Bryan Bateman wrote:
I'm not much good with real phonetics, in Japanese think of the following sounds for pronounciation. If two vowels are together, pronounce the two sounds.
a as in apple not as in hay
Since the original poster is also from the U.K., this is really more for my own edification, as he's more likely to get a good idea of pronunciation from your analogies more than from mine, but I have a question. Is the a in apple like the a in father in the U.K. (generally speaking of course)? Because in American English, the a in apple is generally the same as the a in "mat", and Japanese a is higher and more forward in the mouth. Like father, for example.
i as in eat not as in it or like
I like "ink" as an example, but again, that's based off American pronunciation. (Not that "eat" is a bad one.)
I'm assuming another slight difference in pronunciation here. "of" in American English is a schwa. Japanese "o" would be like in "go" or "no". But, as you say, not oat, as that's a diphthong.
Just some musings...