Pronouncing “Desu” / です

“Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of mental laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.” – Tim Ferriss

This is the last chapter that will use romaji. Make sure you finish learning your hiragana by the time you finish this chapter. If you don’t, things will start getting harder. Hiragana is so important, so just go and get it done!

The very first thing we’re going to do is to learn “desu.” To be honest, right now, the concept of “desu” is like looking at a gooey blob on a tree stump. You don’t know it right now, and it’s totally abstract. I would never ask you to look at a gooey blob and ask you to just learn / memorize it – that’s ridiculous, right? Same with “desu,” we’re going to connect it with something you already know and understand to help you learn it.

First thing’s first, though. You need to learn how to pronounce it. You know the various pronunciations of hiragana from the Pronunciation With Hiragana chapter, which would probably make you think this word is pronounced something like “des-soo.” That, however, would be somewhat incorrect. In general, you want to pronounce “desu” like “dess.” That means no “u” sound at the end. This happens a lot with words that end with “u” sounds, where the “u” sound is dropped. There are exceptions everywhere, of course, so experience is going to be your best friend on this one, but for now, I just want you to remember that “desu” is pronounced “dess.”

When you’ve learned the pronunciation of “desu” you can move on to the next page, where you will learn how to use desu to create your first sentence!

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