Teach Yourself Japanese
Subject: Re: About ヴ
From: TAKASUGI Shinji (tssf.airnet.ne.jp)
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 03:37:41 GMT
References: 1, 2
The katakana ヴ is used for the English /v/, and some people use the following katakana according to the next vowel: ヴァ (va), ヴィ (vi), ヴ (vu), ヴェ (ve), ヴォ (vo). But many Japanese people simply pronounce them as バ (ba), ビ (bi), ブ (bu), ベ (be), ボ (bo). So using ヴ is useful only when you want to know whether the original word has /b/ or /v/.
It's misleading to say it is Spanish "v". Spanish "v" is pronounced as /b/, but it has nothing to do with Japanese. I think the Spanish word viento should be written as ビエント (biento), not ヴィエント (viento), because Spanish pronounce it as /biento/.
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