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To answer the question about the silent "u" in "すてき” (as well as the silent "i" in "よろしく”) versus

the voiced "u" in "ですが” (as well as the voiced "i" in "しずか”), it has to do with phonetic sounds.
*Note: Scroll past the explanation to see my Summary* Explanation Essentially, there are two
types of sounds, Voiced & Un-voiced. A good example of this is "pop" and "bob". Essentially,
Voiced means that your vocal cords vibrat. Trying holding your hand to your throat as you say
"pop" and then "bob" (Bob should have more vibration). This is even reflected in Hiragana (ie: た
(ta) and だ (da) --> note the diacritical marks), again, with だ (da) having more vibration than た
(ta). SOO... to get back the question about the silent "u/i"... Whenever a Unvoiced-consonant
follows either an "u/i" sounds, that "u/i" vowel is dropped. For example, "です" by itself is only
pronounced like "des", BUT "ですが” has a VOICED consant following the "u", thus it is said like
"desU-ga". Make sense? Another comparison is "すてき” and "すぐ (again, note the diacritical
marks)". For ”すてき” we would say "s-teki", but for "すぐ” we would say "sU-gu". This is because a
voiced consant follows the "u/i" from a Un-voiced consant+ "u/i" vowel pair. List of Hiragana
unvoiced-vowels+"u/i": き、く し、す た、つ ひ、ふ ぴ、ぷ Summary To summarize: a) When a
Unvoiced- consonant (ie: k, s, t, h, and p) FOLLOWS "u/i" from a Unvoiced-consonant (ie: su, shi,
ku, ki, hi, fu etc...) then the "u/i" is usually dropped (ie: すてき) b) When a voiced consonant (ie: g,
z, d, b, p, m, r, y, w, + etc) FOLLOWS "u/i" then the "u/i" is pronounced (ie: ですが) b2) "u/i" are
often dropped at the end of a end of a sentance. Afterword Keep in mind there is always
exceptions to the rule in every language, but this is the 99% occuance of how it is going to be
said. If you want to know the REASON, behind this, the reason is this: when you talk, you try to
make the sounds as natural as possible. Like how we say buDder instead of buTter, it's just
easier. (Bu --> voiced, dd --> voiced ; whereas Bu --> tt --> unvoiced = unnatrual). Thus in
Japanese, before an unvoiced consonant, it is easier to not say something that is voiced (think
about staying consistant on the gas pedal of the car, its easier to not constantly switch back and
forth: it's the same for talking). Thus, as Risa says: they drop the "u" to make sound more
"natural" (/easy to say). If you read all of that, you are a champ! Give yourself a thumbs up. Extra
examples List of words with silent "u/i" for examples: ビジネス (Bi-ji-ne-sss) = Business どうして
(Doo-sh-te) = why した (sh-ta) = under しちじ(sh-chi-ji) = 7 o'clock ちこくする (chi-ko-K-su-ru) = to
be late for an appointment List of words with voiced "u/i" for examples: こくばん (ko-kU-ba-n) =
Blackboard ふゆ (fu-yu) = winter etc etc etc