Tag Archives: pronunciation

Text-to-speech: a useful tool for the foreign language self-studier

Thanks to the Internet, a person studying a foreign language without a formal study program can look up answers to the many questions they will surely have along the way. One place where your typical internet searching doesn’t work too well is matters of pronunciation, since it’s hard to convey sounds using just text. There… Read More »

Foreign language accents and levels of thought

I think it’s commonly accepted that the younger you start learning a new language, the easier it is to become fluent. The human brain just seems to have more plasticity at an early age, and many studies seem to give credence to that idea. But it’s not to say that taking on a new foreign language… Read More »

Shinmeikai Japanese Accent Dictionary

One topic I’ve written several posts on is how pronunciation is so important when learning Japanese, and I had given a link to an online accent dictionary that I see a few people had checked out. I also noted that I owned a physical accent dictionary, but had never really used it much. I decided… Read More »

Don’t underestimate the Japanese ”っ” (little tsu)

The Japanese little tsu, written “っ” (for example in the word “行った”), represents a pause in the flow of sound when speaking. I’ve heard this mispronounced by beginners, and even by those with several months of experience under their belt, so I thought I would clarify any confusion about how it should be pronounced. The brief description… Read More »

Japanese Pitch Accent: It’s more important that you realize [beginner/intermediate]

There are many learning resources for Japanese that glaze over the language’s pitch accent, which differs greatly from English where emphasis (not using pitch) on a single syllable is used instead. For example, one of the first textbooks I studied from mentioned that the accent differs from region to region (this is true), so there… Read More »