View Single Post
Old 22nd November 2019, 08:20 AM   #171
Master Poster
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,873
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's because Japanese doesn't have a /l/, and because Katakana is a syllabary where each character represents either a single vowel, or a consonant and a vowel. Or a single consonant that we in English render with two letters, like /sh/ and /th/, and a vowel.

That's why Japanese is so easy to pronounce. It's pronounced exactly as it as written.

ETA: The /i/ character is smaller than the others, which means it modifies the previous character from /fu/ to /fi/. There is no single character for /fu/. So it's actually a little more complex than I said it would be. The word is pronounced fi-ru-mu.

ETAA: The /f/ sound as we use it doesn't strictly exist in Japanese either. The character for /fu/ appears on the /h/ line and is pronounced without a strong fricative sound as we would use it.

Japanese writing is fascinating.
What you wrote confirms my understanding of the language, and I agree with the fascinating bit. What really fascinates me is why they bother with the 2000 or so characters they've borrowed from the Chinese when they can do just fine with the alphabet of just 42 characters. Why do they want to make life harder on them selves this way?
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top