It's not "shitaki"

Wow, there are all sorts of words that are pronounced differently in English than in Japanese. Example: karaoke. The word is カラオケ in Japanese, so it should be pronounced "kara-oh-keh", but most people pronounce it "carry-okie". Another word is "sake". It should be pronounced "sah-keh", but people say "sah-kee".

Well another mispronunciation that I just saw in a commercial is for the shiitake (aka shitake) mushroom. I guess a lot of people pronounce it "shi-tah-kee" because I found out that even Merriam-Webster has that pronunciation. So it's official. Though that's not how it's pronounced in Japanese: it's シイタケ "shi-tah-keh".

I guess people feel like there has to be an "ee" sound at the end of Japanese words because "eh" isn't as strong. But what makes it sort of weird is that in English, an "e" at an end of a word isn't usually pronounced "ee". Oh well, there are a lot of people who aren't purists, including moi :D


vp said...

Still not as bad as "lahn-ger-ay" for "lingerie".

Margaret Larkin said...

Probably because "g" doesn't sound like the same in English and French.