"えんぴつ"

Translation:Pencil

June 6, 2017

70 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/NattKullav1
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I heard "eMpitsu", not "eNpitsu", is that correct?

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SkandarSan

Whenever ん is before 'm', 'b', or 'p', it sounds like 'm'. If it comes before a 'k' or 'g' it's a bit more nasal, like a 'ng'. In the rest of the cases it's a regular 'n' sound. Other words you may have heard are がんばって and かんぱい which both follow the rule and make ん sound like 'm'

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/meanders-us

This explains why senpai is so commonly misspelled as sempai.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

But tempura is spelled tempura

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/meanders-us

The problem arises from the fact that the sound being made does not truly exist in English. A person could spell it in roma-ji as tenpura and be correct. We just became used to spelling it as tempura in English and so that is what looks natural when reading the word.

It's the same with Chinese and English - trying to match the sound from a syllable/pictorial (syllabary) writing set to a character of an alphabet is going to cause... certain issues.

July 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Melina.Arins
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Exactly. In the case of , the pronunciation is /ɴ/, which is a uvular nasal consonant (non-existing in English). It is distinct from the consonants /n/ (which is an alveolar nasal) and /m/ (which is a bilabial nasal), having its point of articulation quite far from theirs. Apparently, though, its pronunciation may be realized differently in some contexts, as described in an article on Wikipedia:
> Japanese phonology - Moraic nasal

For a little more info, see also the Wikipedia articles:  > Uvular nasal consonant ɴ
> International Phonetic Alphabet - IPA

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chibineko45

Yeah. 天麩羅 is "tenpura", not "tempura". I guess it doesn't really matter how it's spelled since people generally understand it either way. Also, do you know how to stress the vowels in tenpura? I cannot figure it out on my own.

August 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nicksahler

I believe it is the other way around. "tempura" was actually imported from Portuguese / Latin during trade - from "tempora". There's no vowel-less "m" in Japanese, so "n" pronounced as "m" had to suffice.

October 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Vortarulo
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@NocturneDubois: Japanese doesn't have stress like English does. It has a pitch accent system. According to Wiktionary, it is pronounced /tèńpúrá/, which means that the te- is pronounced in a low tone, and -n.pu.ra in a higher tone.

April 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/IsolaCiao
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Under the old system of Hepburn romanization, the ん was written as "m" when followed by b, m, and p, but in modified Hepburn this was changed to "n". That's why words like "tempura" which have been on menus for years sometimes maintain the old spelling.

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/akoakini
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Probably at the time it was introduced to the world, of course the outside world didnt know about the changing sound, when they heard tenpura, they wrote it in a way they knew that it would match how it sounded as it was said by the native people. and it just passed on from time to time.

July 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HokonoSerejdo
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Sempai is not a misspelling, but a more correct way of writing it in the Latin alphabet, and indeed at least one system of writing Japanese writes the m's where it is pronounced.

August 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

I actually hear her say enpitsu tho? Since it's a 'p' following, shouldn't it be pronounced empitsu?

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chibineko45

Yes, it is pronounced empitsu. That's how she's pronouncing it, I think.

August 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shaniah554308

I before e except after c before y it makes me q and u is a du o and d is a doe and those rules are for fools THIS IS SO CONFUSSING

February 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bi11ie
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Yes, sometimes "n" is pronounced as "m" when a consonant follows. It just sounds better, flows more natturally, like, it's physically easier / more natural to say eMpitsu than it is to say eNpitsu

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Melina.Arins
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That does happen in many languages. In Japanese the character ん is normally pronounced /ɴ/, which is a uvular nasal consonant. It is distinct from the consonants /n/ (which is an alveolar nasal) and /m/ (which is a bilabial nasal), having its point of articulation quite far from theirs. Apparently, though, its pronunciation may be realized differently in some contexts, as described in an article on Wikipedia:
Japanese phonology - Moraic nasal

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cymno
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How is it different from the "ng" sound?

May 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JacobLouis
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Nasal assimilation. It happens pretty frequently. The "n" noise, which is the nasal, gets modified by the proceding "p" sound. The basic difference (generally) between the "m" sound and the "n" sound is mouth shape and tongue placement, and since the "p" sound has the same mouth shape as "m", the "n" sound will assimilate into an "m" sound in many languages.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/royalt213

Similar to the "tempura" situation.

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

jeez u hav lot langidge i self hav 2 proud is

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlspotting
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Phonemically, it is n Allophonically, it is m

June 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Foo649817

鉛筆

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceAndWar208
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鉛:lead (=なまり)

筆:brush(=ふで)

Seriously, try typing なまり and ふで in particular order in Google Translate (EN>JP) and see for yourself.

January 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AniinhaNeiva

鉛筆 = enpitsu

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceAndWar208
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鉛筆 = えんぴつ would be more correct in Japanese context

January 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/aradhel

So it's common to use both this and the katakana version of pen/pencil in regular conversation? I feel like I've heard them both used.

June 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/brian6499
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I think you use katakana for pen and hiragana for pencil, usually

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Aki-kun
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Pencil is usually written in kanji as 鉛筆(えんぴつ). Pen is written in katakana as ペン.

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TadhgODalaigh
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With my pencil I'm going to draw an EMPTY ZOO.

February 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceAndWar208
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エンプチーー good one!

January 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

goode 1

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/cobitome
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I forgot if this was a cognate or not

June 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tsunasama

More of a false cognate, I'd say.

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/bi11ie
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I have no idea what you guys are talking about

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelRGB
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Cognates are words that stem from the same root word, so they sound similar and may have the same meanings because they evolved from one word. False cognates are words that coincidentally sound similar, but actually mean different things. They are also called "false friends" since they might make you believe that they have the same meaning since they sound alike, yet can mean completely different things.

Hope thats helps!

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cristina174248

Exactly! Like the word "pantsu" SEEMS to mean "pants", when it actually means panties! This, like many other false cognates, can cause super embarrassing situations!

June 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelRGB
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Yikes, thanks for the heads up.

Can you imagine a guy traveling abroad in Japan trying to ask hotel staff or a sales clerk for some "pantsu," only to get some strange looks or a slap in the face? >.>

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/IsolaCiao
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パンツ (pantsu) actually can mean pants/trousers in modern usage.

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Falcon198016

It means, undergarments (so also underwear)

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tachy90
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This is a funny example since i guess it's only a false friend in certain dialects of English? In British English 'pants' means underpants (not necessarily women's) so that would make it closer to the most common meaning in Japanese.

February 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Vortarulo
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Correction. A false cognate is a word that sounds similar to another word and also has a similar meaning but is not etymologically related. For example, Japanese arigatou and Portuguese obrigado* sound similar enough and also mean the same, but they're not related to each other. They're false cognates.

April 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/tachy90
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What Cristina is describing is usually called a false friend, hence the mix-up.

February 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/royalt213

So, I would write this as "enpitsu"?

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chibineko45

Although it's pronounced like it has an m, I think that it's supposed to be written with an n.

August 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Aki-kun
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Technically both "empitsu" and "enpitsu" should be right as romanizations of the word, depending on which rules you follow. However, I haven't really seen someone transliterate it as "empitsu". For learning purposes both have their merits and demerits. "Empitsu" is closer to the pronounciation, while "enpitsu" is more like how it's written in hiragana. Then again, in my opinion, you shouldn't rely on romaji too much when learning Japanese since it's counter-productive for learning to write/read (in) kana and kanji.

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HighProof

Did i miss why the "t" sound is added? If i were to spell phoenetically i would have written "e n pi u". Is the "t" added as a liason? If so whats the rule?

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/0Nightshade

I think you might be confusing う (u) with つ (tsu). This is えんぴつ so it's read enpitsu/empitsu.

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

yes rule

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceAndWar208
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So according to my research, this literally means lead(鉛)+ brush(筆). So a brush made (partially) of lead. Thought it might help with memorization.

January 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceAndWar208
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Oh and btw

鉛:えん/なまり 筆:(ひ/ぴ)つ/ふで

The second ones are the native Japanese words i.e. how they are read when alone

January 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

i lieke

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/dias.rr
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Is "pencils" also correct?

October 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FrostDirt

In a sense, yes

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Donppa
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I wrote "pen" and was incorrect, but it showed "pencils" as the correct answer.

February 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Agodererste

Made the same mistake. Pen is the general term and the thing with the ball tip. A pencil is the graphite one ,i think.

April 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

i lieke pencils but okey if no lieke is flecksidle

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mirismiri
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Why 'a pencil' is not accepted as translation for this word? Is there a difference if I use the englosh word with or wothout 'a' ??

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Nimajita
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Japanese does not, in fact, have articles like this. "a pencil" might refer to "one pencil", and counting things is hard in Japanese - maybe it's not accepted due to this.

June 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

ver god repley i giv up

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

liseb maney haters giv down an i am ofented

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

onc agan i giv rigt anwer but no it giv red when why spac giv red i do 'pen cil' and stil no werk i stil confuse

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/wKps16
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i remembered like NP tsu

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/QuentinHea

鉛筆 kanji

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

ver good poset i giv yu good up

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

this rong i speek wel and wen tipe pen dill it giv rong.

February 14, 2019
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