Why do some Japanese pronounce the Canadian city “Toront”?

It’s overcompensation. They spend so much time trying not so say “getto” for get etc. that trying to drop the final o becomes automatic. It happens with lots of other words in English that do have a final “o” sound, for example “estafad” seen on the menu of a pub just yesterday.

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8 Comments

  1. Tom said,

    May 3, 2008 at 7:05 am

    I have a different take on this. In the Kanto (Tokyo) dialect especially, many vowels at the end of words are whispered like the -masu ますat the end of verbs and desu です. I’ve heard many people pronounce Kyoto in the same manner as “Toront”.

  2. alexcase said,

    May 4, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Didn’t know it was particularly Tokyo, but I thought that was mainly し sounding like sh instead of shi, and the same with す  as you mentioned and く. I’ll listen out for the same thing with と.

  3. Tom said,

    May 6, 2008 at 1:44 am

    I’m no expert, but in Kansai they [seem to] generally say the vowels more often. I also said it was a Tokyo-thing because I never heard it in Kansai, but I never taught in Kansai either.

    It’s interesting though. Another one I have found to be difficult is the “s” on “that’s”. Many of my students think that they are saying it when they are not.

  4. crella said,

    May 8, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I’m in Kobe and know quite a few people who do this…’Toront’ and ‘Orland’ are common mistakes…they seem to think that every ‘o’ at the end of something is because of katakana pronunciation.

  5. Tom said,

    May 9, 2008 at 8:12 am

    I stand corrected. But I’m glad to know that it’s a way of speaking in Kansai as well. Crella, have you heard “Kyot”?

  6. alexcase said,

    May 9, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I’m guessing that’s only when they are trying to speak in English, but as I said, just a guess…

  7. crella said,

    May 12, 2008 at 12:19 am

    I’ve only heard ‘Kyot’ once, so I don’t think it’s common down here. It was someone I used to do proofreading for. I wonder where he was from. He was a researcher at a drug company, he could have been from Kanto…

  8. azumarisan said,

    May 14, 2008 at 3:53 am

    I’ve heard Toront, husband says it all the time. I think it’s just a shortcut.

    Then you get the Japanese who start learning english that start saying “yesu i amu” and add an extra vowel on the end of every word like it’s Japanese. That can be frustrating to listen to.


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