How Do You Say Karate in English?

Karate is a popular martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan, in the early 20th century. With its emphasis on fast, powerful strikes and blocks, karate has gained global popularity and has been adopted as an Olympic sport. For people who are interested in learning this martial art or just want to know how to pronounce its name correctly, one common question arises: how do you say karate in English?

To answer that question, we need to first understand the history and roots of this martial art. The term „karate“ is actually made up of two Japanese characters: „kara“ (空), meaning „empty,“ and „te“ (手), meaning „hand.“ Together, they create the term „karate“ (空手), which translates to „empty hand.“

During the early development of karate, it was referred to as „Toudi“ in Okinawa, which means „China hand.“ This was because the style of martial art was influenced by Chinese fighting techniques that were brought to Okinawa by Chinese immigrants.

However, in the early 20th century, a master of the Toudi style, Gichin Funakoshi, brought his version of the martial art to mainland Japan. He changed the style’s name from Toudi to Karate, to emphasize the Japanese roots of the art and distance it from its Chinese influences.

So, how should we pronounce the word karate in English? The most widely accepted pronunciation is „ka-ra-tey.“ The first syllable „ka“ is pronounced like the word „car,“ the second syllable is pronounced like the word „rah,“ and the final syllable „tey“ is pronounced like the word „day.“

It’s important to note that karate is a Japanese word, and therefore, there is not always an exact English equivalent for its pronunciation. The best way to ensure that you are pronouncing it correctly is to listen to native Japanese speakers and to practice the correct intonation and inflection.

In conclusion, „karate“ is a Japanese term that has become globally popular. It means „empty hand“ and refers to a martial art that emphasizes fast, powerful strikes and blocks. Pronouncing this word in English can be tricky, but the most widely accepted pronunciation is „ka-ra-tey.“ By understanding the roots and history of karate, we can better appreciate the art and its impact on global culture.


Karate is one of the most widely practiced martial arts in the world. This Japanese martial art, which means “empty hand,” involves striking, kicking, and blocking techniques. If you are wondering how to say karate in English, there are a few different answers depending on your goals and approach. In this blog post, we will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions around the topic of how to say karate in English.

1. How do you say karate in English?

While the word “karate” is originally Japanese, it has been widely adopted into English, and is pronounced “ka-RAH-tay”. This is the most common way to say karate in English and is widely understood all over the world.

2. What does the word “karate” mean?

As mentioned earlier, karate means “empty hand” in Japanese. This refers to the fact that the martial art does not involve any weapons, only the practitioner’s own body.

3. Why do people practice karate?

People practice karate for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, fitness, stress relief, and competition. Karate is an excellent way to stay in shape, improve your mental discipline, and learn valuable self-defense skills that could come in handy in a variety of situations.

4. How is karate different from other martial arts?

Karate is distinct from other martial arts in several ways. For one, it is primarily a striking art, meaning that practitioners use punches, kicks, and other strikes to subdue opponents. Additionally, karate is known for its emphasis on form, with practitioners striving to achieve precision and fluidity in their movements. Finally, karate is often more focused on self-defense techniques than other martial arts, such as those that emphasize competition or sport.

5. Can anyone practice karate?

Yes! Karate is a highly accessible martial art that can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities. While it does require some physical fitness and mobility, many karate studios offer classes tailored to beginners or people with specific skill levels.

How Do You Say Karate In English: A Helpful Guide

Karate is a popular Japanese martial art that has become a household name around the world. Its techniques and discipline have made it an attractive sport for people of all ages. However, if you’re not a native speaker, you might be wondering, „how do you say karate in English?“ In this guide, we will give a detailed explanation of the word and its pronunciation.

What Is Karate?

Karate is a martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan. It is a form of self-defense that uses strikes, kicks, and blocks to defend against an attacker. The word „karate“ comes from the Japanese words „kara“ which means „empty“ and „te“ which means „hand.“ Therefore, the word „karate“ means „empty hand.“ This refers to the fact that karate does not involve the use of weapons, instead relying solely on the practitioner’s body to defend themselves.

How Do You Pronounce Karate?

To properly pronounce „karate“ in English, follow these steps:

1. Start with the „ka“ sound. This is a short, sharp sound made by quickly touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

2. The next syllable is „ra.“ This is a longer sound that involves making a rolling „r“ sound with your tongue.

3. The final syllable is „te.“ This is a short, sharp sound similar to the „ka“ sound in the first syllable.

4. Put the three syllables together and say „ka-ra-te.“ Make sure the emphasis is on the second syllable, „ra.“

Common Mispronunciations

With any word, there are bound to be some common mispronunciations. Here are a few to avoid:

– „Kah-rah-tay“: Some people add an „ay“ sound to the end when pronouncing „karate.“ However, this is incorrect.

– „Kuh-rah-tee“: While this pronunciation is close, it misses the rolling „r“ sound in the second syllable.

Why Is Pronunciation Important?

You might be thinking, „why does it matter how I pronounce karate?“ While it may seem like a small detail, correct pronunciation is important for a few reasons:

– Respect: If you’re participating in a karate class or competition, correctly pronouncing the word shows respect for the origin and culture of the martial art.

– Communication: When discussing karate with others, using the correct pronunciation helps avoid confusion and miscommunication.


Learning how to say karate in English is a simple but important detail for anyone interested in the martial art. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can correctly pronounce karate and show respect for its history and culture.

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