For many of us, a typical day starts with coffee. Luckily, the Japanese enjoy coffee just as much as the rest of us, and there are numerous coffee shops and well-known international coffee chains throughout the country.
The Japanese word for coffee is Kōhī.
To pronounce this correctly, let’s first break it down into syllables:
As you can see, you have two separate sounds. But notice the unique punctuation (called chōonpu) over the letters o and i. These symbols mean you hold the o and i sounds longer when you say them.
The first sound, “Kō” is pronounced like the “co” in the English word cope. Remember to hold the “o” sound a fraction of a second longer.
The second sound, “hi”, is pronounced like the English word he. Again, remember to hold the “i” sound a fraction of a second longer.
Now put the sounds together. Keep repeating the word until you get more comfortable with it. Before you know it, you’ll have it!
For more useful Japanese words, go to WOW: Word of the Week
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