Languages › Japanese Learn the Japanese Word Koe Share Flipboard Email Print Japanese Essential Japanese Vocabulary History & Culture Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated June 14, 2017 The Japanese word koe, pronounced "koh-ay", means "voice", or "a cry". Sometimes, depending on the context, it can mean "a note", as in a note of music. Japanese Characters 声 （こえ） Example Tasuke o yobou to omotta ga, koe ga denakatta.助けを呼ぼうと思ったが、声が出なかった。 Translation: I tried to cry for help, but I had no voice.