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Thread: How to pronounce kanban

 
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    Default How to pronounce kanban

    Hello,
    Does anybody speak Japanese? I was thinking of the kanban strategy to work. I didn't know it was a Japanese word because it doesn't look so. I heard that Japanese syllables didn't have consonants after the vowel as the -n and that foreign names are adapted to follow this structure. Now, why is there an exception with kanban?

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    Moderator solg's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to pronounce kanban

    I know some Japanese, and it really does look like a Japanese word! o(*≧□≦)o

    It is true that most syllables do not end in consonants. The Japanese alphabet is actually made of Kanji and a couple of syllabaries. Each syllable is called a kana. The only "loose consonant" is the n. That is why you can have syllables ending in -n.
    It's not that "kanban" is an exception, it's just how the "n" is used.

    There is a game called shiritori where you have to say a word that starts with the final kana of the previous word. For example,

    ka-o (face)
    o-ka-ne (money)
    ne-ko (cat)
    kou-en (park)。

    If you say a word ending in -n, you lose, since there are no words starting with "n". Remember that na, ni, nu, ne and no are syllables.

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    Default Re: How to pronounce kanban

    Thanks, solg! I didn't know that n had a different condition.
    Is that why the example of the game has "okane" and then "neko"?

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    Moderator solg's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to pronounce kanban

    Quote Originally Posted by danielr View Post
    Thanks, solg! I didn't know that n had a different condition.
    Is that why the example of the game has "okane" and then "neko"?
    Exactly! Those are syllables, so they do not "start with n", since n is a different kana.
    You probably don't know kana, but it's easier to visualize:

    kao  かお 
    okane  
    neko  
    kouen  うえ

    Nothing starts with , so you loose.

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    Default Re: How to pronounce kanban

    Oh, I see. Thank you. It's true the syllabaries work in that way.

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    Senior Member iyuanobi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to pronounce kanban

    Kanban methodology in Chinese is called 看板管理, and it is also pronounced as /kan'ban/.

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