and now following will be the article on pronouncing all those ship names. I hope these can be used in the game; I found this original article to be one of the more educational I have read in an already quite educational hobby.
and to figure out the copyright issues that might have been involved, here is a link to the pertinent info from the people who scan and post these:
the copyright question
this is the best I can get the piece, there might be a few lingering oddities from the .pdf conversion, and I just can't get the text window on this site to let me put some space between the end of each ship name and the beginning of the pronunciation.
How to Pronounce Oi, Ire, Hiei, et .I.
by Chris L. Roehl
Translations by Grace Beard Trinity University, San Antonio
The written Japanese language includes fifty-one phonetic signs-an alphabet of sounds. Though
ideographic, Japanese can be written in arabic letters using a syllabary. However, this only hints at how
a word is pronounced. Inflection and speed of pronunciation are unknowns and some letters are silent
or not pronounced as they appear. The result is fractured Japanese.
The translations given here are from the ideographic characters (calligraphy), as read by Grace.
Don't let her name fool you. She is a native Japanese, born of a Christian family, and while a young
woman, lived in Tokyo throughout the Pacific War. The phonetic interpretationsaremy own based on
her pronunciations in face-to-face sessions.
With a few exceptions, the type of Japanese warship may be determined by its name (if you can read
Japanese). Aircraft carriers are named after mythical flying objects, animals, or large birds. Somecon-
versions retained their original hull name: Kaga, Akagi, Chitose, Chiyoda, and Shinano. Some did not:
Shoho, Zuiho, Ryuho, (former submarine tenders Tsurugizaki, Takasaki, and Taigei respectively), and
Hiyo and Junyo, (former luxury liners Izumo Maru and Kashiwara Maru). Battleships are named
after ancient provinces similar to our practice of naming battleships after states. Heavy cruisers are
named after mountains, as are the four Kongo class fast battleships originally classed as battlecruisers.
Light cruisers are named after rivers. (The Mogatniand Tone class CA's were laid down as CL's, hence
the exception.) Destroyers are paradoxically given poetic interpretations of weather conditions:
Kawakaze, (River Wind); Shigure, (Drizzling Autumn Rain). When in 1944-45, construction concen-
trated on more destroyers of smaller design, their names included flowers, fruit, and trees. The three
types of submarine are 1, RO, and HA-the first three sounds of the Japanese "alphabet" thus cor-
responding to A, B, and C.
The names of Japanese aircraft carriers are quite picturesque and often convey an intangible idea
and are thus quite difficult to translate accurately as one can the names of mountains, rivers, and pro-
vinces. For example, the Hosho translates Auspicious Bird. However, the ideaconveyed is of a gigantic
imaginary bird with a 3,000 mile wing span, and able to fly 90,000 miles in one hop! It is a name full of
great expectations for The Imperial Japanese Navy's first aircraft carrier. Important ships were given
appropriately portentous names-see Kongo, and Yamato for other examples of this practice, keeping
in mind not their fate but their significance to Japan as the finest of their kind in all the world's navies.
The ship names translated below are grouped by type, class, and order of construction, or conver-
sion. The information given is the arabic spelling, the phonetic pronunciation showing emphasis of a syllable in larger type, and an indication of the speed in which the sounds are pronounced, (Fast, Nor-
mal, Slow), and a definition or origin of the name.
The phonetic interpretation shows the pronunciation of the ship names as they sound. In somecases
the vowel sounds are pronounced as one sound-a compound sound of two vowels pronounced so
closely toether that they cannot be distinguished as two distinct sounds. An example is the Zuikaku.
"Zui" is pronounced more like "Zwee" than "Zoo-ee". Some names are pronounced with equal em-
phasis on all sounds, (or no emphasis at all depending on your outlook). The vowels, (A, I, U, E, O), are
pronounced as follows: A as ah, like "Open wide and say ah."; I as a hard E, like "easy"; U as ooo, like
"ooze"; E as a hard A, like "ale"; and 0 as a hard 0,
like "Oh, no!". The consonants are pronounced
as in English with a few exceptions which will be explained individually.
AIRCRAFT CARRIERS -
HOSHO HOE SHO (S S) Auspicious Bird.
KAGA KAH GAH (N N) Old name for Ishikawa Prefecture. ("Increased Joy", S.E. Morrison.)
AKAGI AH KAH GEE (N N N) (Hard "G", like "geese".) Mountain in Gumma Prefecture. ("Red Castle". Morrison.)
RYUJO REEOO JOE (N N) Vigorous Dragon.
SORYU SORE REEYOU (F S) (Equal emphasis.) Green Dragon
HIRYU HEE REEYOU (F S) Flying Dragon.
SHOKAKU SHO KAH KOO (F F F) Soaring Crane.
ZUIKAKU ZWEE KAH KOO (F F F) Happy Crane. ("Zui" means everything good-a good omen.)
SHOHO SHO HO (S S) True (Righteous) Gigantic Bird.
ZUIHO ZWEE HO (F S) Happy Bird of Paradise. (The bird of paradise is a good omen.)
HIYO HEE YO (N N) Flying Hawk.
JUNYO JUNE YO (N N) Obedient Hawk.
RYUHO REEYOU HO (N S) Dragon and Gigantic Bird.
CHIYODA CHEE YO DAH (N N N) Chiyoda Castle. (Emperor's Castle.)
CHITOSE CHEE TOE SAY (F F N) Thousand Years. (Longevity.) (As a CVL she survived ten months.)
TAIHO THAI EE HO (N N S) Gigantic Bird.
SHINANO SHE NAH NO (N N N) Ancient name for Nagano Prefecture.
UNRYU OON REE YOU (F N S) Cloud and Dragon.
AMAGI AH MAH GEE (N N F) (Equal emphasis. Hard "G".) Mountain on Izu Peninsula.
KATSURAGI KAHT SOO RAH GEE (N N N N) (Equal emphasis. Hard "G".) Mountain bordering Osaka and Nara.
KONGO KONG GO (N N) Mountain bordering Osaka and Nara meaning diamond-hard and unbreakable-the hardest metal.
HIEI HEE AY (N N) ("El" is pronounced as a hard letter "A".) Mountain northeast of Kyoto City.
HARUNA HAH ROO NAH (F N N) (Equal emphasis.) A hot springs mountain in Gumma Prefecture.
KlRlSHlMA KEE REE SHE MAH (N N N N) Mountain in Kagoshima Prefecture.
FUSO WHO SSO (F F) (The "F" is pronounced as an "H". The Japanese do not bite their lips when speaking, I'm told.) Ancient Chinese name for Japan.
YAMASHIRO YAH MAH SHE RO (N N N N) (Equal emphasis on "YAMA".) The area surrounding Kyoto City.
HYUGA HEE YOU GAH (N N F) Miyozaki area in northeast Kyushu City.
ISE EE SAY (F F) An area in Mie Prefecture, central Honshu, noted as the location of the Emperor's ancestor's shrine.
NAGATO NAH GAH TOE (N N N) Yamaguchi Prefecture at the southern tip of Honshu.
MUTSU MOOT SEH (N F) ("SU" is pronounced as the last sound of "Tecumseh".) Aomori and lwate Prefectures.
YAMATO YAH MAH TOE (N N N) Ancient name for Japan.
MUSASHI MOO SAH SHEE (N N N) Tokyo and vicinity.
KAKO KAH KO (F F) River in Hyogo Prefecture.
FURUTAKA WHO ROO TAH KAH (N N N N) (Equal emphasis.) Old Hawk.
KINUGASA KEE NOO GAH SAH (N N N F) (Equal emphasis.) Mountain north of Kyoto City.
AOBA AH OH BAH (N N N) (Equal emphasis.) A castle in Sendai City.
MYOKO MEEOH KO (N S) Mountain in Niigata Prefecture.
NACHl NAH CHEE (N N) Mountain in Wakayama Prefecture.
HAGURO HAH GOO RO (F N N) Mountain in Yamagata Prefecture.
ASHIGARA AH SHEE GAH RAH (N N F F) Mountain in Kagagawa Prefecture.
TAKAO TAH KAH OH (N N N) (Equal emphasis.) A hill in Kyoto City.
ATAGO AH TAH GO (N N N) Another hill in Kyoto City.
CHOKAI CHO KHAI (S N) Mountain in Yamagata Prefecture.
MAYA MY YAH (N N) (Equal emphasis.) Mountain near Kobe City. Also the name of Buddha's mother.
MOGAMI MO GAH MEE (N N N) River in Yamagata Prefecture.
MIKUMA MEE KOO MAH (N N N) (Origin unknown.)
SUZUYA SOO SSOO YAH (F N N) (Prounounce the "Z" as a hissed "S".) Bell Valley.
KUMANO KOO MAH NO (N N N) (Equal emphasis.) River in Wakayama Prefecture.
TONE TOE NAY (N F) River in Kanti area.
CHIKUMA CHEE KOO MAH (F N N) River in Kyushu.
KlTAKAMI KEE TAH GAH MEE (N N N F) (Pronounce the second "K" as a hard "G".) River in lwate and Miyagi Prefectures.
OI OH EE (S N) River in Shizuoka Prefecture.
SPECIAL NAVAL LANDING FORCES
YOKOSUKA YO KOSS KAH (N N F) (The "U" is silent.)
KURE KOO RAY (N N)
SASEBO SAH SAY BO (N N F)
SUBMARINES: There were three categories of submarines: I, RO, and HA corresponding to the first three letters of our alphabet. Pronounce EE, ROW, and HAH.