hi! many words are somewhat accented, how is the accenting based? thank you!

Asked 4 years ago

 hi! many words are somewhat accented, how is the accenting based? 

is it mostly standard Tokyo Dialect or are there other Diealects which are used a lot;

the recordings sound to be of varying vintages & persons  Thank you  :)

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

2 Answers


Hi Hanshi-san,

First of all, Japanese language does not have strong accents like English. Instead, Japanese has pitch accents (with high or low pitch).

As you know, some of their pitch accent patterns might be different depending on regions or persons, but the basic patterns work in most cases.

I'd like to share the article about Japanese pitch accents: 

Answered 4 years ago



When you say accenting, what do you mean? If you're talking about the long and short vowels, just listen to the audio samples for vocabulary words and you'll pick it up quickly enough - おう is pronounced slightly longer than お, いい is slightly longer than い.

If it's intonation or pitch accent then there's really no way to learn aside from exposure in Japan. Kansai intonation is completely different to Kantou intonation not to even start on Kyuushuu or Okinawa but even within Kansai Osaka-ben intonation is different to, say, Kobe-ben. Even though I live in Osaka and I've got no problems understanding people in Osaka and Kyoto if someone's from Kobe I get lost very quickly, mainly due to the different intonation and speaking rhythm. Not joking, I've sat through hour-long debates between mates on the difference in pitch accent between 雨 and あめ (sweets).

This is one of the most difficult things to learn in Japanese. It's good you've picked up on it now but really it's not something to worry too much about until you actually start dealing with actual Japanese. At that point just listen for it, mimic the way people speak (all of this easier said than done, admittedly) and you should be golden.

Answered 4 years ago