karate or Karaté?

TimeHP

Senior Member
Italian - Italy
Hi all.
If I'm not wrong Japanese accent normally is on the last sillabe of the word.
I'd like to know if you pronounce Karaté or Karàte.
Thank you.
 
  • Hiro Sasaki

    Banned
    Japan, Japanese
    First of all, in English, you should write “ karate”, “Manga”, Anime” and
    Samurai.

    In other languages of latin origin, also the same. Many people used
    to write in Spanish[FONT='&#65325] [/FONT]some time ago “animé”, “mangá” and
    Samurái. In Japanese words, any sillable even if stressed, it is
    stressed very weakly and subtly, and therefore
    you must not write[FONT='&#65325] “[/FONT][FONT='&#65325]”[/FONT].

    Hiro Sasaki
     

    SpiceMan

    Senior Member
    Castellano, Argentina
    Well, I didn't know there were different accents, stress and pitch. Accent and stress was the same to me, perhaps because that's the way it is in Spanish :p. 勉強になりました

    I said two accents because I've paid attention to the word once and I think I've heard [ka↑ɺate↓], as if saying 空 and 手 kind of separately, rather than [kaɺate↓].

    I'm hardly an expert in neither phonology nor japanese, and I paid attention just ONCE to the word, so I'm probably wrong :p.
     

    Hiro Sasaki

    Banned
    Japan, Japanese
    Spiceman,

    Even in Kansai, it varies a little depending on the speaker. In any cases,
    stronger stresses or weaker stresses are so subtle usually. You don't
    need worry about it too much. I heard you speaking Japanese. It is
    excellent and I did not notice any strange foreign accents.

    Hiro Sasaki
     

    Hiro Sasaki

    Banned
    Japan, Japanese
    Accent or acento( in Spanish) have two meanings in Japanese.

    1. アクセント : stress

    2. なまり 、 cockney accent ロンドンの下町のなまり 
    acento andaluz = andalusian accent アンダルシア なまり

    アクセント does not mean なまり in Japanese.


    抑揚( よくよう ) is "intonation". More often we say イントネーション

    Hiro Sasaki
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    Thank you.
    I've always pronounced Karaté, but some people - they don't study Japanese but do a lot of Karate ;) - corrected me and told me that the right pronunciation is Karàte.
    My sensei, from Kyoto, always says Karaté and I was quite sure that the pitch accent is on the last sillabe.
    Thank you very much.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Is that one of the Kansai dialects? I didn't realise we have stress accent.

    The way I pronounce karate is;
    pitch accent on the second syllable, ra.
    Sorry if I sound a little picky. In 標準語 pitch accent comes both in the second and third syllable.

    karate → kaRATE (標準語のアクセント)(๑→ܫ←)
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Not picky, Cheshire :D:D:D !

    Having read the Wiki article that Outsider has undertook to provide us with (supra #4), I now think that karate is an accentless word. Here, I am speaking about the downstep accent mentioned therein. The article also mentions that Japanese words without a downstep accent tend to have a gradual rise of pitch towards the end of the word. I opine karate gets high pitch on the second and the third syllable because of this tentency. As Hiro Sasaki has mentioned, the pitch rise is very slight. Many Japanese natives might think karate has a "flat intonation" (forgive the oxymoron).

    勉強になりました、ね!!
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I don't know what downstep means (could anybody maybe explain it for me? OK, I'll ask it separately as another question.), but I believe "karate" is either 平板型 (中中中) or 尾高型 (低高高). Does 尾高型 have anything to do with downstep?
     

    karuna

    Senior Member
    Latvian, Latvia
    I have Merriam Webster's Japanese-English Learner's Dictionary which is not very complete but I bought it because it shows intonation, i.e., downstep or, as they call it in a fancy way, accent nucleous. It confirms Flaminius' last post that the word karate has two different meanings but doesn't have accent nucleous in both of them.
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    Writing karate with an accent (karaté) is an interesting question.
    Those who know japanese also know that e in japanese is always pronounced é . Those who don't may not find it so obvious. The problem can also be found with the word kamikaze that french speakers (and many others) will pronounce as kamikaz (or kamikazi) whereas it should of course be kamikazé. Same thing with saké.
    I think that puting an accent aigu on each japanese e as a rule would be a good idea.
     

    Hiro Sasaki

    Banned
    Japan, Japanese
    Writing karate with an accent (karaté) is an interesting question.
    Those who know japanese also know that e in japanese is always pronounced é . Those who don't may not find it so obvious. The problem can also be found with the word kamikaze that french speakers (and many others) will pronounce as kamikaz (or kamikazi) whereas it should of course be kamikazé. Same thing with saké.
    I think that puting an accent aigu on each japanese e as a rule would be a good idea.

    Aoyama san,
    That depends on the rule of each language. The question was made by
    an Italian. In Spanish, if written kamikazé or saké , the last syllable will
    be stressed very strongly.

    Hiro Sasaki
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    Right, but leaving apart the problem of the accentuation stress, which won't matter much in the case of japanese words, the point here is to make a difference between e (unaccented)and é . Sake (as in english in the sake of) vs. saké , other words (or name of places) like Akabané, Hakodaté etc.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Not picky, Cheshire :D:D:D !

    Having read the Wiki article that Outsider has undertook to provide us with (supra #4), I now think that karate is an accentless word. Here, I am speaking about the downstep accent mentioned therein. The article also mentions that Japanese words without a downstep accent tend to have a gradual rise of pitch towards the end of the word. I opine karate gets high pitch on the second and the third syllable because of this tentency. As Hiro Sasaki has mentioned, the pitch rise is very slight. Many Japanese natives might think karate has a "flat intonation" (forgive the oxymoron).

    勉強になりました、ね!!
    The change in pitch between syallables in a language such as English is extreme in comparison to Japanese. I would suggest that for a beginner it is best to think of pronunciation as "flat", (as mentioned in the linked article), but with subtle variations that can really only be picked up with careful listening.

    In the past written explanations of pronunciation may have been very useful, but today I think that listening to the sound of language, really quite easy now with the Internet, answers questions about pronunciation much more accurately.

    Gaer
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    <Originally Posted by Aoyama>Those who know japanese also know that e in japanese is always pronounced é . Those who don't may not find it so obvious. The problem can also be found with the word kamikaze that french speakers (and many others) will pronounce as kamikaz (or kamikazi) whereas it should of course be kamikazé. Same thing with saké.
    I think that puting an accent aigu on each japanese e as a rule would be a good idea
    With due respect, it's quite misleading to say that all "e" in Japanese are pronounced é .

    Some examples of è in Japanese:

    えーっ!?
    英語(えいご)
    景気(けいき)
    健康(けんこう)
    先生(せんせい)

    All the Japanese dipthongs are pronounced with è, definitely not with é.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I have Merriam Webster's Japanese-English Learner's Dictionary which is not very complete but I bought it because it shows intonation, i.e., downstep or, as they call it in a fancy way, accent nucleous. It confirms Flaminius' last post that the word karate has two different meanings but doesn't have accent nucleous in both of them.
    It's rather a matter of idiosyncracies. One can usually say it with no accent nucleus, but when you accentuate it, it might have a nucleus; especially when two items are being compared.

    柔道は確かにきついけど、空手はそんなにひどくないよ。

    Surely Judo is hard, but Karate, not so terrible.
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    The question was made by an Italian.

    Among the European languages, Italian is the most similar to Japanese for what concerns the pronunciation, both being syllabic languages.
    And the vowels are similar in sound to Italian vowels (http://educationjapan.org/jguide/language.html).

    All the Japanese dipthongs are pronounced with è, definitely not with é.

    Yes, dipthongs have their own rules of pronunciation.
    I think that Ayoama was speaking of the simple 'e' , excluding dipthongs.

    Ciao
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Yes, dipthongs have their own rules of pronunciation.
    I think that Ayoama was speaking of the simple 'e' , excluding dipthongs.
     Even if he was, would it be correct to say that all "e" excluding dipthongs are pronounced with é?
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    TimeHP is following me here. Japanese vowels are similar to that of italian (or latin, for that matter), that is why James Curtis Hepburn (an american missionnary who, being a man of church, knew latin) luckily and intelligently chose that language as a base to transcribe japanese. Where would we be if he had taken english ...?
    That is also why Japanese opera singers can sing quite well italian operas (written in kana), the reverse is true also, Italians can speak japanese quite well, provided they master (or give up) some intonation "tropisms".
    This being said, the following examples are not conclusive of anything :

    えーっ!? Eh, as an exclamation

    英語(えいご) eigo (ei, not e)

    景気(けいき) kei ki (same thing)

    健康(けんこう) ken ko (here it's en)

    先生(せんせい) sen sei (both examples , en, ei)

    the japanese e as a basic vowel is pronounced exactly as the french é (accent aigu) or "closed e". è (open e) does not exist in japanese.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Italians can speak japanese quite well, provided they master (or give up) some intonation "tropisms".
    Are you going to "GRE 3000" on me too, like Flaminius?:p

    Seriously Aoyama, it's just a matter of the viewpoint with which you are analyzing the pronunciation. You are basing it from the one of French pronunciation, which is strictly based on the syllable. In Japanese pronunciation, phonemes are based on moras (Is it all right I used "moras" as the plural form of "mora"?). Therefore, both え and い should be considered separate moras instead of えい as a single syllable. The same should be said of  けん which consists of two discrete moras.

    I believe け in けん is pronounced with an open "e," even if you claim it's nasal at the same time.
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    That would be defying the laws of phonetics, but then, nothing vital. Pronouncing é or è in japanese will never affect the meaning. Not the case between  and . As far as I know (and puting aside all unwanted chauvinism), saying that the japanese e is pronounced as the french é is a proven fact.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    One point I want to make clear: Japanese dipthongs are often not dipthongs; Yes, sometimes they are dipthongs, but sometimes they are not.

    Example: 景気回復 けいきかいふく keiki kaifuku (transliterated this way but no one actually pronounces it as dipthong; it's definitely けーきかいふく). In this case, えい is not a dipthong. Then, would you still see it as a closed "e"?

    As far as I know (and puting aside all unwanted chauvinism), saying that the japanese e is pronounced as the french é is a proven fact.
    This question may be rather a trivial matter, but how is chauvinism related here? Also, can you back this statement of yours with any insightful websites?
     

    Hiro Sasaki

    Banned
    Japan, Japanese
    "e"?

    This question may be rather a trivial matter, but how is chauvinism related here? Also, can you back this statement of yours with any insightful websites?

    There are many languages with different phonetic signs in the world.
    French people are proud of their language. They beleive it is the best
    in the world and the most beautiful language in the world. But, it
    does sound so beautiful to my ears.

    One of my friends said that he,living many years in the Netherlands, can never pronounce correctly the Dutch names of persons or places.
    Dutch people say ; " No, tha't not my name. " and give up any hope to
    teach Japanese to pronouce their names correctly. It's not
    a question of phonetic signs. Grand mother and grand father in Portuguese
    sound the same to every people only except to portuguese and Brazilian peoples. There are African languages and many languages of the native
    Americans, Scandinavian and slave languages.
    By the way, Americans call say "サキ” for sake. not "seik".

    It will be stupid to write saké to make Americans or French people
    cforrectly. There are many phoenetic systems for each language.

    Hiro Sasaki
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    As you can easily see from my posts, there is no hint of chauvinism. How can it be chauvinistic?

    It's a matter of mora or syllable, and I clearly said it's a matter of viewpoints.
     

    Hiro Sasaki

    Banned
    Japan, Japanese
    I thought that you meant the language chauvism. I don't know if we can
    call it chauvism or not. My view point is that there are many languages beside English and French.

    Recently, the Royal Spanish Academy changed its policy. They decided to
    respect more the grammars of other languages.

    Hiro Sasaki
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In Wikipedia, I found a vowel chart for Japanese, and I have to disagree with what Aoyama wrote above.

    The Japanese "e" is neither a French "é" nor a French "è". It's halfway between the two (like the Spanish and the Latin "e"). Japanese "e" is a mid vowel, while French "é" is a mid-close vowel. Although IPA often uses the same symbol for both, in more precise transcriptions mid "e" is written as [e] with a lowering diacritic (a small "T"-like subscript).
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_phonology#Vowels

    ムッシュー Aoyama, please take a look at this quotation from the Wiki article that Outsider mentioned:
    Japanese diphthongs are perceived as sequences of two different vowels. These vowel sequences are phonetically different from the diphthongs that occur in languages like English.
    Reed the highlighted part and you'll agree that I'm not defying the laws of phonetics.:) [edit:I editted this to meet the "up-to-four-lines rule." of WRF]

    Outsider is right in saying that the Japanese え is halfway between the French "è" and "é". I myself checked several books on English phonetics and confirmed that え is halfway between the closed "e" and the open "e" in English. If you are curious, please check out these books: 竹林滋 『英語音声学入門』 and 松坂ヒロシ 『英語音声学入門』.

    It is really nonsense to limit the Japanese え to either of which; they are actually both within the accepted range. Is it really not childish to offend somebody you disagree with an unprovoked remark that is ungrounded?
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    Well, 十人十色... I still think that the japanese え, in standard pronounciation (excluding accents and the like) is a plain open é . At least, that is what we (myself and a cohort of many others) teach. But then, we may have been wrong for all that time ...
    When it comes to nasal vowels (えん), that is different, the え becomes è as in french mène because of the rule :è consonant e (problème,élève, piège). The ん is pronounced in japanese, even if there is no vowel at the end. めん will thus be pronounced like men in english or mène in french.
    No hard feelings.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    When did you convert to the proponent of there not being the Japanese open "e"? You previously wrote that all Japanese え are closed "e." I find it really hard to see where you stand.

    When it comes to nasal vowels (えん), that is different, the え becomes è as in french mène because of the rule :è consonant e (problème,élève, piège). The ん is pronounced in japanese, even if there is no vowel at the end. めん will thus be pronounced like men in english or mène in french.
    [edit] Oh, finally you admitted it. Thank you very much.
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    Well, Aoyama, I've spent some time surfing the net and listening to the pronunciation of the word Karaté and to my Italian ears it always sounded 'Karaté'.
    Never I heard it pronounced without a pitch, an accent, a high tone or 'what-you-prefer-to-call-it' on the 'e'. :)
    Thank you.
    Ciao
     

    Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    I did not convert to anything (az ve halilah). The argument, from the very beginning was that , as a basic vowel in japanese, is pronounced as in french é (or, for that matter, as the same sound equivalent in spanish or italian). えん (a compound of two elements) is totally different.
     
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