How to Pronounce Karate in British English

Karate is a popular martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan. It is now practiced all over the world and has become a competitive sport in the Olympics. If you’re new to karate or planning to attend a class or competition, you might be wondering how to pronounce the word „karate“ in British English. In this blog post, we will guide you through the correct pronunciation of „karate“ in British English along with some interesting facts about this ancient martial art.

Why Is It Important to Pronounce „Karate“ Correctly?

Knowing how to pronounce „karate“ correctly can help you communicate effectively with other martial art enthusiasts, and avoid any misinterpretation or confusion. Additionally, it shows respect to the language and culture where the martial art was originated.

How Is „Karate“ Pronounced in British English?

First, let’s understand the word „karate“. The term „karate“ comes from the Japanese words „kara“ meaning „empty,“ and „te“ meaning „hand.“ Therefore, „karate“ translates to „empty hand“ or „open hand.“

The correct pronunciation of „karate“ in British English is „ka-rah-tay.“ It is pronounced with four syllables, and the emphasis is slightly on the second syllable.

The first syllable should be pronounced as „ka,“ with a soft „k“ sound like the „k“ in „kind.“ The second syllable should be pronounced as „rah,“ with a slight roll on the „r“ similar to the „r“ sound in Spanish. The third syllable should be pronounced as „tay,“ with a hard „t“ sound, like the „t“ in „tea.“

The History of Karate and Its Development

Karate has an extensive and fascinating history. It originated in Okinawa, Japan, during the 19th century. Karate was developed by Okinawan peasants, who were not allowed to carry weapons by Japan’s ruling samurai class. As a result, they developed a system of hand-to-hand combat that became known as karate.

Over time, karate developed into different styles, including Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu, and Shito-ryu. Each style has its unique techniques and philosophies, but the fundamental principles remain the same- developing self-discipline, improving physical fitness, and mastering self-defense skills.

Interesting Facts About Karate

Here are some fascinating facts about karate that you may not know:

  • Karate was developed on the island of Okinawa, which is now part of Japan, but was once an independent kingdom.
  • The first public demonstration of karate was in Japan in 1917.
  • Karate was not practiced with a uniform until the 20th century.
  • The highest rank in karate is the 10th dan, but the only person to ever achieve this rank was the founder of modern karate, Gichin Funakoshi.
  • Karate was recognized as an official Olympic sport in 2020.

FAQs on How to Pronounce Karate in British English

Karate is a popular martial art that originated in Japan and has now gained immense popularity worldwide. It is a physical exercise that involves various techniques like punches, kicks, and strikes, all aimed towards self-defense. However, one question that many people ask is how to pronounce the word „karate“ correctly in British English. Here are some frequently asked questions on this topic:

1. How do you pronounce „karate“ in British English?

The correct pronunciation of „karate“ in British English is „kuh-raa-tee.“ In Japanese, it is pronounced as „ka-ra-te.“

2. Is the British pronunciation different from the American pronunciation of „karate?“

Yes, the British pronunciation of „karate“ is slightly different from the American pronunciation. In American English, „karate“ is pronounced as „ka-rah-tay.“

3. How can I practice pronouncing „karate“ correctly?

If you are new to the language or struggling with the pronunciation, you can practice by breaking the word into smaller parts. First, pronounce the „k“ sound, then add the „ah“ sound, followed by the „rah“ sound, and finally, the „tee“ sound. Repeat this a few times until you get comfortable with the correct pronunciation.

4. Are there any common mispronunciations of the word „karate?“

Yes, there are a few common mispronunciations of the word „karate.“ Some people tend to pronounce it as „ka-ra-tee“ or „ka-raht.“ However, both of these pronunciations are incorrect.

5. How important is the correct pronunciation of „karate?“

While the correct pronunciation of „karate“ may seem trivial, it is essential. Correct pronunciation leads to clearer communication, better understanding, and prevents any misconceptions. Moreover, as karate is a worldwide sport, it is essential to know how to pronounce it correctly.

6. Is karate the only martial art with a Japanese name?

No, there are several other martial arts with Japanese names. Some examples include Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, and Kendo, to name a few.

7. Is it necessary to learn Japanese to practice karate?

No, it is not necessary to learn Japanese to practice karate. However, learning a few Japanese words and phrases related to the sport can enhance your understanding and appreciation of the art.

8. Can the pronunciation of „karate“ vary in different English-speaking countries?

Yes, the pronunciation of „karate“ can vary in different English-speaking countries. For instance, in Australia, it is pronounced as „ka-raa-tay,“ while in New Zealand, it is pronounced as „kah-raa-tay.“

How to Pronounce Karate in British English


Karate is a Japanese martial art that has gained popularity all over the world. While it is easy to find classes and teachers that offer training in karate, some people still struggle with its pronunciation. In this guide, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to pronounce the word ‚karate‘ correctly in British English.

What is Karate?

Before we dive into the pronunciation guide, let’s briefly talk about what karate is. Karate is a martial art that focuses on a combination of striking, kicking, and blocking techniques. It is a discipline that requires physical and mental training and is often used as a form of self-defence. Karate originated in Japan and has developed into different styles that are practised all over the world.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Pronounce Karate

Now that we have given you a brief background on karate let’s begin with the guide on how to pronounce it properly.

Step One: Break it Down

Karate is a four-syllable word that is pronounced as ka-ra-te. Break the word down, and you’ll see there are three syllables after the first ‘ka’ sound.

Step Two: Emphasize the right syllable

The next step is to emphasize the correct syllable while pronouncing karate. The emphasis should be on the second syllable, which is ‚ra.‘

Step Three: The ‘T’ Sound

The last step is to pronounce the ‘te’ sound correctly. Make sure that you accentuate the ‚t‘ sound, which should be a soft clipped ‚tuh‘ with the tip of the tongue touching the roof of the mouth.

Putting it All Together:

Now let’s put everything together.

– Start with the first syllable ‘ka’: say ka
– Emphasize the second syllable ‘ra’: say ra
– Finish with the last syllable ‘te’: say tuh

When spoken quickly or fluently, karate will be pronounced as ka-ra-tuh.

Practice and Tips

The key to pronouncing karate accurately is practice. Here are some tips that can help you improve your pronunciation:

– Listen to native English speakers pronounce karate.
– Watch videos or tutorials that show proper pronunciation.
– Practice karate while saying the word out loud to get accustomed to its sound.
– Record yourself pronouncing karate and listen back to it to see where you need improvement.


In conclusion, knowing how to pronounce karate correctly in British English is a valuable skill, especially if you’re a fan or learner of the martial art. By breaking the word down and emphasizing the right syllable, you can easily pronounce karate like a pro. Remember, practice makes perfect.


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