that's how my sensei taught it.
Senpai is the proper way to say it, however the English language dislikes putting the "n" and "p" sounds together, so an English speaker with little or no practice with Japanese will more often make an "m" sound. You can see the concept happening with the words "incomplete" and "impossible," which both use the same negating prefix.
The Japanese tend to use ン(n') to approximate English and other non-Japanese uses of the letter M when it isn't immediately followed by a vowel. They do this rather than use ム(mu) or モ(mo). -u and -o syllables being the usual Japanese way to handle the first in a pair of consecutive consonants: to=t, su=s, etc... At some point someone must have thought it would work in reverse as well -that if M→ン, then ン→M, but that's not the case.
We've been pretty retarded in just trying to figure out romaji for a lot of basic sounds
and not ジ→zhi for both clarity and closer approximation, but then even just "zi" would be closer to the general phonetic sound of ジ than "ji" is. Then there's ヂ→dji which is phonetically closer to ヂ than "ji" with the added clarity of fitting into the d- syllable set.
ズ→zu is obviously as straight forward as it gets but ヅ could stand to be romanized as "dzu" both for clarity and a closer phonetic approximation.
Then shit like,
because the person who started trying to fit moonrunes to the latin alphabet was probably a hobbyist who didnt do it very well and other people started with his work without improving it causing a wave of retardedness that is now in every book and is impossible to get out.
Same with chemistry, people didnt know what they were doing and started naming shit, it became part of the common vocabulary and you now have to deal with retarded shit.
Same with that electrons go from - to + but current goes from + to -. They missguessed which way the static charge went when you stroked a bar with a piece of cloth so now we still have to deal with that bullshit.
I don't give a fuck as long as it's consistent.
But that's asking too much of crappy anime translators. I can't even ask for name order consistency if they can't get this right.
>implying it's not AYY-VAN-GELLY-UN
Depending on which Japanese linguists you ask, there are up to 10 different ways ん is pronounced depending on the next syllable.
m if followed by p, b, or m
n if followed by t, d, z, or n
ŋ (the ng in sing or king) if followed by k or g
ɴ (uvular nasal) if at the end of a word
Phonetically, the ん (n) is closer to an "m" sound than "n" in this case. ん can have different pronunciations depending on the word. Japanese phonetics are slightly fucked up like that (but still miles better than English phonetics).
There's plenty in this thread about how ん isn't a perfect match for n or m, but whether or not that's true is irrelevant here.
Really it's just from the shape your mouth makes when you talk, and you should be able to see it just from saying the word to yourself a few times. The sounds for n and m are made basically the same way, but making an n sound requires the lips to be parted, whereas m requires them closed. Since the next letter in 'senpai' is p, which also requires them to be closed, when you say it your n is going to be blurred into an m unless you say it very slowly.
I hope sempai will
break out of his depressive cycle and love me again ;_;
>dunning kruger in full effect
the japanese actually pronounce it "sempai",
english speakers with no knowledge of japanese pronounce it "senpai" in a misguided effort to be consistent.