Pronounciation of 'kyusu'


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Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby skilfautdire » Sep 21st, '10, 20:04

From the small amount of Japanese I have heard, it seems that all words ending with an 'u' do not really get the 'u' spoken. I was reminded that recently from a live video of the band Shibusa Shirazu where the singer shouts the name of the band several times to the public: "Shibusa Shiraz". Could be that the ending 'u' is such softly spoken that we do not hear it, or it is simply not pronounced in day-to-day use.

So, would then the word 'kyusu' be actually pronounced: 'kyuss' as in 'kee-ooss' ?
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby Chip » Sep 21st, '10, 20:12

This would not surprise me, I had never heard gyokuro spoken, mispronouncing it for many years ... til I finally listened to an Ippodo video ... hm, I wonder if they mention kyusu ... going to look! Errr listen.
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby TokyoB » Sep 21st, '10, 21:37

In "kyuusu", which is actually the romanized Japanese based on the katakana "きゅうす", the last u sound is pronounced very lightly. Alternatively, and more typically, 急須 would be romanized by writing "kyusu" with a line over the first u, indicating a long vowel, which is clearly pronounced, unlike the last u.
You can hear a native speaker reading it on Jim Breen's dictionary site. Just search by the kanji (copy and paste) 急須. Click the arrow to hear it pronounced. The site is here:
http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi- ... dic.cgi?1C

Note that this loss of notation for long vs short vowels when Japanese words are romanized is common. For example the correct romanization of Tokyo would either be written with a line over the last o or Tokyoo. Thus it is difficult to know how to pronounce these words unless you refer to a Japanese dictionary which will have the correct romanization.

This is probably more than you wanted to know!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby Victoria » Sep 21st, '10, 22:39

Thanks! That's a great link. And now I know it's not 3 syllables!
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby JBaymore » Sep 21st, '10, 22:40

Great explanation for folks, TokyoB. I spend quite a bit of time in my History of Japanese Ceramics course dealing with the Hepburn Romaji transliteration system and how to more accurately pronounce many Japanese words. As you say, it all has to go back to the kana syllabary. Most Americans are amazed to find out that it is not "Toe -key -oh" :wink: .

best,

............john
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 21st, '10, 22:51

Wait, how do you pronounce "gyokuro"? I think I have only heard it pronounced by people who don't speak Japanese.

(You can't even count on vendors to know these things. I was at a tea store recently where the owner said "poo-air"!)
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby chingwa » Sep 22nd, '10, 01:29

Gyokuro should be pronounced "GYOKuRO".... the short form of "watashitachi no okamisama kara mainichi tanjoubi mono gyokuro" which essentially translates as "green jeweled gift from the heavenly sunshine"... the u should be soft and short. say it as flat as possible and faster than you think... there shouldn't be much emphasis placed on any syllables, but, as us English speakers are wont to do, if you are going to emphasis then emphasize the first syllable.


and don't forget to contemplate the mysteries...

kyo gyokuro
suzushii mizu to
dou aji ka na

or...

yu wo miteru
gyokuro dou kana
mata matsu yo

(mata matsu mata matsu mata matsu... etc)
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby TokyoB » Sep 22nd, '10, 06:45

You can find a recording of the pronunciation of gyokuro on the same Jim Breen Dictionary site. Just copy and paste the characters for gyokuro (玉露) and search. Then click on the small arrow to hear the recording. Remember, Japanese prouniciation is flat - there is (generally) no stress/emphasis anywhere.
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby TokyoB » Sep 22nd, '10, 06:55

chingwa wrote:Gyokuro should be pronounced "GYOKuRO".... the short form of "watashitachi no okamisama kara mainichi tanjoubi mono gyokuro" which essentially translates as "green jeweled gift from the heavenly sunshine"...

chingwa,
That is a very poetic translation. My poor translating skills would lead me to a more literal translation of the sort "From my god(s) (or more loosely "nature"??) everyday birthday item gyokuro (which means jade dew)". Although it appears that I may be misunderstanding what one of the romanized Japanese words is. I can't tell without the characters.
What is this quote from?
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby JBaymore » Sep 22nd, '10, 09:06

TokyoB wrote:That is a very poetic translation.


+1


And wouldn't the literal be "....from OUR god(s)..." (watashitachi)? And I'd assume there that the "our" in that context would imply "the Japanese people's god(s)" or the " gods of the people". As in, "gift from the gods".

best,

.............john
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby TokyoB » Sep 22nd, '10, 20:49

John,
Yes it would be "our" - meant to state that but was in a hurry, good catch. Given that the many gods of Shintoism are from nature you could probably translate as "our gift from nature" as well if you wanted. Interesting how culture and language together imply things that make translation difficult. I guess you can't translate all the concepts that are behind one phrase or sentence.
Are you a fluent Japanese speaker? Unfortunately I never could get much beyone basic conversation. I lived there for about 5 years. Later I was able to get to a similar level in Mandarin but again, couldn't progress beyond that.
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby chingwa » Sep 23rd, '10, 00:26

Well, I guess the most literal translation would be... "our everyday birthday gift from the gods, Gyokuro". I'd hate to admit this now, as it seems It's been taken a bit more seriously than intended, but this phrase was not referenced from anywhere other than my own tea-filled head. :oops:

and I also got a bit carried away with the gyokuro inspired haiku... :oops:

... maybe I have a future career writing marketing material for Japanese tea farms? :wink:
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby skilfautdire » Sep 23rd, '10, 05:55

chingwa wrote:... maybe I have a future career writing marketing material for Japanese tea farms? :wink:

... For a Japanese market. I once did some research to find a Hitachi microncontroller development kit (that was for high volume) and found a Japanese site which, despite the English translation, offered a SDK targeted at Japanese engineers. The SDK had a name like 'Smiling Sun' or 'Happy Sun'. In Occident we surely do not give software development kits such names. Spreading 'explicit' :) poetry in product names and/or advertisements could have a detrimental effect !
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby TokyoB » Sep 23rd, '10, 06:35

chingwa wrote:Well, I guess the most literal translation would be... "our everyday birthday gift from the gods, Gyokuro". I'd hate to admit this now, as it seems It's been taken a bit more seriously than intended, but this phrase was not referenced from anywhere other than my own tea-filled head. :oops:

and I also got a bit carried away with the gyokuro inspired haiku... :oops:

... maybe I have a future career writing marketing material for Japanese tea farms? :wink:


Ha! I quite like it. I thought the Japanese was rather odd though!
I think you do indeed have a future in marketing. :lol:
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Re: Pronounciation of 'kyusu'

Postby JBaymore » Sep 23rd, '10, 10:42

chingwa wrote:... maybe I have a future career writing marketing material for Japanese tea farms? :wink:


You certainly do. That was a great interpretive translation. :wink:

best,

...................john
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