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tsunami

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tsunami

Postby bnjtokyo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:25 am

The accepted technical term for the mass of water sent rolling across the sea by a large undersea disturbance, usually an earthquake. Origin from the Japanese tsunami (津波) made up of "tsu" (津) "harbor, overflow" and "nami" 波 "wave." The usual etymology is "harbor" plus "wave" but "tsu" also refers to overflowing as in 津津 "tsutsu" "brimful." "Overflowing" seems more descriptive of the actual appearence of the harbor after the tsunami has come ashore.

Often now used metaphorically "A tsunami of public opinion drove Phil Anders from office when his extra-marital affairs became known."

BNJTokyo, who rode out the recent tsunami alert on the 53 floor of the Mori Building in Roppongi
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Postby Slava » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:31 pm

Glad to hear you were safe.

We have had this word before, only it's not in the discussion forum. It antedates the first post there. (12-9-04 vs 2-15-05)

http://www.alphadictionary.com/goodword/word/tsunami
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Postby saparris » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:34 pm

And how does one pronounce tsunami?

American Heritage says is ts. Webster's Collegiate says it's (t)s.
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Postby Slava » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:03 pm

saparris wrote:And how does one pronounce tsunami?

American Heritage says is ts. Webster's Collegiate says it's (t)s.
I tend to put in the "t". Our site here leaves it out.

What does our bnjtokyo have to say on the matter?
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Postby saparris » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:41 pm

Here are two sites that offer recorded pronunciations of tsunami. I hear a ts in the first. The second site contains pronunciations by an American male and a Japanese woman. The American says s, and I can't really tell about the Japanese woman. Her voice is "pretty" soft.

http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=tsunami
http://www.forvo.com/word/tsunami/

Your turn, bnjtokyo.
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Postby Slava » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:54 pm

It must be very hard to pronounce one word like this. Sentence structure, at least in English, can play a role in how you say the word. I think I hear more than just "s" in both pronunciations. The Japanese woman's almost comes across as being "dz," but I don't really have a great ear for these things.
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Postby bnjtokyo » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:22 pm

The "ts" is an aveolar affricate that is uncommon in initial position in English. It's similar to the final sound it "its" or the initial sound of the expression of mild disapproval that is spelled "tsk tsk."

The "u" is as in "boot" but without rounding.

The "n" and the "m" are indistinguishable from the corresponding English phones

The "a" is the "a" of "father" and the "i" is the vowel in "beet"

One way to get a good approximation of the Japanese pronunciation would be to put your teeth together and keep them that way while moving only your lips and tongue to say the word
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Postby saparris » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:55 pm

So would you say that the ending consonant clusters in costs and lists approximate the sound? And would you call it apico-alveolar?
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Postby bnjtokyo » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:25 pm

No, I don't agree that the ending consonant clusterS approximates the initial sound. I will agree to the ending consonant cluster (without the S). Both "costs" and "lists" ends with three consonants, and I want to eliminate the first "S" So the initial cluster (affricate) in "tsunami" is similar to the final cluster in "cots" or "lots" for example. The IPA transcription is [ts].

And yes, it is apico-alveolar.
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Postby saparris » Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:43 am

I should have said the ts in costs and lists,, which is what I meant. I didn't think about it until later.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:14 pm

saparris wrote:Here are two sites that offer recorded pronunciations of tsunami. I hear a ts in the first. The second site contains pronunciations by an American male and a Japanese woman. The American says s, and I can't really tell about the Japanese woman. Her voice is "pretty" soft.

http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=tsunami
http://www.forvo.com/word/tsunami/

Your turn, bnjtokyo.



I remember running into the howjsay site years ago, and
the forvo site only a couple weeks ago..
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Postby saparris » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:54 pm

An old tsar told me about these sites.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:57 pm

I know nothing of old czars (I prefer the English, as I am
not Russian, nor Bulgarian), but I know I posted the
Howjsay site numerous times on WOTD (oops, do we still
have to stand in a corner if we say that???)

I found the other site on AWAD.
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Postby saparris » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:29 pm

There are clearly two schools of thought on the pronunciation of foreign words.

I say "soo-nami," "zar," and "chilly" (the country where the recent earthquake occurred.

Others try to pronounce words that way they are said in the country of origin, which led to every conceivable pronunciation of Ayatollah Khomeini back in the Carter years.

I just can't bring myself the say Chee-lay, Cooba, or Arhentina (aka, the Appalachian Trail).
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:51 pm

Or Iran's current president Ak-mah-din-e jad. And
the word Mehico. We were always taught Chilay for the
country, so I bristle at Chilly.
And there's also the Chinese. Xaioping (?) X is SH, I
think. Beiping, Beijing, Bejing ????
And here in the Plains: Missourah, or Missouri?
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