Get updates via e-mail:

« Yomi and | Main | Various Updates »

Found in the Alley Podcast

The guys at Found in the Alley interviewed me in their podcast. It's pretty long, talks about my past as a designer, and some things I'm working on now. Also, they really like Yomi! :)

Reader Comments (13)

The "o" in the japanese word yomi is pronounced like the o in not, not the oa in oat.

I guess you can call it what you want but it kind of made me wince every time you guys pronounced it. That and "setsooki".

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

The word has been in common usage in the US for at least 15 years in fighting games and it's always been said how we said it when pronounced in English. I'd wince at hearing it said another way. In fact, Tom Vasel pronounced it the way you said in his video review and got reamed for it by a ton of people. I couldn't tell you how it's said while speaking Japanese, only while speaking English.

April 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterSirlin

Matt is incorrect. It is the o like in "Kyoto" which is the only O sound that exists in Japanese.

I pronounce Setsuki and Midori with no emphasis on any of their syllables, since I assume their names are supposed to "sound Japanese".

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBT

Sure. In Japanese it's definitely not pronounced like that though.

Kyōto actually has 2 different o sounds. The ō in Kyō is longer and because of that sounds a little like the o in oat, while the short o in the "to" of kyoto is also the o in yomi (which is a form of the verb yomu)

Right at the end of this video is an example of "yomu" in normal speech.

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Uh, the "o" in "not" is similar to the Japanese "a", not anything like the Japanese "o". The vowel length doesn't change the place of articulation (and thus the sound heard by a native English speaker without training).

April 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBoco

Doesn't really matter... People say Tokyo more like To-ki-o , and karaoke (empty orchestra) as Ka-ri-o-ki not in the japanese sense... When speaking english, you speak the word how english people do... And when speaking japanese you murder the english word... For instance, Melty Blood actress again becomes

Meruti Buraddo Akuteresu Agen (not sure if the agen is correct).

Anyway, point being that correct pronunciation in a language you don't really speak shouldn't be something to be done for. And really, English speakers barely know our own language as it is. I'll admit that when I say yomi, I'll say it the japanese way, but I speak Japanese on a regular basis, and now have difficulty saying japanese words in the normal english way.

April 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlink6616


Could you write an article about your thoughts on Mortal Kombat 9. (Sorry off topic.)

April 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArthur

ok, my approximation of Japanese sounds by Engish was not perfect, and even that obviously depends on the dialect of English (I'm not American and when i say "not" it definitely doesn't sound like the Japanese a). My point was that David was not using the Japanese pronunciation, as link6616 recognizes and as we all seem to not have a problem with.

April 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Arthur it seems obviously terrible and the world would be better if no one put the game in the spotlight by even talking about it.

Also, this thread is boring and about the (perfectly fine) pronunciation of one word, even though the original post links an hour and forty minute discussion. And Matt: I'm using the one and only pronunciation of the word that has been in effect for over 15 years in the United States by the fighting game community. I hope we're done with that topic.

April 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterSirlin

I think the Reeyu/Raayu silliness has conclusively proven than people are perfectly content to mispronounce Japanese words in a multitude of ways. Because at the end of the day, no one really cares. (It's pronounced "Ryu", by the way.)

As for the podcast: naming Monkey Island as the game that started your designer career was unexpected. I mean, point-and-click adventure games are about as far as you can get from hardcore competitive fighters. What's up with that?

You said that the larger part of getting Fantasy Strike finished would be just getting to a 1v1 versus demo, but I'm not sure that's true. Sure, the engine basically needs to be finished by then, but for a fighting game, that's going to be relatively simple. Adding in a full cast of varied and balanced characters, designing a story mode worth a damn, having proper tutorials, figuring out the various online and community features needed, etc. would still be a great deal of work. If you look at Starcraft 2, the game was "done" when they first announced it, but it took them another 3 years to get the units in MP pinned down and finish the SP campaign.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpkt-zer0

But, but, phonetics! It's even more silly than semantic arguments, how can you dislike them!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlink6616

So you don't like Mortal Kombat (why terrible though? not great i guess, but terrible?), what about Marvel vs Capcom 3?

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKyo

Great podcast

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny
Comment in the forums
You can post about this article at