Konnichiwa mina-san! I'm your tutor Yoake (Yoh-ah-keh). Don't worry, if you can't say my name, I'll try my best to teach your the sounds through this lesson.
Lesson 1: Intro & Basics
A - AH (as in father)
I - EE (as in week)
U - OO (as in moon)
E - EH (as in men)
O - OH (as in no)
***Sometimes the U and The I doesn't make any sound at all. If you don't know when, you can say them anyway, it wouldn't be wrong. Also, when two vowels are put together, it may seem to make a different sound just because of fast speech.
..........The OI in Shiroi may sound like OY in Boy.
..........Shee-Roh-EE said fast sounds like Shee-Roy
..........If you want, you can say every letter.
..........Shee-Roh-EE, it's understood and even said by the japanese speakers themselves.
Ai - Eye
Iu - You
Ui - We
Oi - Oy
*each consonant makes it own sound. No consonant has two different sounds, this is a reason why Japanese is so easy to speak.
The hardest sounds to learn will probably be the consonants F, R, and the syllable TSU. Otherwise it's pretty easy.
B - Bad
C - Church **The letter C never comes by itself, and H ALWAYS follows.
D - Dad
F - How **Put your teeth right behind your bottom lip and blow. It should make a sound between and F and H.
G - Good
H - Hello
J - Jet
K - Kick
M - Man
N - Night
P - Pretty
R - Like **The R is said either like in Spanish (more of a D sound) or like an L. For English speakers, the L is the easiest and I would Suggest you take that sound.
S - Snake
T - Touch
W - Win
Y - Yes
Z - Zebra
***To make the R sound like a Spanish D.
........Say the word Butter. Feel how your tongue barely touches the roof of your mouth and makes sort of a D ........sound.
........Hopefully you understand, just practice.
When two consonants are put together, just hold them out for an extra second.
Example: Kitta and Kita.
Kitta is pronounced Keet tah.
Kita is pronounced Kee tah.
Kitta means cut (past tense), while Kita means North. Definitely don't want to mix those two up.
Same with the vowels. When two come one after another (same vowel, of course) just hold it out longer.
Now, when you see a line over the vowel, in some cases, it means to stress that vowel.
Now for some Beginner Japanese Phrases!! And yes, I'll be sure to put the sounds to make sure you have it down.
Ohayo (Gozaimasu) - Good Morning (Said until about 10:00 a.m)
Konnichiwa (Gozaimasu) - Good Afternoon (Said until dark)
Konbanwa (Gozaimasu) - Good Evening (Said when it's dark)
Sayonara (Gozaimasu) - Good Bye
Genki desu ka? - How are you?
Gehn-Kee Dehs Kah
Hai, Genki desu - Fine, thank you.
High, Gehn-Kee Dehs
Arigato (Gozaimasu) - Thank you
Doitashimashite - Your Welcome
*many people remember this by 'Don't touch my mustache'
Hajimemashite - Nice to meet you.
Sumimasen - Excuse me
Gomen(nasai) - Sorry
Hai - Yes
Iie - No
Namae wa nan desu ka? - What is your name?
Nah-Mah-Eh Wah Nahn Dehs Kah
Watashi no namae wa ________ desu. - My Name is.
Wah-Tah-Shee Noh Nah-Mah-Eh Wah ________ Dehs
*If you want, you can just say your name + desu.
* ________ desu.
Don't worry if you can't get it down right away. It'll come to you soon enough.