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Shorite
24th September 2003, 01:47
can anyone tell me the correct pronounciation of the word ryu? i've heard it said "ree" and "ree oou" i don't know which one it is.

renfield_kuroda
24th September 2003, 02:06
It's neither. I can't think of the equivalent sound in English. It's like saying "ree" (as in "read") and "you" (as in "heah you!") BUT the long 'ee' is almost non-existant, slurring the r immediately into the 'you': ryu. This is a different sound than the Japanese word 'riyu' in which case you pronounce the full vowels 'ree-you'.
Try saying 'ree-you' faster and faster until the long 'ee' is just clipped to nothing and you're left with 'ryu'. Also think of the r as a bit closer to a 'd': touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth just behind your front teeth, but don't use the very tip of your tongue, use the part of the tongue slightly back from the tip, then quickly pull if it off the roof of your mouth and make the 'oh face' to pronounce the 'you'.

As this sound does not appear in the English language as far as I know, many native English speakers have a hard time pronouncing it correctly.

Regards,

r e n

Brian Owens
24th September 2003, 09:36
Of all the sounds in Japanese, Ryu is the one I have the hardest time with. I usually end up saying "Ru" (like, I rue the day I tried to learn Japanese :)).

I've never heard anyone say "Ree." That would be Romanized "Ri" not "Ryu." But then, I haven't been in Northern Florida in years.

I once read an article in Mother Earth News Magazine about the shitake mushroom, and the writer took great pains to explain that it was pronounced "Shee Tar Kee." I couldn't figure out where the "R" came from until I read further and found that the man who had taught the author was from Arkansas. I've always pronounced it "Shee Taw Keh" but I'm sure thats not exactly right either.

And of course I can't count the number of times I've heard someone call harakiri "hairy carry" or karaoke "carry oakey" (I once even heard "croaky" but maybe he had a frog in his throat).

Many Americans, and even more so the British, seem to want to pronounce everything as if it were English, and seem unwilling to even try to hear it or say it correctly. I remember in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, Sean Connery tells his Japanese host who inquires about his choice of beverage, "Oh, I like sackee" (sake). This after telling Ms. Moneypenny in an earlier scene that he had taken a first in Oriental Langauges at Cambridge.

Of course, if everyone spoke Esperanto or something we wouldn't have these troubles.

A curse on the builders of the Tower of Babel.

Earl Hartman
24th September 2003, 23:06
Well, all speakers of any language are going to try to adapt foreign words so that they can easily pronounce them according to the conventions of their own language. It is exhausting to try to switch accents in mid-sentence and attempt to wrap your tongue around words from a language which has an entirely different set of sounds than your own.

This is only natural, unless you want to go around sounding like newscasters on NPR talking about what is going on in Latin America. Of course, while such people take exquisite care to properly pronounce Spanish names, they make no such effort to do the same with, say, German or French names. Quick, what is the capital of France? Paris, you say? Nope. "Par-ee" is correct, of course (and make sure you get that "r" way back in your throat where it belongs, buckaroo). And why do we say "Germany" rather than "Deutschland" and pronounce "Koln" like it is a perfume?

Why? Becasue we're speaking English, not French or German or what have you. After all, "Japan" is itself an Anglicization of the Italian pronunciation of the Chinese word for Japan, which Marco Polo rendered as "Zinpangu".

Anyway, this is not a strictly Britsh or American phenomenon. The Japanese are probbaly the biggest "offenders" in this area, since their language has so few sounds in comparison to others and their written language is entirely incapable of accurately representing the sounds of most foreign words at all. As a result, in Japanese, "MacDonalds" has six syllables rather than three.

My name is "Earl". I first went to Japan in 1972 and lived there for a total of 11 years. I have met precisely two Japanese who can pronounce my name properly. I have been married for almost 30 years, and as far as my wife is concerned, my name is, and always will be, "Aru".

Of course, in America, my wife is known to most people as "Nikki" becasue people are too lazy to learn how to pronounce "Noriko".

Brian Owens
25th September 2003, 00:51
Originally posted by Earl Hartman
And why do we say "Germany" rather than "Deutschland" and pronounce "Koln" like it is a perfume?

Actually we call the "perfume" after the city, not vice versa.

"Au du Cologne" means water of Cologne in French, after the diluted perfume developed there. I suspect we call Cologne (the city) Cologne not Koln because at one time French, not German, was the language of diplomacy.

Brian Owens
25th September 2003, 01:14
Originally posted by Earl Hartman
Anyway, this is not a strictly Britsh or American phenomenon. The Japanese are probbaly the biggest "offenders" in this area, since their language has so few sounds in comparison to others and their written language is entirely incapable of accurately representing the sounds of most foreign words at all.

That's true. And I never criticize anyone who tries their best to speak a foreign language but can't quite manage it. Heaven knows I'm not that great. I don't even speak English as well as I'd like to(sometimes I catch myself saying words like "nucular" instead of "nuclear" or "Am" instead of "I'm").

But when they don't really even try, well, that's another matter. In English we have "a" as in "father" and "a" as in "man." We have "e" as in "me" and we have "e" as in "met." So many Japanese sounds, except for sounds like "ryu," "tsu," and "kyo" shouldn't be that hard to at least approximate.

I may not be able to say "doitashimashite" like a native (did I even spell it right?), but I don't say "Don't touch my mustache" and figure the person I'm speaking to should understand me.

So I'll go on saying "ru" when I want to say "ryu," and people can call me "Burayan" instead of "Brian." But I'll never say "Eat Ducky Mush" when I want to say "Itadakimasu."

Earl Hartman
25th September 2003, 01:23
Ah, well, being gratuitously insulting is another matter entirely, innit?

Regardng Koln, and such similar situations, there may be very good reasons for the way people pronounce things in various languages, but it still does not invalidate my point. The name of the city, in the language of the country in which it is located, is "Koln", not "Cologne". I would imagine that most Germans would prefer it if people took a stab at pronouncing it the way it should be pronounced.

You know, like "N'awlins" instead of "Noo Orleens".

:D

PS: Was German ever the language of diplomacy? Too many jokes suggest themselves, so I won't go there.

Brian Owens
25th September 2003, 02:16
Originally posted by Earl Hartman
Ah, well, being gratuitously insulting is another matter entirely, innit?

Not my intent, at all. If that's the way it came across, my sincerest
apologies.

Earl Hartman
25th September 2003, 03:27
Oh, no, don't misunderstand. I wasn't talking about you at all. I meant that people who say "Eat Ducky Mush" as opposed to try to actually pronounce the word as it should be pronounced, even if they mangle it, are being gratuitously insulting. I agree with you there, totally. One should at least give it the old college try.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Brian Owens
25th September 2003, 07:04
Originally posted by Earl Hartman
Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Ah. Me too. That's one problem with repartes over the internet. No immediate feedback to clarify meanings.

Enjoyed your comments, especially coming from someone who has lived in Japan, which I hope to do someday...after I learn the language.

I've been told the University of Washington has a very good, intensive program, but the time constraints don't fit with my work schedule. I'll have to wait until I retire or win the lottery.

Shorite
25th September 2003, 19:31
You guys are great. Thankyou for such rapid responses, write it one day the next i have nine replies. Oh and Yagyu, where I live, i fondly call it FloraBama, since we are so close to Alabama, so bad pronounciations are like a parasite that is on every humans in a two hundred mile radius, very scary, hehe. I think I need to conquer the American language before I hit the Japanese, being English and all.

Brian Owens
26th September 2003, 06:44
Originally posted by Shorite
You guys are great. Thank you for such rapid responses, write it one day the next i have nine replies. Oh and Yagyu, where I live, i fondly call it FloraBama, since we are so close to Alabama, so bad pronounciations are like a parasite that is on every humans in a two hundred mile radius, very scary, hehe. I think I need to conquer the American language before I hit the Japanese, being English and all.

I went to Junior High School and part of High School in Tampa. I lived near the cigar-making capitol of the U.S. (Ebor City). For a while I was speaking English with a Cuban accent. :)


By the way: I've heard of Shori Te and Shorei Ryu (and Shorin Ryu, for that matter), but I've never heard of Shorite Ryu. What can you tell me about it?

Shorite
26th September 2003, 15:24
there will be an article on our style in Budo International magazine in October? It is a style made by Dr. Christian Harfouche 10th Dan, it means Victorious Hands Body Arts. Check out the website Here (http://www.victorioushands.com/) Its probably best if you read the articles on the website, i wouldn't explain it as well as they do.

Shorite
26th September 2003, 15:26
I think its in october anyhow.