for Japanese Learners, Page 3
English Pronunciation Mini-Course
for Japanese Learners
Page 3 of 4
Lesson 3: B/V sounds
Because there's no V sound in the Japanese language, most English
words with a V get pronounced with an B sound. For example, the English
word "video" is pronounced "BEE-day-oh" (ビデオ) in Japanese. Also, the
letter V itself in Japanese is pronounced like the English word "buoy.
So all the numerous acronyms that contain a V like UV, IPv6, V8, VA,
etc. are pronounced in a hilarious, but virtually incomprehensible
manner for any ears unaccustomed to hearing Japanese English.
Without question, one of the most comical examples I've ever seen of
this Japanese "buoy" pronunciation of the letter V was the Arnold
Schwarzenegger TV commercial back in the early 90s for the Alinamin V
(アリナミンV) energy drink. One reason the TVCM was such a hit was
because of the wordplay on the Japanese word "daijōbu" (大丈夫, だいじょうぶ),
meaning "all right" or "OK".
So there you have it! Just remember that if you shoot the peace (or
victory) sign to a Japanese person, don't forget to say "BUOY'"!
Making the English V sound is very easy and not nearly as complicated
as all those online videos make it out to be. Just touch your bottom
lip to your top
teeth. That's IT!
B/V sounds speaking practice
As in the 2 previous lessons, in this video the teacher will first read
a B word from
column, and then its
similar sounding V word in the right column. Please repeat the word
pairs after the teacher, one by one, for your pronunciation practice.
touch your bottom lip to your
top teeth for the V sound. Also, be sure to keep your top lip up and
away.....otherwise, if your 2 lips touch each other, you'll be making
the B sound!
Ok, very good. Please replay this video as necessary until you feel
comfortable correctly pronouncing the B & V sounds. In the next
exercise you’ll practice listening to the B/V sounds. 頑張ってください
B/V sounds listening practice
Now we will give you some listening practice with the B/V sounds. The
teacher will read 10 words from either the left column or the right
column. Please write down your answers on a piece of paper. He will say
each word twice.
Ok, well done! Now you can check your answers by clicking
below on the
“Show/Hide answers” link, which will reveal the 10 words which the
teacher just said. If you got more than 3 or 4 answers wrong, you might
want to do this listening exercise again for more practice.
B/V sounds dictation practice
Our final Lesson 3 exercise is the B/V sounds sentence dictation
practice. The teacher will read 2 sentences using the B & V sounds
and you should write down the sentences on a piece of paper as best you
can. The teacher will say each sentence 3 times, the 2nd time more
slowly than native speed.
Ok, good job! You can now check your answers by clicking below on the
“Show/Hide answers” link, which will reveal the 2 sentences which the
teacher just said. If you found this difficult, you might want to try
this dictation exercise again for more practice.
The big boat’s vast beer vats
A ballet dancer can bend and bow very vigorously.
じゃあ, おめでとうございます (Jaa, omedetou gozaimasu)! You’re now done with Lesson
3. If you're ready to
start Lesson 4, F/H sounds, you can proceed now to Page 4.
Or if you want more practice with the B/V sounds, you might want to
check your listening with an easy B/V quiz on this page.
(First read the instructions, then click on the blue "Start" arrow.
After each question, click the blue right arrow to continue the quiz on
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