Japanese Language

Senpai vs Sempai | Sound Changes in Japanese

By on June 12, 2016

Hey guys!

This week I remembered when I was a beginner and there was this one thing I was confused about for years.

Back then I didn’t know anybody I could ask about this and my audio courses did not cover this.

It is about changes in pronunciation of ‘n’ to ‘m’.

Watch this video explaining what I mean – hope it makes sense!

Feel free to post any questions you may have!

If you’ve found the video useful please like it on YouTube or become a subscriber for more! It helps a lot, thanks!

All the best


  1. Reply


    March 13, 2017

    こんにちは Montrealから!
    French has a similar phenomenon “N” become “M” in the same instances. “M”, “B”s and “P”s are always preceded by an “M” and not an “N”. I think the french language shares the same reasons, it sounds better and is more economical for mouth movement. Ex: “comprenable”, “champignon”, “lampe”, “embarquement”.
    Thanks for the content, enjoyed the Japanese introducing yourself video and decide to check you blog out.
    Mostly because I wanted to find out where you were originally from 🙂

    • Reply

      Richard Heiney

      March 13, 2017

      Hey Nathan!

      Oh very interesting 🙂
      Thanks for your comment, much appreciated!
      I don’t really know any French so it’s interesting to me!
      Haha, gotcha, well I’m happy enjoyed my video and decided to check out my blog!
      And you’ve probably read already where I’m from 🙂



Richard Heiney

Hi my name is Richard and this blog is dedicated to learning Japanese language! I will be sharing my tips & tricks, common pitfalls, cultural notes, and my experience from my travels around Japan.