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Monday, November 7, 2011

Sorry, I Don’t Speak Manglenese: Pronouncing Foreign Terms through Japanese Phonetics (part 6)

Germinate Consonants, in English, are the sounds made by T, D, K and others when follow a vowel-like in the words rat, bid and lock-and are one of the milestones of fluency for students of the language. To understand how integral they are, lets examine the English way a gerund-the part of a verb pointing out somethings still going on-is used. '-ing'+ words using similar sounds are something many English speakers use as naturally as walking, yet when it's first taught, the process is like teaching a hamster to say row: long, hard and full of headaches. You sound it out and sound it and sound it out until in one brilliant flash, everything you've learned snaps in place and you start to get how to produce that tiny little pause in speech and fill in a major gap in the road to being a better language speaker (in case you're wondering, 'ing' sounds are rendered in Japanese using either(「イ」mora++) or (「イ」mora+). Similar sounds, such as 'ang' and 'eng', switch 「イ」mora out for something close to the word's sound).

     There are a massive variety of 'em, so to grease the wheels up a bit, let's review a formula you learned a while back, this one for short 'oo' sounds(as heard in book and soot): 'OO' sounds → 「ウ」Mora+ ッ + an appropriate mora. This verbal recipe also applies to words with 'A' and 'U' sounds, but with one crucial tweak of switching 「ウ」Mora with 「ア」 mora; be sure to keep this in mind, because you'll be seeing the formula a lot as we learn how to use the appropriate mora for each sound.

     For example, the structure for 'at/ut' sounds, as heard in bat and nut, is 「ア」Mora+ ッ + . Presumably you've made yourself aware enough to tell when which is which-such as hearing マット in a chat about amateur wrestling-, so I'll refrain from bashing you over the head with it and move on to the other germinates, starting with  'ad/ud' sounds.

     'ad/ud' sounds-as heard in dad and crud-use the structure「ア」Mora+ ッ + , 'atch/utch' consonants-such as those in patch and clutch-using 「ア」Mora+ ッ + and 'ack/uck' germinates needing「ア」Mora+ ッ + to sound it out. I'm sure you'll enjoy using it to say words like black, slack, suck, and words considered 'uncouth' by some with your Japanese-speaking pals (if you happen to walk on that side of the road, that is).
     Likewise, 'ag/ug' consonants-like those in rag and bug-are rendered with 「ア」Mora+ ッ + , with 'adge/udge' sounds-popping up in words like badge and judge-putting the structure 「ア」Mora+ ッ + to work and 'af/uf' germinates-heard in laugh and puff-doing the same with the structure 「ア」Mora+ ッ + . Laughing and puffing can be easily linked together, if you allow your mind, body and soul to work on their own to reach their own conclusions, and building your range of sounds is sure to give it more tools to work with.

     Among those tools are 'ap/up' germinates-used by tap and pup-, which employ the structure 「ア」Mora+ ッ + , 'ab/ub' sounds-including the sounds in grab and dub-rendered using the structure  「ア」Mora+ ッ + . In some instances, the pause used in all these structures is dropped when sounding out a word, whether it's to match the most common way to say it or for personal style(except when l, m or n follow the Germinate Consonant, as you learned in a previous lesson). As long as you keep all you learn in mind, you'll easily be able to both sound words out and analyze unfamiliar ones, like, say, ラグ, for a possible match in your memory banks.

     Other types of germinate consonants apple these principles, but with one change to the formula, which depends on which you're looking at. Germinate consonants with an 'I' sound-like in flip, lid and kick-the formula is 「イ」Mora+ ッ + an appropriate mora, keeping in mind all the little stuff you've learned about 'I' sounds and others so far, of course.

     'E' sounds-including those in red, neck and pet, change it to 「エ」Mora+ ッ + an appropriate mora, 'O' sounds-such as those in  hot, rock and iPod-,switching it to 「オ」Mora+ ッ + an appropriate mora. As you get more accustomed to how all this works, keep this in mind: the way a word is said isn't the only factor in how it's rendered-case in point, studio being commonly said as スタジオ. Those other factors and the seeming oddities they produce will soon be examined, so keep those eyes open.

Key Takeaways
ñ  Germinate consonants(vowels+T/D/K/G/F/P/B) are rendered with this basic formula:  「ア///オ」Mora+ ッ + an appropriate mora
ñ  'ing' sounds are rendered using either「イ」mora++ or 「イ」mora+ (EX: King → キング/Ring → リング/Bing → ビング)
ñ  'at/ut' germinate consonants use this structure: 「ア」Mora+ ッ  (EX: Matt → マット/Flat → フラット/Rut → ラット/Hut → ハット)
ñ  'ad/ud' germinate consonants use this structure: 「ア」Mora+ ッ  (EX: iPad → アイパッド/Bad → バッド/Dud → ダッド/Cuddle → カッドル)
ñ  'ack/uck' germinate consonants use this structure: 「ア」Mora+ ッ  (EX: Flak → フラック/Mac → マック/Luck → ラック/Buck → バック)
ñ  'ag/ug' germinate consonants use this structure: 「ア」Mora+ ッ  (EX: Bag → バッグ/Frag → フラッグ/Mug → マッグ/Lug-nut → ラッグナット)
ñ  'adge/udge' germinate consonants use this structure: 「ア」Mora+ ッ  (EX: Cadge →カッジ/Grudge → グラッジ/Madge → マッジ/Fudge → ファッキ)
ñ  'af/uf' germinate consonants use this structure: 「ア」Mora+ ッ  (EX: Raffle → ラッフル/Staff → スタッフ/Buff → バッフ/Duff → ダッフ)
ñ  'ap/up' germinate consonants use this structure: 「ア」Mora+ ッ  (EX: Lap → ラップ/Map → マップ/Up → アップ/Rupp → ラップ)
ñ   'ab/ub' germinate consonants use this structure: 「ア」Mora+ ッ  (EX: Slab → スラッブ/Dab → ダッブ/Rub → ラッブ/Sub → サッブ)
ñ  Germinate consonants w/ 'I' sounds generally use this structure:「イ」Mora+ ッ + an appropriate mora (EX: Clip → クリップ/Mitch → ミッチ/Rig → リッグ)
ñ  Germinate consonants w/ 'E' sounds generally use this structure:「エ」Mora+ ッ + an appropriate mora (EX: Peg → ペッグ/Blend → ブレンド/Def → デッフ)
ñ  Germinate consonants w/ '' sounds generally use this structure:「オ」Mora+ ッ + an appropriate mora (EX: Mop→ モップ/Notch → ノッチ/Dock → ドック)
ñ  In some cases the will be rendered without the
(EX: Rugby → ラグビ/Time Lag (term for the amount of time a signal is delayed) → タイムラグ)

Extra Credit!
As best as you can, render the words Hack, Pitch, Blog, Cup and Jet into Japanese phonetics

As best as you can, render the words クリック, ネッグ, マッチand パッと into English phonetics

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