How to pronounce “Reiwa”?

The first recorded instance of “Reiwa” used was at the announcement of the new era name on April 1st (no joke). Cabinet minister Suga Yoshihide pronounced it as REI-wa. People working in the television industry have said they also pronounce it as REI-wa because that was the way it was announced, but the pronunciation will…More

Ben Crystal lectures in Japan

I heard Shakespearean actor, Ben Crystal, talk today. My interest in Shakespeare – which had wained with my miscomprehension or un-comprehension of it in my youth – had returned with the revelation that what I had been watching until now had been inauthentic. Ben had pointed out that modern performances had tended towards Received Pronunciation (RP)…More

Va Va Black Sheep – difficult sounds for Japanese learners of English

The ‘v’ sound is perhaps one of the hardest sounds for my Japanese learners of English to master. It doesn’t exist in the Japanese language. And it is approximated with the ‘b’ phoneme. Recent research has found that if the sound ‘va’ is matched with a video showing another sound made in the similar region…More