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Senpai or Sempai?
Posted 6/22/14
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Posted 6/22/14

Balzack wrote:

Senpai.
/thread


/thread for sure

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Posted 6/22/14

kardonius wrote:

Senpai and Sempai are both correct in that ん is pronounced as somewhere in between the two,
I was talking about the spelling of it not the pronunciation. I mentioned in an earlier post that it comes across closer to an m usually when spoken due to mouth movements when preceding certain other sounds.

When written in rômaji incorrect to use the rômaji letter that looks like our m without following it with certain other letters. Kind of like in English its almost always improper to ever use the letter q without immediately following with u. The rômaji character usef for ん, 'n', is used as an exact replacement whenever that letter is used. You have to remember that the rômaji alphabet is NOT used in the same way as the English alphabet, so using the rômaji character 'm' is not the same as using an English 'm' even though it looks the same.


not generally a hard 'en' sound or 'em' but more something between the 'm' in hmm and 'n' in hnnngh.
In case I hadn't mentioned it before I know that the basic pronunciation of n is 'nnn', at least when it is used as ん. It doesn't have the same sound when spelling the 'ny' characters, as those represent a pronunciation of a completely different set of characters, much like 'ch' is a different letter entirely than 'c' or 'h' when it comes to Spanish.

It's the same issue as 'R' and 'L'. It's usually written with R as it's more orthographically correct to Japanese, same as using 'n', but it isn't pronounced like either the English 'R' or 'L'.
Of course. However 'r' actually is the correct character representing that sound in rômaji, whereas 'm' isn't, which is the difference.



For more accurate enunciation to most westerners using 'm' in senpai is generally going to work better, and the usual romanization system used in the west is more focused on how things are pronounced vs. the correct orthography within Japanese.
I guess that could work when trying to teach speech by using the International Phonetic Alphabet(the stuff they use in dictionary pronunciations), which I hadn't considered. Just tweaking the 'n' to an 'm' doesn't really help if you are trying to convert to standard English writing rules as 'ai' is pronounced as 'ey' in standard use, however it works out using the IPA alphabet 'ai' since it is spoken the way it is in Japanese. It would be a legitimate way to spell the common pronunciation, much like you could use the spelling 'des' for the word 'desu' with regards to common pronunciation.
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Posted 6/22/14 , edited 6/22/14
I never expected this to have so many people preaching about the proper formalities and such, next to all these people who don't even care.
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Posted 6/22/14
Generally, I hear the 'm' sound pronounced more often due to a naturally occurring phonologic change when the 'ん' precedes a syllable that begins with a variant of a voiced h or m . This also happens in words like さんぽ or がんばる
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Posted 6/22/14
I say senpai but I hear people say sempai a lot
I actually don't care too much i'll never be noticed anyway
Posted 6/22/14
Senpai is a better word :p
Posted 6/22/14 , edited 6/22/14

AsahinaInu wrote:


It's the same issue as 'R' and 'L'. It's usually written with R as it's more orthographically correct to Japanese, same as using 'n', but it isn't pronounced like either the English 'R' or 'L'.
Of course. However 'r' actually is the correct character representing that sound in rômaji, whereas 'm' isn't, which is the difference.


Traditional Hepburn romanization says it's an "m" or "n-" before labial consonants, however modified Hepburn has done away that and just makes it an "n". Both are considered standards, and there are still more system.
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Posted 6/22/14
Lol well for the people who like to spell it correct it's senpai, though its hilarious with people mispronouncing it.
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Posted 6/22/14 , edited 6/22/14

Stonewolfe wrote:

Kouhai. Why? Because...



LMAO!!!! I would die laughing if I ever get a fortune cookie like this!!!! XD
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Posted 6/22/14

phogan wrote:

Traditional Hepburn romanization says it's an "m" or "n-" before labial consonants, however modified Hepburn has done away that and just makes it an "n". Both are considered standards, and there are still more system.
Interesting, I know there have been modifications since its original form, but I was unaware that 'm' was ever part of the earlier version of the Hepburn system. I didn't see anything in any of the other systems that I looked up, although I didn't research any of the Portuguese or Dutch romanisations.

Always happy to learn more. Language is an interesting thing. We could be having a similar conversation about the English word 'am', if we were speakers of another language, because the word is rarely spoken as 'am' in normal speech because of similar phonetic changes unless there is a clear pause in speech. As 'am' is always preceded by the word 'I' anytime you use it other than when discussing the word itself, 'am' it almost always sounds like 'yam', as the sound used for 'I', which is 'ai' in IPA speak, naturally makes any directly following vowel sounds seem to start out with a 'y'.
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