Japanese

Importance of Vowels in Japanese

PaPaPi Pa PePo Pa PuPi PePu.

This is a Japanese sentence made by substituting /P/ for each consonant.
Can you guess the original phrase?

If it is read with the right intonation, most native speakers of the Japanese language can easily guess what it means.
On the other hand, it’s very difficult if it’s read with different vowels.
It shows the importance of vowels in the Japanese language.

The original version of the sentence above is:
わたしは、ねこがすきです。
watashi wa neko ga suki desu. (= I like cats.)

You can substitute other consonants as well:
MaMaMMMeMMMuMMeMu.
KaKaKKKeKKKuKKeKu.

Stage actors and actresses often practice their lines with only vowels so that they can pronounce every word very clearly.
(e.g. “ああいあ、えおあういえう” for “わたしは、ねこがすきです”.)

Therefore, I recommend you try to be conscious of vowels when you practice speaking Japanese. 🙂

Leave a Comment: