Oh no you don't
The Long Vowel Sound
Whew! You're almost done. In this last portion, we will go over the long vowel sound which is simply extending the duration of a vowel sound. You can extend the vowel sound of a character by adding either 「あ」、「い」、or 「う」 depending on the vowel in accordance to the following chart.
Extending Vowel Sounds Vowel Sound Extended by
/ a /.........あ
/ i / e /.....い
/ u / o /.....う
For example, if you wanted to create an extended vowel sound from 「か」, you would add 「あ」 to create 「かあ」. Other examples would include: 「き → きい」, 「く → くう」, 「け → けい」, 「こ → こう」, 「さ → さあ」 and so on. The reasoning for this is quite simple. Try saying 「か」 and 「あ」 separately. Then say them in succession as fast as you can. You'll notice that soon enough, it just sounds like you're dragging out the / ka / for a longer duration than just saying / ka / by itself. You can try this exercise with the other vowel sounds if you like. Try to remember that you are, in fact, saying two characters with blurred boundaries. In fact, you may not even have to consciously think about long vowels and simply pronounce the letters together quickly to get the correct sound.
In addition, while the / e / vowel sound followed by 「い」 is usually considered to a long vowel sound, the pronunciation is actually a slurred connection of the / e / and / i / vowel sounds. In other words, it should be pronounced like / ay / (as in "acorn") and not just a long / e /.