Fuji san

2 December 2018 by wolfganghofmeier

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Mt. Fuji is Fuji san in Japanese, 富士山 where 富士 is Fuji and 山 is san (mountain). On its own, 山 is pronounced yama. 山 is a Chinese character, pronounced shan in Chinese. In Japanese, it is pronounced san or yama depending on the context. This is typical of kanji characters, many have more than one pronunciation, one related to the original Chinese pronunciation, the others pronunciations related to Japanese words.

Note that sometimes hyphens are used when transcribing Japanese such as Fuji-san. That indicates that this is a compound word. The hyphens are not used in Japanese writing, in fact there aren’t even any spaces between words.

Also noteworthy is the pronunciation of F or H in Japanese because it is a sound halfway between the English pronunciations of the two letters. In Romaji, F does not exist, the syllables are ha, hi, hu, he, ho.

Forvo has four pronunciations of the word. Listen to all of them. Some sound like fujisan, others like hujisan:

https://forvo.com/word/%E5%AF%8C%E5%A3%AB%E5%B1%B1/#ja

Google Translate also has a pronunciation that sounds somewhere between fujisan and hujisan:

https://translate.google.com/#view=home&op=translate&sl=ja&tl=en&text=%E5%AF%8C%E5%A3%AB%E5%B1%B1

Word Meaning
富士山 Mount Fuji
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