Pronunciation

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by TiredChildren, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. TiredChildren

    TiredChildren Administrator Staff Member

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    I’m gonna be real transparent here - I don’t know how to pronounce “sofubi” out loud. Is it sofFUbi? Or SOFubi? Or something else?

    I’m being interviewed on Twitch by someone I work with about the toy raffle, and I’d love to not mispronounce it. What say you all?
     
  2. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    I say SOF-ubi but have no idea if its correct. I've heard Japanese people pronounce it that way, but ive heard various other ways as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
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  3. HBCoffin

    HBCoffin Addicted

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  4. hellopike

    hellopike S7 Royalty

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    SO-fu-bi

    three quick syllables, emphasis on the first syllable.
     
  5. Biff

    Biff S7 Royalty

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    I pronounce it 'financial black hole'.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger Vintage

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    This is what I hear from native speakers, with the first syllable bring more "sah" than "soh."
     
  7. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    I think this question really comes down to what is your native language (e.g. Japanese versus English [or other]). Far be it from me to say, as I am not a native Japanese speaker, but I can say that the language does not carry any accents on different syllables of words (hence why you tend to find foreigners have many different ways of saying 'Hiroshima' for example). So in that way, it's arguable that neither of those version are 'correct,' no matter how many times you might hear them. But also, it is important to note certain vowel sounds in the Japanese language can be very weak, almost blended/unintelligible to most foreign speakers. The language - well any language, really, is much more fluid and nuanced than simple foreign interpretation will allow for. This is the precise reason why many of us hear accents in English easily, even if the speaking is using perfect 'English.' There is also the fact of many regional accents in Japan, like most countries, you will find the language is far from homogeneous, and the pronunciation in one area might be quite different from another. Basically, my point is, what is correct really is hard to define, and will inherently vary from one speaker-listener pair to another. So while it might not be the answer people want to hear, I think the reason this debate continues is maybe it is just too much of a gray area for most non-Japanese speakers to grasp simply. And then there is overthinking it too; making an [genuine] effort in languages is probably over half of deconstructing those barriers, tbh. And it is not like we could not incessantly argue on this board with the minutiae of even English pronunciations from one country to another, heck even one State to another (or even smaller sub-divisions) for the US folks on here. Language is a funny (but interesting thing). The nuances and dialects one encounters in any country never cease to vary nor do they stop evolving. And that is not even getting into the whole discussion about anglicising pronunciations versus using the more native pronunciations of those words when speaking English. I am sure we can all immediately thing of examples of this without me having to name them here. So I am not a linguist, but I guess the point I am trying to make is, as many people as might agree with you one thing/way of saying certain words, you are almost as likely to find as many who will disagree with you. C'est la vie, n'est ce pas?

    From a purely empirical perspective though, the way I have heard it most commonly said is with with a quick succession of the first two syllables (i.e. almost as one), and them being pronounced as a softer 'o' but not to the extent of a soft 'ah' either; it is technically called the "short o." [essentially sŏfĕbē, with the middle 'e' being almost silent.]

    Of course the mere fact there are so many different interpretations on this board alone tells you, from a community who probably says it [if only to themselves!] you shouldn't feel too bad either way. :) Good on you, James, all the best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
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  8. Roger

    Roger Vintage

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  9. gatchabert

    gatchabert Prototype

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    There's no accent. It's neither SOfubi or soFUbi. Vowels are all short. I noticed when English speakers say none native words, they elongate vowels. If you take the first combination "So", most English speakers would say "sew". You don't pronounce soft as sewft or sowft. Here's another example. Let's take the word "anime". When this first came about, people would say ANeemay or aniMAY. Year later, more people are dropping any accent and just saying animay (because people still elongate the final vowel). While it's still a bit wrong, it's closer to what it is more like.
    On a side note, I was watching some videos for a game on new items introduced in the patch. The items make up a set for Lugh from Irish mythology. I'll bet a good 95%-99% of people on here will read that name as Lug or Luf. In deed, out of 5 videos I watched, only one pronounced it properly (a Spanish speaking YouTuber. Yes I watched his channel to see how he would pronounce Lugh). Long story short, it is pronounced Lu, and now everyone is saying "...but there's a gh...what!?!?" English is pretty stupid as it doesn't really follow its own rules cause the word "laughter" is "laf-ter" but "slaughter" is not "slaf-ter".

    so-fu-bi = ソフビ because they are borrowed words not native to Japan (and they like to shorten words like "konbini" or convenience store).

    Disclaimer: I did not study linguistics. What I know is based on me being curious about pronunciation of words outside the languages I know. Words like Eyjafjallajökull, or the name Blaithin. Have fun with those
     
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  10. Vombie

    Vombie Vintage

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    As long as you don’t go from english to a wincingly forced and heavy japanese accent, i think you’ll be fine!
     
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  11. TiredChildren

    TiredChildren Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for these breakdowns everyone! I ended up going with something close to what I think the consensus was here. I also found this video from Datadub that helped:

     
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  12. kappa

    kappa Toy Prince

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    I think people overthink this one - it should be pronounced "sofbee", like "softie". The "u" can be ignored unless you are trying to emulate a Japanese accent.
     
  13. gatchabert

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    Not all Japanese make the "u" in words silent. That might be a regional accent/dialect. You don't say kshkats when you mean kushikatsu, but you can say kats instead of katsu. You do hear Japanese or people fluent in Japanese say "sofbee" and "sofubee", sometimes from the same person.

    James, if you really want to play it safe, just call them soft vinyl toys.
     
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  14. toothaction

    toothaction Team Tsubu Staff Member

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    The wife and me are going to stop in ... BarThhelona ... on the way back from ...Nik-ar-hua-hah. CHOW!
     
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  15. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    What this thread is really missing.

     
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  16. kappa

    kappa Toy Prince

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    Whether the u sound is voiced just depends how much the person is enunciating. "Sofbee" is correct, and easy for English speakers to say.

    Reminds me of how Japanese people struggle needlessly with the word "what". Someone somewhere decided that because some English speakers pronounce the H, it should be taught like that, and now you have millions of Japanese people saying "howat" when they could just be saying "wat".
     
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  17. gatiio

    gatiio Side Dealer

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    I always said Sof-Vi, but thats how it always sounded to me when I lived in Korea and Japan (Spanish/English native here).

    If you have the IPA anywhere for it, you can use this reader I've used in the past. The tricky stuff with katakana English is that its already contracted

    http://ipa-reader.xyz/

    Just pick the Japanese reader from the dropdown menu.
     

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