5つの違う『ん』の発音- 5 different sounds to pronounce ん-




このようなバックグランドの先生達がグループとは言え日本語を教えるってどーゆー事って思いますよね。実は週に一度preparation timeを貰っていて、この時間で次の週の理科、美術、音楽、日本語のレッスンの内容の話をします。基本的には私がレッスンを日本語で進めてクラスの先生はサポートが必要な時に英語で介入するという感じです。

ある日のPreparation timeにクラスの先生から質問がありました。先生達は日本語が読めないので、ローマ字表記に近い感じ(フォニックスっぽい)でメモを取ります。

   の 『ん』
じん の 『ん』
ぴつ の 『ん』
ごう の 『ん』


じん と しごうの違いに気づいたが、この二つを『ng』と言う事でその場は一旦落ち着いた。


 の 『ん』(N)→ 英語でn
じん の 『ん』( ɲ)→ 英語でない
ぴつ の 『ん』(m)→ 英語でm
ごう の  『ん』(ŋ)→ 英語でng

じん は 舌の後方が上の歯茎にあたってるが
ごう は 舌が何処にもあたっていない




At my school, we have a Japanese literacy group lesson once a week. During that time, the class teacher and I each have different groups to teach. I usually have a speaking or writing group, and the class teacher teaches vocabulary activities at the appropriate level for each group.

The class teacher has no experience or knowledge of Japanese, they only have the experience and skills as a teacher.

What do you think it means to have a teacher with this background teaching a group in Japanese?

Actually, we receive preparation time once a week, and during this time, we discuss the content of the science, art, music, and Japanese lessons for the coming week. Basically, I run the lessons in Japanese and the class teacher steps in when necessary.

One day during preparation time, the class teacher had a question. The teachers cannot read Japanese, so they take notes in a way that is close to romanised (Ro-ma ji) writing (something like phonics).

   の 『ん』
じん の 『ん』
ぴつ の 『ん』
ごう の 『ん』
The “ん” sound is different.

I was asked about the difference in pronunciation of “ん” in words like “ほん (book)”, “にんじん (carrot)”, “えんぴつ (pencil)”, and “しんごう (mind)”. It was pointed out that the sound of “ん” in these words is different.

I vaguely remembered that the pronunciation of “ん” in Japanese was special, but I couldn’t explain it well. When I was asked the question, I tried to find the pattern by repeating these words, but my speech continued to deteriorate as I tried.

I tried to explain it by saying that it might be like “m”, “m”, “ng” in English, but I noticed the difference between “にじん” and “しごう” and the situation was temporarily settled by saying that these two are pronounced as “ng”. In English, the difference in pronunciation of these three is very important, as it is natural for a teacher in a primary school because teachers thoroughly teach phonemes.

The sounds of “ん” in:
“hon” (book) is n
“ninjin” (carrot) is ɲ
“enpitsu” (pencil) is m
“shingou” (new) is ŋ

In “ninjin,” the back of the tongue touches the upper molars,
while in “shingou” the tongue does not touch anywhere.

Is it because native speakers are more likely to notice these differences?
However, even if you don’t try to notice, you can still communicate without any problems even if you pronounce it wrongly.

Do you understand what this means? The first is the incorrect pronunciation, and the second is the correct pronunciation.

The most important thing to be careful about when pronounced in Japanese is long vowels. The word “choon” itself has a long vowel. I’ll share with you how I teach long vowels to elementary school students next time.


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