Japanese Name Pronounciation
January 9, 2013 9:07 AM   Subscribe

I'm giving a talk tomorrow where I will be covering the work of typographer Eiichi Kono. So my question is pretty simple: how does one best pronounce his name?
posted by garius to Writing & Language (7 answers total)
Best answer: Here.
posted by empath at 9:14 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Eh-ee-chee Koh-noh. As best as I can describe.

"Eh" as in, bed.
"ee" as in, bee.
"chee" as in, chocolate + bee.

Koh rhymes with no.
Noh as in, no.
posted by CancerMan at 9:14 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

You can hear how another Eiichi introduces himself here. The "e" ("eh") and the ii ("ee") parts combine to sound a lot like the American long "a", but with a longer "ee" sound on it. Like "ayyyyy".
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:22 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: @CancerMan got those vowel sounds down to a tee. As a Yorkshireman with a slightly guttural English accent, I was always commended on my Japanese pronunciation. Think short, sharp, dropped syllables, leading into each other, and you'll be fine.
posted by 0bvious at 9:40 AM on January 9, 2013

It'll be clearer if you separate the ei and the ichi rather than run them on, as they would each represent different characters. So "ay" "itch-ee".

"Ko" is shorter, more like the first sound of "con" rather than rhyming with "no". "No" you can more or less pronounce like the English word "no".
posted by pikeandshield at 9:40 AM on January 9, 2013

Empath's link is the one for Eiichi. For Kono, you know Yoko Ono? "Kono" rhymes with Ono.

In general, if you can pronounce Spanish or Italian, you can do pretty well with Japanese vowels.

I was always commended on my Japanese pronunciation

posted by Tanizaki at 9:47 AM on January 9, 2013

Response by poster: Perfect! Thanks all!
posted by garius at 12:04 PM on January 9, 2013

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