Kanpai or Kampai, which is most correct?

8 answers

Hello! Have seen "Cheers" in Japanese written as "kanpai" and "kampai", which is correct or most correct? Have family in Japan, and will take my first trip over there soon to bring my Mother's ashes back to her Homeland. Would not want to offend if I make a toast incorrectly. Thank you so much!

By Patrick Remington Posted on October 25, 2017
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3.62/5 (223 votes)
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Jimu
April 20, 2019
21:41

When I lived there I also said and heard it as "kampai".
Everyone toasted with me and said kampai.
Hope this helps. Sorry to hear about your mum.

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2.36/5 (470 votes)
RAKOTOSON Mari…
May 24, 2019
04:02

Hello! I want to receive a japanese speech lesson from Kanpai. I think that Kanpai help me very much for my following knowledge about the japanese language and the japanese life. I have already took JLPT N5 so share me please the japanese language lesson from Kanpai. Thank you very much.

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2.41/5 (382 votes)
Rob
December 26, 2019
08:46

Neither way is the most correct. It just depends on the region you visit.

Just say it the say they do when you visit.

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2.47/5 (348 votes)
Ludwig Fromm
April 12, 2020
07:31

kampai!
sounds better!!
L

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2.37/5 (223 votes)
Michael
November 26, 2020
22:42

i think its written kanpai, but the way we say it will be more likely kampai because the following words after "n" is "p" and because of that our mouth will be closed after the "kan" pronounciation, and it will sound like "kam" because our mouth will be closed.

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2.70/5 (172 votes)
Regina
December 18, 2020
17:36

I'm pretty sure it's "kanpai," because if written in hiragana, there's no "m" equivalent ... it would be written かんぱい (ka-n-pa-ii).

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2.62/5 (146 votes)
Dietbert
July 23, 2021
23:52

It is kampai with a "m." You will find the word in Kanji because it is Japanese. It ca also be written in Hiragana.
The Japanese language has a "M." Children sing the nursery rhyme ABC in Japanese before the age of 3.

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2.55/5 (29 votes)
August 29, 2021
19:22

Michael has given the best answer. It's written かんぱい (ka-n-pa-i), but n followed by p or b often become an "m" sound because of the mouth's position on the following p or b. It's simpler to form the mouth for "m" in that case, which is, in practice, what often happens. Thus the alternate English spelling.

Regina is also correct, there is no "m" sound in the Japanese syllabary. "M" is always combined with a vowel, so: ma, mi, mu, me, mo. So there's no "m" without a following vowel. So it's correctly written with an "n". But it will _sound_ like an m anyway.

There's no point in arguing which _pronunciation_ is correct, however, because, in reality, it'd be virtually impossible to hear the difference between the two pronunciations. Phonetically, they're the same. The only actual difference is in your mind, depending on whether you think you're saying (or hearing) "n" or "m".

Short answer: they're both acceptable; there may be regional preferences; and there's no practical difference between the two in terms of sound, anyway.

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