basic

Easy Hiragana Mastery Guide: Part 1

There are 3 types of Japanese writing you will encounter and Hiragana is the first type of Japanese alphabet you would want to master. And with the help of this article below, you will be able to master it in a very very short time! はじめましょう!

Hiragana is the Japanese ABC, and it's quite different with English since the shape symbolize a set of sound such as KA , SO, TSU and SHI. Below you can see the Hiragana chart, all the shape that we're going to master~

“hiragana

Don't get discouraged by the weird and unfamiliar shapes. Using mnemonics provided within this guide, you can memorize Hiragana at a rapid speed! By the end of this post, you can see the quick summary of all the mnemonics, so you can review it with ease~


#1. Vowel: A I U E O

The first alphabet we learn in English is ABC. In Hiragana, the first alphabet to learn would be the vowels! A I U E O

HIRAGANA VOWEL: A
HIRAGANA VOWEL: I
HIRAGANA VOWEL: U
HIRAGANA VOWEL: E
HIRAGANA VOWEL: O

#2. KA KI KU KE KO

HIRAGANA K-ROW: KA
HIRAGANA K-ROW: KI
HIRAGANA K-ROW: KU
HIRAGANA K-ROW: KE
HIRAGANA K-ROW: KO

#3. SA SHI SU SE SO

Important There is no SI sound, it's SHI.

HIRAGANA S-ROW: SA
HIRAGANA S-ROW: SHI
HIRAGANA S-ROW: SU
HIRAGANA S-ROW: SE
HIRAGANA S-ROW: SO

#4. TA CHI TSU TE TO

Important There are no TI and TU sound, it's CHI and TSU.

HIRAGANA T-ROW: TA
HIRAGANA T-ROW: CHI
HIRAGANA T-ROW: TSU
HIRAGANA T-ROW: TE
HIRAGANA T-ROW: TO
About Little TSU [っ]

If you encounter a little つ like this > まて , it means that you double the consonant on the kana after it. So you don't read it as a MATSUTE but as MATTE (you double the T in TE). As for the sound, you make it longer, you hold the T so it sounds like TTE...


#5. NA NI NU NE NO

HIRAGANA N-ROW: NA
HIRAGANA N-ROW: NI
HIRAGANA N-ROW: NU
HIRAGANA N-ROW: NE
HIRAGANA N-ROW: NO

#6. HA HI FU HE HO

Important There is no HU sound, it's FU.

HIRAGANA H-ROW: HA
HIRAGANA H-ROW: HI
HIRAGANA H-ROW: FU
HIRAGANA H-ROW: HE
HIRAGANA H-ROW: HO
Special Rules for は

This alphabet is also a particle to mark the topic of sentence. And when it's acting as a particle, you don't read it as HA , instead you read it as WA!

But how do I know when to read it as HA or WA ?
No worries, for now, just remember about this little fact, and by the time you learn, distinguishing it will be as easy as distinguishing SUN and SON in English.

after you finished learning hiragana, check out this hiragana reading practice. Reading practice will help you to recognize the pattern for particle much better.


#7. MA MI MU ME MO

HIRAGANA M-ROW: MA
HIRAGANA M-ROW: MI
HIRAGANA M-ROW: MU
HIRAGANA M-ROW: ME
HIRAGANA M-ROW: MO

#8. RA RI RU RE RO

HIRAGANA R-ROW: RA
HIRAGANA R-ROW: RI
HIRAGANA R-ROW: RU
HIRAGANA R-ROW: RE
HIRAGANA R-ROW: RO

#9. YA YU YO WA WO N

HIRAGANA LAST-ROW: YA
HIRAGANA LAST-ROW: YU
HIRAGANA LAST-ROW: YO
HIRAGANA LAST-ROW: WA
HIRAGANA LAST-ROW: WO
HIRAGANA LAST-ROW: N
About を

This kana is unique, you will see it very often, but it will not act as a part of a word. And you read it as O not WO

Its main function in Japanese language is as a particle that is used with verbs, to mark something which is being affected by action/movement explained after it. You can ignore this for now, but if you're curious, you can learn about it using this article here: About Particle を


SUMMARY


#1. あ・い・う・え・お

A - look likes a mouth saying AAHH...

I - You can find letter i there

U - You can find letter u there

E - Letter E reversed is number 3, it looks like number 3!

O - A face crying OOH NOO....


#2. か・き・く・け・こ

KA - A Camera

KI - a Key

KU - big mouth/beak of a duck *kuchi means mouth in Japanese*

KE - a kettle!

KO - Its a Cobra!


#3. さ・し・す・せ・そ

SA - A salmon/sardine *sakana means fish in japanese*

SHI - she is girl wearing a dress... *there's no SI in Japanese, its SHI

SU - Its a smoke come out from a cigarette *suu is to smoke in Japanese*

SE - Its made out of three pieces of Seven

SO - Its a soul came out of a cemetery tomb


#4. た・ち・つ・て・と

TA - a table set complete with chair

CHI - a citrus (orange?)

TSU - Surfing in a wave/tsunami (!?) is fun! (more like dangerous...)

TE - A telephone table~

TO - a fresh Tomato!

Note Little つ as in まって means that you double the consonant of next kana .So it's MATTE not MATSUTE

Here are more examples to make it clearer...
きって(kitte) ,きっぷ (kippu), あさって(asatte), and もっと(motto)

#5. な・に・ぬ・ね・の

NA - A hammer and a Nail

NI - Nippon(japan) flag!

NU - Noodles, yummiee~

NE - Next, next , next!!

NO - I'm sorry, its a No Smoking area here~


#6. は・ひ・ふ・へ・ほ

HA - You can see a Ha within the shape

HI - Hills with a pond in the middle...

FU - Mount FUJI

HE - A pointy head, so strange *strange is HEN in Japanese*

HO - Rotate it to the left and you can see "Ho"

NoteActic as a particle in a sentence, you read は as WA, not HA


#7. ま・み・む・め・も

MA - oh no, Mama is angry!!

MI - Whose 21th birthday is it? Its Meee, Meee!!

MU - A Mustache man with antique one eyeglasses and a big nose

ME - What a beautiful big eyes~ *eyes is also ME in Japanese*

MO -Grill More sausage please~ I'm starving!


#8. ら・り・る・れ・ろ

RA - Make it double and flip it. Now you get a Rabbit!

RI - Two pieces of Ribbon. And the shape make it similar to kanji which means 2

RU - Rub, Rub Rub... *Rubbing the stomach*

RE - What a Reptile doing in that stick?

RO - Rock rolling down the hill...


#9 や・ゆ・よ・わ・を・ん

YA - its a Yawning

YU - Unique Fish!

WA - Waaw! A pregnant woman... What a big belly...

WO - Whoops! *a man stumbled and going to fall to a small pond*

N - its similar to the N alphabet!

*You will only use WO (を) as a particle to mark object which given an action, and you read it as O, not WO. You will see it very very often...



Easily differentiate similar Hiragana shape

あ and お

The circle in あ (A) is composed of a different stroke, while it's continuous in お (O).

japanese-similar-hiragana-a-and-o

れ and ね

Remember the next arrow shape in the NE. れ (RE) tail is more like a REptile...

japanese-similar-hiragana-re-and-ne

め and ぬ

め (ME) looks like eyes, so the end part doesn't roll. But ぬ (NU) is from Noodles, it's normal for noodles to be tangled!

japanese-similar-hiragana-me-and-nu

ろ and る

る (RU) shape is like the direction of a man's hand RUBBING his stomach. That's why it's continue rolling in the bottom. It's the part where it's hurt!

japanese-similar-hiragana-ro-and-ru

い and り

When writing letter i with its dot on the top, you write the stem first then put on the dot.
It's the same with this . You draw the stem on the left, then put a bit dot on the right. That's why the right side is shorter than the left.

japanese-similar-hiragana-i-and-ri

さ and ち

ち (CHI) is similar to number 5. Remember that there are 5 CITRUS FRUITS (oranges) in the table. While さ (SA) is a salmon/sardine. Focus to remember one of them, and you should be fine.

japanese-similar-hiragana-sa-and-chi

What's next?

Make sure you have a good foundation on this first part before moving on to the next part 🙂 If you think you're ready, then lets go!

• Move on to 2nd part of Hiragana • Try Hiragana reading practice now

You May Also Like To Read:

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *