TUFS Language Modules


The pronunciation of ha ( は) is similar to the ( はー) sound you produce when you blow against a window pane to fog it up. Try saying ha as if you are blowing against a window pane.

As the pronunciation of hi ( ) may sometimes be confused with shi ( ), remember to pay attention when pronouncing this sound (→ 3.4). To pronounce hi, bring the mid part of the tongue near to the palate at the roof of the mouth and through the stricture, release your breath intensely one time, making a fricative that sounds like a glide.

The speech sound fu ( ふ) is similar to the sound when blowing out the fire of a candle, or the sound 'fū' ( ふー) that you make when you are tired. Remember that you should not bring the upper teeth close to your lower lip as in 'f'. The fu sound in Japanese is pronounced by bringing the upper and lower lips close together.