Long Vowels

 

In Japanese, if you change the length of vowels, the meaning of words may be completely different. Please take a look at these examples.

 

Long

 

おばさん obasan (middle-aged woman) おばさんobaasan (elderly woman)

*You simply add after the a sound.

 

 

 

Long

 

おじさん ojisan (middle-aged man) おじさん ojiisan (elderly man)

*You simply add after the i sound.

 

 

 

Long

 

くき kuki (stem) kuuki (air)

*You simply add after the u sound.

 

 

 

Long

 

てき teki (enemy) teeki (fixed period)

* You add after the e sound.

* There are some exceptions, such as おねえさん.

 

 

Long

 

おじ oji (uncle) ooji (prince)

* You add after the o sound.

* There are some exceptions, such as おおきい (big).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review (Long Vowels)

 

1) a. おじさん (uncle/ middle aged man) b. おじいさん (grandfather/ old man)

 

2) a. おばさん (aunt/ middle aged woman) b. おばあさん (grandmother/ old woman)

 

3) a. きょだい (huge) b. きょうだい (brothers)

 

4) a. えご (ego) b. えいご (English)

 

5) a. ゆき (snow) b. ゆうき (courage)

 

6) a. そしき (organization) b. そうしき (funeral)

 

7) a. とり (bird) b. とおり (street)

 

8) さようなら 9) りょこう 10) がくせい

 

11) とうきょう 12) こうさてん 13) おかんじょう

14) きょう 15) おおさか