Apart from "very rarely", how is "ikebana" (Japanese flower arrangement) typically pronounced in real life by non-Japanophones? Is it the same as how it's pronounced in Japanese, or has it changed like "karaoke", "kamikaze" and "karate"?

  • /ˌiːkəˈbɑːnə/ or /ˌiːkəˈbænə/ i prefer both as for Japanese I don't know
    – HUIta
    Aug 24 '15 at 3:20
  • Well, the "ik" is going to be pronounced either "ick" or "ike", the "e" may be pronounced (probably as a "short-e") or, especially if the first syllable is "ike", it may not be pronounced at all. "bana" will be pronounced "bay-nuh", "bah-nuh", or "ban-uh", pretty much independent of how the first part is pronounced.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 24 '15 at 4:05

You may listen to the Japanese pronunciation for yourself by clicking the speaker icon in the lower-left of the input box. Non-japanaphones is a very large class of speakers, and likely there are as many unique ways to mispronounce Japanese as there are other languages. Besides mispronouncing long vowels and the Japanese "r," anglophones tend to substitute their language's stress accent for the Japanese pitch accent.

  • Having listened to the Japanese and American pronunciation at that site, I have to say the American mangles the pronunciation. As an American who studied Spanish, I find that pronouncing Japanese wotds as if they were Spanish gives a better rendering (at least of the vowels, if not the stress). Of course, some consonants (in particular "tsu") are difficult for both Spanish and English speakers to say, as there is no real equivalent phoneme in Spanish or English. And some (e.g. "shu") are easier for AmE speakers than for Spanish native speakers. Aug 24 '15 at 6:49
  • I downvoted because this answer is almost purely about the Japanese pronunciation, and thus off-topic for this site about the English language. The questioner even specifically asks for how the word is "typically pronounced in real life by non-Japanophones," but the only information we get about the pronunciation in English is vague. Also, even if it's not meant in a negative way here, I dislike the use of "mispronunciation" to refer to nativized pronunciations of foreign words.
    – herisson
    Sep 8 '15 at 9:18
  • I don't even know where to start with the misconceptions in your comment, so I'm just going to thank you for owning the downvote.
    – deadrat
    Sep 8 '15 at 10:16

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