YKK Forum


Just a question for those better with language than my self, I was trying to explain to a friend of mine about YKK and realised I hadn’t the faintest clue how to pronounce Kaidashi Kikou that and Alpha’s family name Hatsuseno. Could anyone help me?

- Andy Beale
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

IIRC it is pronounced as if it is in french. An another general rule is that the Japanese never pronounce 2 vowel at once so "kikou" shall be ki-ko-u. Has been long since my Jap friend gave me this piece so it might be something else similar.

- tongHoAnh
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

The "u" in "kikou" makes the "o" long and in the Wikipedia article this has now been changed to "ō", thus it is "kikō".

I believe "e" after "i" has a similar effect as in "tokei". I'd be interested to hear of other such pronounciation rules, it is now quite a few years ago that I learned a little about the language.

- C_P
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

I don't think that the "ou" in Kikou is pronounced as two vowels. "ou" is the romanization for a long o (ie, an o with a macron on top of it). The alternate romanization (as provided on the wikipedia article) is "Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko" (with a macron or bar over the o), which may make more sense.

(I don't know Japanese, but I think even when writing in hiragana and you add the hiragana for "u" after "o" if you want to make it a long "o", you still don't pronounce it o-u, you pronounce it as a long "o")

- Carn
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

I don't know Japanese either, but I've heard that you use the symbol that looks like a dash to make a vowel longer... Yes, it's probably only when writing in hiragana, and doesn't mean there are no other ways...

Maybe somebody who actually knows Japanese could shine some light on the subject? :)

- Radomir Dopieralski
Wednesday, October 5, 2005


It seems that the elves have been practicing their Japanese. I've been told you can hear their efforts here:



As for the -u, it just indicates a long vowel. It's one of several accepted ways to indicate it in roman characters.



- dDave
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Dave, you're fantastic!

- Carn
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

That was awesome. ^_^ Thanks!

- Silverback
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

This is great! Thanks!

- outsideking
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

To echo everyone else, thanks a lot Dave and the elves. Now I just need to find a computer with working sound card!

- Andy Beale
Thursday, October 6, 2005


- Radomir Dopieralski
Thursday, October 6, 2005

This site has all the sounds for kana table:

- painsama
Monday, October 10, 2005

Hm.. I don't know japanese either but pronouncing them to me is not a problem. So maybe I could lend a help... ^_^

Yo-sounds like your everyday yo in 'yo! friend'
ko-sounds like the 'co' in 'copper'
ha-sounds like the 'ha' in 'harp' with the 'rp'
ma-sounds like 'mu' in 'must' with the 'st' unpronounced

Kai-similar to how you say 'hi', just by changing the 'h' to
da-sounds like the 'du' in 'dust' with the 'st'
shi-sounds exactly like 'she'

Ki-sounds like the 'ke' in 'key' with the 'y' unpronounced
kou-sounds like the 'co' in 'cope' with the 'pe'

The trick behind the 'kou' is that 'ko' and 'kou' is different. 'kou' is already explained. As for 'ko'...

ko-sounds like the the 'co' in 'cod' with the 'd'

the 'co' in 'cope' and the 'co' in 'cod',different aren't they? >_'

- Jax
Monday, October 10, 2005

OK... I found the above throughly confusing...

All of my books, classes and friends who are native Japanese speakers, (being from Japan...) have explained the "ko" as being "co" like in "cope", or "code"

While "kou" is simply "ko" with an extension of the "o" sound, meaning you pronounce them exactly the same, but you drag out the "ooooo" sound when the romanization "u" is present. I've also actually heard people from Japan occasionally shift the extended "ooooo" sound to become slightly "oo" as in "food", (coming out like "koh-uu") but that seemed to be dependent on what part of Japan they were from...

- Darin~
Monday, October 10, 2005

Err.. Yeah, that's absolutely right. I'm suck at explaining things, ahaha... ^_^;; Thanks for the correction in my explanation.

- Jax
Wednesday, October 12, 2005

You were right, Jax. ‘Ko’ of ‘Yokohama’ and ‘kou’ of ‘kikou’ are differently pronounced. They are not interchangeable.

You can pronounce ‘kou’ of ‘kikou’ like “call” with the “ll” unpronounced, as well as “cope” with the “pe” unpronounced. (“Call” is pronounced longer than “cod”, am I correct?)

-- kGo

- Kimoto Go
Thursday, October 13, 2005

An accepted if less common way to romanize "kikou" is to spell it "kikoh" if that helps any

- martialstax
Friday, October 14, 2005

yo(gurt)-co(mb)-ha(rp)-ma(rk) co(ncert)-ea(r)-da(rk)-shee(p) kee(p)-co(mb), with the last O drawn out for an extra syllable. Japanese uses the same basic five vowel sounds as Spanish. Japanese is pronounced exactly how it's written, with the exception of long vowels and consonants.

Same goes for Hatsuseno. Just ha-tsu-sen-o. The tsu is like the end of "pants" with an extra oo at the end.

- Boris Smelov
Monday, October 17, 2005

>>Japanese is pronounced exactly how it's written, with the exception of long vowels and consonants. <<

This is how I was taught too Boris. I've stuck with it and never been misunderstood, even if I WAS too shy to say much... :p

- Darin~
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Being a Spaniard myself, I agree that the only easy thing about japanese for a Spanish speaker is precisely their vowels... consonants are different problem, because some of them are bit more tricky...

Strange to say, but sharing the same set of vowels makes spoken Japanese somehow familiar for a Spanish ear, especially for those who come from Spain... it is very difficult to convey that precise feeling, but you can close your eyes, and feel that somebody from your country is talking to you, even if you are not understanding anything and the music of the language is a bit off... something quite disturbing and beautiful at the same time.

That very same effect happened to me when travelling to Greece, because greek vowels are also quite similar to Spanish ones. I couldn't avoid turning to people who chatted near to me, as though I could understand what they were saying.

- DavidF
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"yo(gurt)-co(mb)-ha(rp)-ma(rk) co(ncert)-ea(r)-da(rk)-shee(p) kee(p)-co(mb)"

Worth noting is that in an Australian dialect (and some British ones) the 'ka' in 'kaidashi' is actually as in, say, ca(rt). co(ncert) is completely different.

- Flamebyrd
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sorry since I've been gone for a long time.

About pronouncation.. Yeah, I forgot to say this as well, that some race are able to pronounce japanese words without problems(though, not to say we can't understand what is going on either) since they've got themselves what I call 'flexible-tongue'. To tell the truth, it doesn't go to only pronouncing japanese but other languages as well. This goes to mine too. And Im glad Im good at that. And since Im one of those who have no problem with this, I would be happy to help.

Oh, and if it's not disturbing.. I'd like to correct some statement made earlier about pronouncing 'kaidashi'.It's actually...

Hope this helps, somewhat. Till then, later. >_' d

- Jax
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

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