllables, which are assembled together to make words.  MA RI (まり) would be pronounced English phonetically "mah ree" or "mah lee" (romanized R is actually a weird combination of an L/R sound in Japanese, but generally written with an R than an L).

You can also get combined vowel sounds such as A + I = AI, which sounds like our pronoun "I" but really is just "ah" and "ee" together.

Ashley Winchester May 10, 2016 (edited May 10, 2016)

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

E = the short e sound that's in "meh" or used in Canada, eh?

Okay, this one in particular helped out a lot. For some reason I had a hard time isolating the "e" sound from get for some reason (I felt I was getting part of the g and t when saying the e); but I can isolate the "e" sound from meh much easier in my head.

Also, thanks for the note on Mari guys. I kind of forgot about the l/r thing until you brought it up.

Ashley Winchester May 10, 2016

Dragonfish Dog wrote:

Takehara would be pronounced "Tah-kay-ha-rah."

Okay, thanks. I just had a hunch I had the last and second to last syllable wrong. I was saying "Har-rah" but there's not two r's there, is there?

If I'm going to say these names I want to say them correctly. I don't want to disrespect anyone by saying them incorrectly.

Dragonfish Dog May 10, 2016 (edited May 10, 2016)

Ashley Winchester wrote:
Dragonfish Dog wrote:

Takehara would be pronounced "Tah-kay-ha-rah."

If I'm going to say these names I want to say them correctly. I don't want to disrespect anyone by saying them incorrectly.

That's understandable; that's a respectful stance on things!

I still can't fathom how Nobuo's name is pronounced; "No-boo-oh," maybe? Or is it just pronounced "No-boo?"

Brandon May 10, 2016

It's tah-keh-ha-ra. The E is always pronounced "eh," never "ay," although the difference is subtle enough that you can usually get away with it more or less. The R is really more like an L, but you just quickly tap the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, whereas with an English L the tongue lingers there for a bit.

Nobuo is noh-boo-oh. And oo-eh-ma-tsu is four syllables, not three.

Brandon May 10, 2016

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

You can also get combined vowel sounds such as A + I = AI, which sounds like our pronoun "I" but really is just "ah" and "ee" together.

Note that this is true in English, too. The vowels in words like "buy," "loud," "play," "beer," and "air" are actually composed of two distinct vowel sounds blended together. This is called a diphthong.

Amazingu May 10, 2016

Brandon wrote:
Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

You can also get combined vowel sounds such as A + I = AI, which sounds like our pronoun "I" but really is just "ah" and "ee" together.

Note that this is true in English, too. The vowels in words like "buy," "loud," "play," "beer," and "air" are actually composed of two distinct vowel sounds blended together. This is called a diphthong.

I'm pretty sure that even the pronoun "I" in English is a diphthong.
You may treat it as a single vowel, but in phonetic writing it becomes [aɪ̯], which is basically A + I.

Qui-Gon Joe May 11, 2016

Amazingu wrote:
Brandon wrote:
Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

You can also get combined vowel sounds such as A + I = AI, which sounds like our pronoun "I" but really is just "ah" and "ee" together.

Note that this is true in English, too. The vowels in words like "buy," "loud," "play," "beer," and "air" are actually composed of two distinct vowel sounds blended together. This is called a diphthong.

I'm pretty sure that even the pronoun "I" in English is a diphthong.
You may treat it as a single vowel, but in phonetic writing it becomes [aɪ̯], which is basically A + I.

Yep, that's the technical term for what's going on there.

Ashley Winchester May 11, 2016

Brandon wrote:

It's tah-keh-ha-ra. The E is always pronounced "eh," never "ay," although the difference is subtle enough that you can usually get away with it more or less. The R is really more like an L, but you just quickly tap the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, whereas with an English L the tongue lingers there for a bit.

Nobuo is noh-boo-oh. And oo-eh-ma-tsu is four syllables, not three.

Wow... I can't believe how close I was then. Outside blending the last syllable together and smashing two r's in there that's how I'be been saying it for years. I always end up making the second syllable sound like "Keh"

And as odd as it seems you mentioning Nobuo's name is also kind of fitting as I've been practicing that name as well... but finding the correct pronunciation of his name is cake considering his popularity.

Dragonfish Dog May 12, 2016

Ashley Winchester wrote:
Brandon wrote:

It's tah-keh-ha-ra. The E is always pronounced "eh," never "ay," although the difference is subtle enough that you can usually get away with it more or less. The R is really more like an L, but you just quickly tap the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, whereas with an English L the tongue lingers there for a bit.

Nobuo is noh-boo-oh. And oo-eh-ma-tsu is four syllables, not three.

Wow... I can't believe how close I was then. Outside blending the last syllable together and smashing two r's in there that's how I'be been saying it for years. I always end up making the second syllable sound like "Keh"

And as odd as it seems you mentioning Nobuo's name is also kind of fitting as I've been practicing that name as well... but finding the correct pronunciation of his name is cake considering his popularity.

Clearly, I still have more to learn, not that I study Japanese all that often.

Up until now, I've always pronounced "Uematsu" as "Yu-maht-tsu." At best, I might've actually pronounced it "Yu-eh-maht-tsu."

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