I guess what he/she meant was that it sounds like two syllables (i.e., Dai-ske) to the ear of an English speaker. From a pedantic linguistic point of view, it actually contains four morae: Dá-í-s(ú)-ké. To analyze it as having two syllables violates several Japanese phonological rules (e.g., the absence of diphthongs in Japanese, prohibition of a consonant cluster, etc.). The "two-syllable" explanation, nonetheless, is good enough for non-academic purposes (e.g., for an English speaker who just wants to imitate its native pronunciation).
Originally Posted by Olympia
Note: Japanese is a mora-timed language (in contrast to English, which is a stress-timed language, or French and Spanish, which are syllable-timed languages). Dá-í-s(ú)-ké contains four morae, each taking up one timing unit. When you say it really fast, it sounds almost like "Dai-ske", but there are still very subtle differences between "Dai-ske" and "Da-i-s-ke" (mainly in the length of /i/ and /s/).
Last edited by skatinginbc; 12-18-2011 at 04:07 PM.