haiku question

I have a question about writing haiku in japanese. To be speciufic, it’s about syllabry. As in:

how many syllables are the vowels counted as? Are “ai” “ou” and “ei” counted as one or two syllables?
What if they end in “n”? As in “on” or “mon”? does that n add a syllable?
What about double consonants? How much would “Nippon” be? “Hokkaidou”?

Please help. Danke.

Say them aloud

Why would you WANT to write a poem in japanese? If you read it to a japanese person it would probably sound somthing like this.

To you:
the first cold shower;
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw.

To the wealthy and very serious japanese man that you want to impress so you can ask to marry his daughter and take over his company:
first cold shower heavy;
the monkey seems uniform
to desire a layer small of the straw.

Work on your english, it’s the second best language in the galaxy, next to klp’t aug’ntä!

Why don’t you ask in a Japanese forum or scour their poetic websites?

'cause they’re all in japanese! I can’t tell if they answers my question or not. Or if they even adress it.

What’s wong with my English?

Edit: Oh… I see…

If Japanese is not your first language, perhaps you ought to try enquiring on a forum for English people learning Japanese.

I cannot understand Japanese myself, but I suspect that a final -n would not produce another syllable. With pairs of vowels, I cannot tell, since I have no idea what range of vowels and diphthongs Japanese has, nor how Roman-alphabet transcriptions commonly render such sounds.


Hold on, you won’t to write Japanese haiku without knowing Jap? Or write English haiku and you don’t know what to make of Japanese names?

1- I know some japanese and am unsure about certain things as mentioned at the beginning.

2- I don’t wanna write english haiku, that’s why I’m asking these questions, that I can write haiku in japanese without breaking some of the rules.

But haiku is still a poetic form. I’ll spare you a lecture on why you should know the language before writing poetry in it; the reasons are evident.

On the other hand your limited means may result in something charming. Good luck (though luck’s not the right word).

With the understanding that I, or so I was told by literally half of the Japanese people I spoke to, speak Japanese with an Osaka accent:

AI- Pronounced as “eye,” the body part. One syllable.
EI- Pronounced as “ay,” as in “day” and “pay” One syllable.
Final N- Doesn’t add a syllable. It’s tied to the vowell sound before it.
Double Consonant- I really don’t know why these exist. Some people have told me they’re stressed syllables, but I’ve really never heard them stressed in conversational Japanese, even in Japan. If you break the word up syllable by syllable (Nip pon might have two P sounds, but Nippon doesn’t, I mean), the letter may be pronounced in both, but I’ve never heard that done, ever. They do not add any syllables.

In your examples:
“Nippon” is two syllables: “Nip” and “pon.”
“Hokkaido” is three syllables: “Hok” “kai” “do.”

Pronunciation Rule you absolutely need to know when it comes to syllables:
At the end of words, the letter U is almost always silent. “Kon Yaku Suru” (which is something aobut being engaged I learned back when I went to Japan to cheat a bridal place into giving me free cake samples) is correctly pronounced “Kon Yak Sur.” The incredibly common word “desu” is simply pronounced “des” (“Dress” without the “r”). This, obviously, cuts out a good number of syllables. The only exceptions I’m aware of is “bifu” which is said “beef-oo” and “biru” which is said “bee-roo.” I don’t know if this is a pronunciation rule on the English-import-words or a matter of incredibly common mispronunciation (the way Micheivous is often pronounced as mis-chee-vee-ous in English, though there is no second long E sound). Katsu’s U is pronounced in some “lower class” accents, but it’s doubtful this would be done in poetry.

Rule I see used in Japanese Haiku that may help you:
If you’re familiar with older English poetry, you’ve probably seen “cover’d” or such words with an apostrophe replacing the “e” in -ed endings, to cut down syllables. The same is often done in Japanese Haiku (though elitist pedants will snub their noses at you for cheating, more likely than not, as they do for the E thing in English) with the letter “R.” R is often very under-enunciated in Japanese, so, poets sometimes leave it out entirely to get syllables to fit.

Well, I’ll be damned. It posted twice. This certainly could not have been any fault of my own.
By the way, it is a terrible idea to write poetry in a language you don’t know. Just for the record.

How are you going to write a Japanese haiku if you don’t even have the vocabulary to understand advice on your haiku in Japanese

After four years of japanese classes, I think I know enough to write simple haiku when I’m bored.

And thank you for answering my question.

After four years of Japanese classes, one might also assume you had learnt some degree of pronunciation, though. You also never mentioned any Japanese classes. In fact, your mention of being wholly unable to comprehend Japanese would insinuate, though not, admitedly, declare, a lack of education in the language.

My questions had nothing to do with pronunciation; I simply didn’t know whether certain combinations counted as one or two syllables.

When did I mention anything like that?