Unless you’re lucky enough to have a friend or relative in Japan, hotel is definitely a word you will need during your travels.
The Japanese word for hotel is Hoteru.
To pronounce this correctly, let’s first break it down into syllables:
As you can see, you have three separate sounds.
The first sound, “ho” is pronounced like ho in the word home.
The second sound, “te” is pronounced like te in the word telephone.
The third sound, “ru” is a little complicated as there really is no English equivalent for the Japanese letter r. So let’s break it down:
- According to Living Language, “If you speak American English, think of how you pronounce the ‘T’ sound in water, letter, meter, cutter, and so on…That soft ‘T’ sound (called “flap T”) is similar to the Japanese ‘R’ sound.” (I have also found that if you pronounce it sort of like a Spanish r (like in the words pero or toro), you’ll be close.)
- Now combine this specialized r sound with a long u sound, like in the English word tube, and you will have the pronunciation of the “ru” syllable in the Japanese word hoteru.
Now put all of the sounds together and gradually try to speed up your pronunciation of the entire word as you get more comfortable with it. Before you know it, you’ll have it!
Source: Living Language