Online Pronunciation Course

Learn to speak Japanese - enunciate beyond Native level!

Instructor Introduction: Mikako-sensei

mikako sensei classOur pronunciation courses are led by Mikako-sensei, a retired freelance MC with 40 years of experience in narration, bilingual conference/event hosting, radio and television broadcasting, and sports event commentary. She has also given courses and seminars on professional announcing and business etiquette to native Japanese speakers, so you will be learning from the best when studying pronunciation with Mikako-sensei! While she has an impressive CV, don’t be intimidated! Her classes are casual and enjoyable with lots of laughter!

Here are a handful of examples of events she played a role in!

  • 1989 - Instructor at Asia Pacific Expo アジア太平洋博覧会
  • 2000 - MC for Kyushu Okinawa Summit 九州・沖縄サミット
  • 2005 - MC for 56th International Astronautical Congress 第56回国際宇宙会議
  • 2012 - MC for Welcoming Reception of Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra タイ・インラック首相歓迎
  • 2013 - Narrator for Kyuhaku Museium Concert きゅうはくミュージアムコンサート

Beginner Course Description

A Guide to Japanese Pronunciation: Sounds, Words, and Sentences.

Learning proper pronunciation is a lot of fun, and making progress is not as hard as you think! We’re going to start with fundamental practice first, then build from there. I will teach you many tips to pronounce Japanese in a way that will be more pleasant and comprehensible than even the speech of native Japanese!

  • ※  This course will use hiragana and some katakana, so please make sure you are mostly comfortable reading it prior to taking this course. If there are a few you have yet to memorize, it's totally okay to print out a reference sheet to refer to during the lesson.

  • Understanding that Japanese is made up of phonetic syllables is incredibly helpful when it comes to being able to properly pronounce them, as there are many differences between the sound of Japanese syllables and the English pronunciation of the romaji (A-Z alphabet) used to represent these characters.

Beginner Course Lesson Summary

Lesson 1
  • Japanese Sounds and Writing, 拍 (mora) and Spelling
  • Japanese Sound and your mouth
  • Vowels and consonants
Lesson 2
  • Pronouncing Vocabulary
  • Short and long sounds
  • Double consonants
  • Devoicing
  • Nasal が
Lesson 3
  • Rhythm in Spoken Japanese Language
Lesson 4
  • Pitch in Spoken Japanese Language
  • The most important rule of Japanese accent
  • Basic pitch accent patterns
  • Same spelling, different pitch
Lesson 5
  • Speaking skills
  • Intonation, pause, and prominence

Intermediate Course Description

「しっかり発声、正しく発音」(clear vocalization and distinct pronunciation)することを目指して、

  • ※  Completing the beginner level of the Pronunciation course does not necessarily mean that the intermediate level course is within your level. Rather, this course covers many of the same principles of the beginner course, but the level of Japanese used within this course is more difficult than that of the beginner course, allowing this course to go more in depth with more specific vocabulary, grammar constructs, social situations, etc.

Intermediate Course Lesson Summary

Lesson 1
  • 母音は文字通り母の音!
  • 母音の発音練習
  • 母音と子音
  • 日本語の成り立ち、拍(はく=mora)の感覚
Lesson 2
  • 日本語のリズム
Lesson 3
  • 語彙を増やしなら特殊音を学ぼう!
  • 長音・促音・撥音
  • 母音の無声化と鼻濁音
  • 二拍目のアクセントがポイント!
  • 基本的なアクセントパターンを知る
  • 同音異義語のアクセント
Lesson 5
  • 総まとめ~話し方のコツ
  • 抑揚(intonation)・ポーズ(pause)・卓立(prominence)
  • 話の三要素と、は・な・し方

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