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かれ、カレイ、カレー

かれ、カレイ、カレー

Today’s conundrum is:
かれはカレイのカレーをつくりました。

He made flounder curry.
Here the key words are かれ (he)、カレイ (flounder)、カレー (curry). First, listen to these audio clips to feel which one sounds most different.

かれ (he)

カレイ (flounder)

カレー (curry)

Although the last letter of カレイ is い, when an “-e” sounding letter (け、せ, etc.) is followed by the letter い, い is often pronounced like え. So, カレイ is pronounced like かれえ, which is the same as the word カレー (curry). However, you may have found it harder to distinguish かれ and カレイ, rather than カレイ and カレー.

That is because the intonation is very similar between かれ and かれい but it is very different between カレイ and カレー.
かれ sounds like         ゚╲。

カレイ sounds like     ゚╲。_。

カレー sounds like     。/゚ ゚̄

So the whole sentence sounds like:
かれはカレイのカレーをつくりました。
―___-____―――_―――__
Listen to the whole sentence now, paying attention to the intonation.

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