Talk:Sensei

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For older discussions, see:Talk:Japanese martial arts titles.

Pronunciation[edit]

How is Sensei prononced?--Light current 01:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Sen-say. The 'n' is barely heard tho. kinda like se-say. ~Sushi 07:26, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Really?? You don't lean heavy on the n sound but it definately is there.Peter Rehse 01:07, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

The 'n' sound is certainly there, but it's light as you say. You dont push your tounge to the top of your mouth at the end of the first sylable. This is why in quick speach and in some areas of japan you may not hear the 'n'... but it should be spoken an is the reading of the first kanji. Ixtli 03:54, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

This "n" is what linguists call the Japanese "mora nasal". The position of its pronunciation in your mouth will normally match the position of a following consonant (c.f. "hombu", where it becomes an "m"). In cases where it is not forced into a certain position, it will fall far back in the throat (as in "sensei"). Thus, it is not like the English "n", which is pronounced with the blade of the tongue on the forward part of the palate. This "back" pronunciation is less acoustically sonorant than the English "n", which is why English speakers are likely to call it "light" :-) As has been pointed out, however, it is most definitely pronounced. If there's anything else interesting to say about the pronunciation of this word, it's that the final "i" is normally not pronounced as a clear high vowel or off-glide (I've tried hard to avoid jargon, but it's tough...) So "sen-say" is not quite right, but simply elongate the "e", to something like "sensee" (of course this means Japanese "e", not English...) Djiann 21:05, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually "先生” was an ancient Chinese word to refer to teacher, master, etc. This word has been used frequently in China for thousands of years. After 1949 it was used less frequently, though. Japanese borrowed this word from Chinese in Tang Dynasty.

I have also seen it spelled "sensee", with the last letter being equated to "ē". When I confronted my Japanese instructor, I was told that the romanization of it as "sensei" is technically incorrect, and that it should be sensee or sensē. 142.26.194.190 (talk) 22:03, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Yea, I heard it too from my techer (Se n se e) but when it is (se e) the socond (e) is (i), thats from sensei is. (for other example (ho n to o) second (o) changes to (u) (hontou) ) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.72.243.140 (talk) 10:27, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

No offence to the above, but you said that 先生 *was* an ancient Chinese word. It's actually still in usage, quite a bit of of it and the characters haven't been simplified in any way. In Chinese, 先生 can mean Mr, husband, sir, or teacher, depending on the situation and/or context. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 善仪 (talkcontribs) 10:35, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Alternate Kanji[edit]

  • "先聖" also translates to "Sensei", but literally means "anicent sage" or "Confucius". Fractyl 19:56, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
It translates to “sensei”? It’s pronounced that way, but it translates (into English, at any rate) as “ancient sage” and usually refers to Confucius. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the word covered by this article, and the kanji are not alternates for 先生. The coincidence of pronunciation is just that: a coincidence. Nothing more, nothing less. Jim_Lockhart 05:19, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm only asking if the kanji I listed is a archic version of the current kanji used. Plus, Confucius was a teacher so it can't be said mere coincidence. Fractyl 06:44, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Suite yourself. But 先聖 is not an archaic version of 先生, and the coincidence of pronunciation is just that. This is not at all a rare phenomenon in Japanese; in fact, it is the Chinese that you should be tracking down. Whether 先聖 and 先生 are pronounced the same in Chinese, I do not know. In any case, if you introduce into the article your assumption about the two character strings being related or variant “spellings” of the same word, you will have to substantiate the assertion with a reliable source as per WP:ATT. All other discussion is irrelevant to Wikipedia and does not belong here. Jim_Lockhart 07:27, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Japanese martial ways vs Japanese martial arts[edit]

The term 'Martial art' is a used here to to cover both concepts judo literal translates as 'Gentle way' but is a martial art called 'Gentle way' the differentiation is discussed in the article Japanese martial arts. --Nate1481 14:51, 2 February 2009 (UTC) "Haydn Murtagh" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.223.170.35 (talk) 10:45, 27 June 2011 (UTC)


Main photo[edit]

Can someone replace the main photo. Honestly, the photo looks like a young apprentice warming up for a tournament, not like an experienced marital arts expert. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.20.33.74 (talk) 09:54, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes - the photo feels silly and not quite right. I am removing it.Peter Rehse (talk)