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Senpai or Sempai?
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24 / M / Scotland
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Posted 6/21/14
I prefer using senpai but I will admit that sempai flows off the tongue better.
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Posted 6/21/14
Hello, it is your senpai. Noticing you for a few seconds to tell you that sempai sounds like a word someone uses who also uses annoying phrases in Japanese throughout their English words, but is actually very inept to the Japanese language, which then makes that person look bad. I'm not saying that because it's the improper way to say senpai, I'm saying that the word sempai doesn't sound better because it sounds annoying.
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17 / M / Crimson Mage Village
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Posted 6/21/14

zebrathinker wrote:


TripleBakaKimidori wrote:


Then....then...!
Does that mean you'll go through with the "Senpai~"- "Sempai~" simulation?!


that i was deadly serious about



....sorry, "Senpai"...
[so close!]
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24 / M / Canada
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Posted 6/21/14
seんpai.

That's right, I cheated! Take that rules!
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21 / M / Florida
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Posted 6/21/14
Why senpai, when she can be your kanojo.
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17 / M / Dallas, Texas
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Posted 6/21/14
Oniichan
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20 / M
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Posted 6/21/14 , edited 6/21/14
baka
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30 / M / Central KY.
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Posted 6/21/14
Senpaaaaaaaai. <3
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22 / M
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Posted 6/21/14
Sempai "flows off the tongue better" in any case that is involved--it's just how the human mouth works. And would anyone like to tell me the difference between "senpai" and "sempai"? I must have missed school that day... /satire
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36 / M
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Posted 6/21/14

TripleBakaKimidori wrote:

Yeah, I'm not stupid (though I am an idiot). The whole nonexistent point of this was to see what pronunciation fit better- not which was proper.
Why?
Because,
THESE ARE THE SUBTLE DIFFERENCES THAT SEPARATE "KAWAII" FROM "MOE"!!!

.
Assuming you are speaking out loud its likely that the way you are speaking them that neither fits better. Its one of those cases of not being adept enough at noticing the subtle use of a different languages phonetic tools. Its like how many Japanese speakers would say Dracura, and not even know what they are doing wrong. Funny enough we don't even realize that they aren't even using the R sound as we know it as even though their attempts at R's and L's all sound like R's to us its actually a sound somewhere in between. Our R sound is made with the middle of the sides of our tongues on the roof of our mouth, while our L's sounds are produced with the tip of our tongues on the front of the roof of our mouth behind our front teeth. The Japanese R/L sound is made using the sides of their front of their tongue on the roof of their mouth as best as I'm able to discern. Which is probably why they don't get it, as R's and L's both sound close enough to their sound to not get the difference.

Senpai does sound physically closer to Sempai for us when spoken aloud because of the closed mouth sound for P immediately following the n sound. If you say words like that slowly, clearly enunciating every sound, Senpai will sound like Senpai. However if you say it more fluidly the act of closing your mouth for the P will make the N sound come across as an M sound to us. Imagine for a moment that the English word Simply was instead spelled and spoken as Sinply. If you say it naturally over and over again it will start to sound more and more like Simply even if you are correctly making the N sound. Its simply how we hear things in English.

Its kind of like the trailing U's at the end of some of their words. Notably 'desu'. The u sound is always there although its kind of a faint fading sound that usually makes it sound like 'des', with the exception of characters that tend to make a habit of enunciating the u sound. Pretty sure that 'n' is the only sound that actually has a consonant finisher in Japanese. 'N' is actually its own full sound, although never at the start of a word. Which is why you lose at Shiritori if you end a word with ん.

There's plenty of other nuances in the phonetics that are hard to understand unless you know what you are looking for. Long vowels particularly confuse people. Most of us probably don't even get whats going on when a young adult woman gets pissed off when a kid accidentally calls her obaa-san instead of oba-san, because we simply don't naturally hear the difference unless we train ourselves.

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20 / M / Eng Land
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Posted 6/21/14
I prefer applepai, myself.
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22 / M
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Posted 6/21/14

AsahinaInu wrote:


Senpai does sound physically closer to Sempai for us when spoken aloud because. . .if you say it more fluidly the act of closing your mouth for the P will make the N sound come across as an M sound to us.

A huge thank you--I was about to get my girlfriend to help me explain just that.


AsahinaInu wrote:
Notably 'desu'. The u sound is always there although its kind of a faint fading sound that usually makes it sound like 'des', with the exception of characters that tend to make a habit of enunciating the u sound.

Actually, this depends just about entirely on dialect in the real world, but you are correct that there is an exception of "characters" (be it anime or one you pretend to be) pronouncing just about everything.
The reason I say it isn't completely dependent on dialect is because of speed; you don't have time to pronounce just about every syllable 99% of the time. My caretakers always spoke very fast, my neighbors spoke very fast, and most notably my teachers spoke very fast.
Also, there are many times where syllables are pronounced differently in a word, like you might hear "tu" instead of "tsu." (失礼)
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M
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Posted 6/21/14
Senpai... now, seppuku for you.
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M / State College, PA
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Posted 6/21/14 , edited 6/22/14
Senpai ftw


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21 / M
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Posted 6/21/14
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