I forgot to mention that I donated to dogen’s patreon page for 1 month in May to learn about pitch accent! It’s definitely worth more than $10 but I am frugal. For a person who has never bought a textbook for Japanese (tae kim is more than enough to get people started), this is the only thing I spent money on to learn Japanese (I’ve spend a fair amount over the years on Japanese media like books, dvds, cds but they’re for entertainment first and foremost and their secondary function was learning! ). It made realize why I never noticed the pitch accent of certain words. I think he gave an example of an atamadaka word that changed to heiban because it was used in the middle of the sentence after a word that ended in some pitch accent ( I am on fuzzy on the details). I also realized that I did pick up on the pitch accent of some words from all my listening/watching Japanese media just because they say it the same way many many times ie 師匠 ししょう、 韓国 KANKOKU – korea is atamadaka without a doubt! It always left an impression on me how they always seemed to say kankoku forcefully lol. After watching dogen’s video series, I know that I definitely do not speak or read Japanese with perfect pitch accent but I still think my intonation is good.
For those who know Korean I can tell you that Korean is flatter than Japanese even though Korean people say Japanese is flat (yes flatter than english but not korean)… for god’s sakes on korean tv they always point out how japanese people say EH in such a dramatic way. Both languages have intonation but Japanese has pitch accent and Korean doesn’t. I think pitch accent is the reason why Japanese women’s voices are higher-pitched than Korean women’s voices lol (that and how your voice can get nasally very easily). When korean people who don’t know Japanese say japanese people’s names or words that are heiban they just say it low low low (a pattern that doesn’t exist in Japanese) since Korean doesn’t have pitch accent outside of dialects and that’s how words and names are usually said in Korean. I was wondering during Produce 48 why the Japanese people’s names are so much harder to understand and remember when the Korean people say their names minus the times when the sound doesn’t exist in Korean (RIP matsui. you are now machh-i. Thank god none of the 3 girls who made the group have a tsu or z sound in their name). Eventually I figured out that it was the lack of pitch accent that was throwing me off.
I took notes in a notebook while watching dogen’s vids and also downloaded the anki deck on the patreon page. I have not touched the anki deck lol and I have not touched the notebook since June. However, I definitely noticed pitch accent from then to now when I watched my Japanese shows ( I studied some of the patterns with the notebook by trying to say stuff aloud with the correct pitch accent). I think I’ll go back through some of his videos or some of the anki cards to get more stuff to notice. When I watched his videos in May, there were many instances where I couldn’t hear the pitch accent ie there was no way I could pass his tests. When Dogen was saying “University is” with varying pitch accents, sometimes I could hear it, sometimes I thought I heard it, sometimes I knew I couldn’t tell the difference lol. Maybe I will try the tests again sometimes this year! What I found really helpful for me was to try to say 2-syllable Japanese words in the 2 possible pitch accents: high to low and low to high. For words that are longer than 2 syllables, I practice saying the 2 syllables in the word that have the pitch accent difference in the 2 pitch accent patterns (high to low, low to high) a few times before saying the whole word. Breaking it down is a must for me… If I try to say the whole word in the correct pitch accent from the get go then I get caught up in the cadence of the saying the word etc and get nothing from the activity in terms of pitch accent. I also find comparing homophones really helpful
ie 若い 2 and 和解 0
機嫌 0 and 期限 1
also I’ve been meaning to look at these sites so I have more words/patterns to notice…
<<- there are dl links in the video info.
Also I’ve been meaning to check out youtube vids in KOrean talking about Japanese pitch accent since knowing Korean doesn’t help with Japanese pitch accent or long-short vowels.
Unlike Dogen, I have no aspirations of sounding “perfect” as in get mistaken for a native-speaker which requires perfect pitch-accent and sounding like a Japanese woman. Also, I have no desire to buy a pitch accent dictionary. I do want to improve my pitch accent to sound more natural and hear Japanese even better (I have no problem understanding Japanese TV). Because I watched dogen’s vids and familiarized myself with pitch accent, I use the pitch accent plugin for anki (I put it there so I can reference it but I do not test myself on pitch accent). Dogen even has videos on how to make the sounds of the Japanese language with the mouth/tongue positioning. I signed up for his patreon solely for his pitch accent videos but I still checked out some of the other vids on making the sounds of the Japanese language out of curiosity in case I’m not making the sounds correctly since I share the same native language as him. There were moments where Dogen would make himself sounds very Japanese and then he would make himself sound like a Japanese man by changing a quality of his voice ever so slightly. Just when I thought he couldn’t sound more Japanese, he makes himself sound more Japanese! There are mind-blowing moments like that in his vids lol. He was not kidding when he said he was adamant about obtaining perfect Japanese pronunciation.
On a related note I checked out the episode of ANOTHER SKY that featured JIYEON from KARA (now disbanded kpop group). She mentioned how tough it is to speak Japanese when she acts since pitch accent doesn’t exist in Korean (minus a certain dialect) and people would correct her over and over again. I remember a few years back she was on jigoku sensei nube playing a very japanese role and I saw a clip just to see the atrocity. It was the typical Korean person speaking unpleasant-sounding Japanese due to lackluster intonation and pitch accent… She has definitely improved leaps and bounds since then. I also got interested in watching one of her movies for fun. It’s a movie with a tired plot that we’ve seen many times ie secret garden (korean drama), freaky friday. I was intrigued by the cast since I recognized people from talk/variety shows. That was the only reason I watched sanbun no ichi which featured Kosugi, danmitsu, and the guy from kat-tun. Also it was directed by shinagawa!
I also read an article on japanese buzzfeed ( I usually avoid this site like the plague because it’s click-bait whether it’s Japanese or English) a while back about this guy who moved from oosaka to tokyo as a kid and how he had the toughest time trying to speak like the other kids. I got curious so I searched chiebukuro and this guy who spoke standard Japanese moved to somewhere in the Kansai-area and he was saying it took him years to perfect his pitch accent. He was saying how everyone kept telling him to stop speaking fake kansai-ben in the beginning since his pitch accent was off.
Also I recall seeing some Arashi show where they had arashi members say NANI YANEN and everyone sounded off. At the time I thought it was the intonation since I didn’t know better. They were really trying to say it like the kansai people but didn’t succeed. I thought someone might pull it off since I’m sure they’ve heard nani yanen hundreds if not thousands of times. I know they have no problem hearing/understanding kansai-ben since I don’t but speaking and understanding are 2 completely different skills.
OMG speaking of Kansai-ben I was so dumbfounded when I heard Seungri from BIG BANG talk on hanseikai a couple months back because he was speaking in kansai-ben. I found it especially ear-grating because I’m not used to hearing foreigners speak kansai-ben minus jero (the enka singer) who sounds amazing which is not surprising since he is an enka singer. I recall him talking about the pitch accent or intonation for disney sea on shindoumoto kyoudai. I’m used to foreign accents in standard japanese but not with kansai-ben so Seungri’s japanese sounded jarring. At first I thought he was joking around or something and waiting for ariyoshi to call him out on it. I read around and realized he decided to adapt the kansai-ben dialect over the standard japanese because he’s supposedly sanma-san’s apprentice and wants to become or is a geinin (comedian). Maybe he is hanging around with a lot of kansai people in Japan? To me his kansai-ben sounds just like his standard Japanese except he said yanen or yakara instead of whatever people say in standard Japanese. In other words, his japanaese sounds worse when he speaks kansai-ben due to the incorrect intonation, and pitch accent. When he does that with standard Japanese, it doesn’t bother me because I’m so used to hearing that kind of japanese from foreigners or kpop stars. I was wondering if kansai-ben people were irritated by his kansai-ben and googled but everyone seemed supportive of him. Maybe after he does his 2 years in the military and spends more time speaking Japanese, he may develop better intonation?? I’m doubtful though because his standard Japanese speaking is the typical way Korean people speak Japanese when they ignore intonation/pitch accent or apply Korean intonation. He would be so much better if he just worked on intonation and he just seems to have ingrained, bad habits that stem from him applying his way of speaking of Korean on top of Japanese. At the end of the day, Seungri has the right to learn Japanese however he wants and he doesn’t have to improve his intonation, pitch accent since people have no problem him understanding him when he talks. However, he would sound better if he did improve in those areas.
I’ve been a fan of JARUJARU since like 2009 during the red carpet/theater show days~~ Here’s some random info: the guy on the right is named fukutoku and he actually lived in AMERICA until he was 7 or 9 or something then he went back to Japan. He forgot all his English but his oosaka-ben sounds flawless! I know this because he told this story on some show about how as a kid he pronounced Z as Z while everyone else was pronouncing it as ZETTO.
damn I wish these sites were prevalent in 2009!
gotta watch this later