You don't need to be fluent in Japanese to practice Aikido. You don't need to memorize the following vocabulary, but you will hear these words in the practice. Over time the words will seep into your memory, but having a vocabulary sheet will help you become more comfortable with Aikido practice.
The pronunciation of Japanese words is very simple in that any word in the language is made up of one or more short syllables which are generally given equal emphasis.
The consonants of Japanese are usually pronounced like those of English except the "R", which is closer to our English "L" mixed with "D". (This "Raito" sounds more like "light-oh" not "right-oh." The vowels are pronounced like those of Spanish or Latin as follows:
A - "ah" as the a in father E - "eh" as the e in met I - "ee" as the i in Marine O - "oh" as the o in oboe U - "oo" as the u in rule Each vowel in a word in pronounced, and two different continuous vowels form a diphthong. For example, maai is pronounced mah-eye.
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