Why do the Japanese pronounce English like katakana?

As well as the obvious reasons (the many consonant sounds which can exist without vowels after them in English but only with vowels in Japanese, use of katakana in teaching English in Japanese schools and language learning materials), it’s recently occurred to me that some of my students are adding the katakana vowel sounds to give themselves thinking time.

I first noticed that some were using a long and intrusive sound even when there is usually a short and almost imperceptible sound in Japanese in situations like final k and final sh. A couple of weeks later I worked out that it was exactly those students who needed time to think of what they were going to say, translate in their heads etc who were adding the most intrusive extra vowel sounds to their English.

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