pronounciation e.g. pronouncing su ka-to or ska-to (skirt)

Asked 5 years ago

Recently I've been trying to improve my pronounciation, then I realised there are some letters you don't pronounce.

For example, in the japanese word for skirt you pronounce it as ska-to instead of suka-to. It's also the same for taxi in Japanese, its pronounced takshi instead of takeshi.

Is there a rule for this, kind of like in french where you don't pronounce the "e" at the end of the word unless it has an accent "é"?

Basically is there a rule for when you don't pronounce/pronounce part of syllables?



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4 Answers


I may be wrong, but my understanding is that it's just a naturally occurring feature from speaking quickly; to say すき (su-ki) quickly, makes it sound as though it's pronounced as "ski". 

If I'm not mistaken, it's dependant on how fast you say certain characters; it also happens to ち and し in ごちそうさまでした (gochi-sou-sama-deshita). As for why です isn't pronounced as de-su is beyond me; I'd imagine, it's a traditional sort of pronunciation.

Again, I could be wrong about most / all of this, but I thought I might as well share perspective.

Answered 5 years ago




So, this link: http://www.imabi.net/pronunciationii.htm gives a very thorough (and perhaps a bit overkill -_-;) explanation of Japanese pronunciation, including a section (~1/3-1/2 the way down) about "vowel devoicing" - which I believe is what you're asking about.

Answered 5 years ago


robert michael さん

RippyDippy san is right!

As for the spoken Japanese, we always abreviate words and sentences so that it is easier to pronounce. So, to be as simple as I can, it is so that you can pronounce things with a flow. I understand that this is such a vague explanation, but for spoken Japanese it is just how we speak! For I know in Japanese languange some new accents and pronunciations are being added and so are words. So try not to stress and speak as you hear!

Good luck!


Answered 5 years ago



hi A!

The sounds are in there, even if very slight, the vowel sounds are at least slightly included; vowel sounds are also pronounced which are silent in language of origination, eg the 'e' baseball, and most syllables ending in consonants have a slight vowel sound added on when pronounced; eg, 'taxi' usually is pronounced with a slight, or even quite noticeable, amount of vowel sound in it; doubled consonant sounds sometimes are connected without including a vowel sound between them, Hanshi  

Answered 4 years ago