Colloquial Modifications

In casual, spoken Japanese, a lot of words will get altered or shortened.

Here are some examples...

消える「た」 / [disappearing 'ta']

たた ⇒ った

Full Word Full Romaji Meaning
あたたかい atatakai warm

Short Word Short Romaji Meaning
あったかい attakai warm

消える「ら」 / [disappearing 'ra']

あらな ⇒ あんな

Full Word Full Romaji Meaning
つまらない tsumaranai boring; tedious

Short Word Short Romaji Meaning
つまんない tsumannai boring; tedious

Full Word Full Romaji Meaning
わからない wakaranai to not understand

Short Word Short Romaji Meaning
わかんない wakannai to not understand

Non-Native Sounds

Sometimes, you will hear Japanese people make (and even write) sounds that, technically speaking, are not a part of the language. In my experience, elderly Japanese speakers will be less likely―and, in many cases, less able―to make these non-native sounds. For example, we have...

しい ⇒ すぃー

I've never heard an old person say this, but sometimes I hear people in their 20's saying things like "suzusii" instead of "suzushii."

Full Word Full Romaji Meaning
すずしい suzushii cool; refreshing

Short Word Short Romaji Meaning
すずすぃー suzusii cool; refreshing

However, we also have modifications to traditional Japanese sounds that are now wholly integrated into the language, used by young and old alike. For example...

ティ (ti) 、ディ (di)、etc.

There are countless examples of this, but in general, when you see a small hiragana or katakana vowel (ぁ、ぃ、ぅ、ぇ、ぉ // ァ、ィ、ゥ、ェ、ォ), it's safe to assume that the small vowel is "stealing" the spot of the vowel coming before it.

So て (te) becomes てぃ (ti), で (de) becomes でぃ (di), and so on...

This is especially common with foreign loan words, as traditional Japanese sounds are not adequate for pronouncing them.

Word Romaji Meaning
ホットティ― hotto tii hot tea
ディズニーランド dizuniirando Disneyland

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