Top 6 Difficult Japanese Words To Pronounce

Going from speaking English to Japanese is far easier than going from speaking Japanese to English. Why?
Japanese pronunciation has far less phonetic sounds than English. With that said you will still find challenging exceptions. Here is my list of the top 6 difficult words to pronounce in Japanese. Including some extras that may help you out if you feel the need to pick up any comfort foods while traveling Japan. Also, I couldn't leave out the classic street fighter quote. Shoryuken! Whether you want to perfect your Japanese accent or have fun impressing Japanese speakers around you. These are some common Japanese phrases you will want to learn.

Top 6 Difficult Japanese Words To Pronounce

To CookRyōriりょうり
To TravelRyokouりょこう
Wasn't WarmAtatakakunakattaあたたかくなかった
Clumsy, GoofyOcchokochoiおっちょこちょい
Car Parking LotChuushajouちゅうしゃじょう
Rising Dragon Fist (street fighter)Shoryukenしょうりゅうけん


Tip #1 - Pronounce R as L (Kind of...)

Most Japanese I have encountered had always improved my pronunciation with Japanese words by telling me to pronounce my R's like L's, with a variation. You will often see words in Japanese spelled with R, such as "Kore" (This). Rather than speaking this as KO-RE. Pronounce it as KO-LE with a fast tap of the tongue to the roof of your mouth when you pronounce the L.

Tip #2 - Japanese doesn't include the following sounds natively

  • V - as in Vacation.
  • Th - as in The.
  • F - as in Food.


  • To Cook - 料理
  • To Travel - 旅行
  • Car Parking Lot - 駐車場
  • Street Fighter, Shoryuken - 昇龍拳

What does Shoryuken mean?

Shoryuken means, Rising Dragon Fist! Here is a breakdown of all the Kanji characters of this word.
  • 昇 - rise up
  • 龍 - dragon
  • 拳 - fist
Posted in Japanese Lesson.

Determined to learn Japanese to keep up with my international family.