1 Aug 2022


A comparison of Japanese and English languages

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Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 501

Pages: 1

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Question 1 

Making the /l/ sound requires moving the tongue forward and then the tip of the tongue is pressed at the roof of the mouth just behind the top teeth. In some instances, it may come between the teeth. Pronunciation of the sound /r/ involves the tip of the tongue going down while the mid part rises. The tongue does not touch the teeth. When producing the sound /l/, the lips remain more neutral but when producing the sound /r/ they become somewhat round, especially when pronouncing them at the beginning of words. 

In the Japanese language, there is no phonemic distinction between /l/ and /r/. Instead, they have a single sound that in some environments resembles a /r/ sound and in others resembles the /l/ sound. The lack of distinction between the two sounds leads to the Japanese speakers growing considering the two sounds as variants of one another. The learners will be provided with pairs of words that have the two sounds as a minimal pair, for example later and rate, play and pray or fly and fry. The words will be produced then the students will be asked to identify whether a word contains a /l/ or a /r/ sound. Providing them with clear ear training will help in improving their perception of the sounds. They will also be required to read them to improve their production. 

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Question 2 

Hut /Ʌ/ hat /æ/ hot /ɒ/ 

Heart /ɒ:/ hurt/ɜ:/ 

Walk /ɔ:/ work /ɜ:/ 

Coat /oʊ/ caught /ɔ:/ 

Question 3 

Cars /kɑ: r / card /kɑ:d/ 

Boat /boʊ/ vote /voʊt/ 

Thick /θɪk/ Sick /sɪk/ 

Seat /si:t/ sheet /ʃi:t/ 

Question 4 

Stress placement affects the quality of vowels in English pronunciation. Vowels that are unstressed have a reduced vowel quality. However, when stressed, the vowel quality is not reduced. For example, in the word ‘about’ the sound [a] is reduced in quality to [ə] because it is not pronounced fully as in ‘father’ [ɑ]. 

Question 5 

The Japanese syllable structure is simple compared to the English syllable structure. While English borrows consonants that are close to each other, Japanese does not. The sequence of consonants is divided by a vowel, for example the word ‘story’ becomes ‘sutorii’. The Japanese language does not have one consonant at the end of a syllable as in English. One must thus add a vowel. For example ‘beer’ becomes ‘biiru’ 

Question 6 

Japanese and English languages have differences in terms of rhythm. Rhythm comes about as a result of stress and syllables. English word pronunciation relies on the number of stresses while Japanese is syllabic-timed. The length of an utterance in English relies on the number of stresses. 

Question 7 

The first word in the compound noun is stressed. For example, in the word nail-cutter, the first word nail will be stressed. 

Question 8 

F eel [f] the Japanese pronounce it as a voiceless bilabial fricative while in English it is a voiceless labiodental fricative. 

C ity [s] In Japanese pronounced as voiceless bilabial fricative while in English it is a voiceless labiodental fricative. 

Bu s y [z] in Japanese, it is pronounced as [dʒ] while in English [z] 

Th ey [θ] in Japanese pronounced as [t] instead of [θ] as in English 

W oman [w] In Japanese pronounced as [v] instead of [w] as in English. 

Question 9 

The first consonant sound in ‘when’ will be pronounced as [v]. In ‘driving’ they will introduce a vowel sound between ‘d’ and ‘r’. 

Question 10 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). A comparison of Japanese and English languages.


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