When traveling, supermarkets are an excellent resource for forgotten items or last-minute needs. They’re also a great way to try local products you might not find at home.

The Japanese word for supermarket is Sūpā.

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 u and a. These symbols mean you hold the u and a sounds longer when you say them.

The first sound, “Sū” is pronounced like the “su” in the English word super. Remember to hold the “u” sound a fraction of a second longer.

The second sound, “pa”, is pronounced similar to “po” in the English word pot. Again, remember to hold the “a” 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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