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TYJ Double hiragana for consonants + y + vowels

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This article is in the series Teach Yourself Japanese
Double hiragana for consonants + y + vowels

A double kana consists of two kana, but it stands for a single mora, not two morae. All of the double hiragana shown here are combinations of a hiragana for a consonant + "i" and a smaller kind of hiragana of either や, ゆ, or よ ("ya", "yu", "yo"). The rule is simple: to write the mora "CyV" ("C" is a consonant, and "V" is a vowel), use the kana for "Ci" and the small kana for "yV". For example, the mora "kya" is written with the kana for "ki" and the small kana for "ya".

k + y + vowels:


HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
きゃkya[ kʲa ]English "k" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "a".
きゅkyu[ kʲɯ ]English "k" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "u".
きょkyo[ kʲo ]English "k" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "o".


g + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
ぎゃgya[ gʲa ]English "g" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "a".
ぎゅgyu[ gʲɯ ]English "g" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "u".
ぎょgyo[ gʲo ]English "g" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "o".


s + y + vowels:
HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
しゃsya (sha)[ ɕa ]Similar to English "sh" + Japanese "a".
See し for Japanese "sh".
しゅsyu (shu)[ ɕɯ ]Similar to English "sh" + Japanese "u".
しょsyo (sho)[ ɕo ]Similar to English "sh" + Japanese "o".


z + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
じゃzya (ja)[ dʒa ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "a".
See じ for Japanese "j".
じゅzyu (ju)[ dʒɯ ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "u".
じょzyo (jo)[ dʒo ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "o".


t + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
ちゃtya (cha)[ tɕa ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "a".
See じ for Japanese "j".
ちゅtyu (chu)[ dɕɯ ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "u".
ちょtyo (cho)[ dɕo ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "o".


d + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
ぢゃzya (ja)[ dʒa ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "a".
See じ for Japanese "j".
ぢゅzyu (ju)[ dʒɯ ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "u".
ぢょzyo (jo)[ dʒo ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "o".


n + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
にゃnya[ nʲa ]Similar to Spanish "ñ" + Japanese "a".
See に for actual pronunciation.
You can pronounce it as English "ny" + Japanese "a".
にゅnyu[ nʲɯ ]Similar to Spanish "ñ" + Japanese "u".
You can pronounce it as English "ny" + Japanese "u".
にょnyo[ nʲo ]Similar to Spanish "ñ" + Japanese "o".
You can pronounce it as English "ny" + Japanese "o".


h + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
ひゃhya[ ça ]German "ch" + Japanese "a".
See ひ for German "ch".
You can pronounce it as English "hy" + Japanese "a".
ひゅhyu[ çɯ ]German "ch" + Japanese "u".
You can pronounce it as English "hy" + Japanese "u".
ひょhyo[ ço ]German "ch" + Japanese "o".
You can pronounce it as English "hy" + Japanese "o".


b + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
びゃbya[ bja ]English "b" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "a".
びゅbyu[ bjɯ ]English "b" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "u".
びょbyo[ bjo ]English "b" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "o".


p + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
ぴゃpya[ pja ]English "p" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "a".
ぴゅpyu[ pjɯ ]English "p" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "u".
ぴょpyo[ pjo ]English "p" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "o".


m + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
みゃmya[ mja ]English "m" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "a".
みゅmyu[ mjɯ ]English "m" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "u".
みょmyo[ mjo ]English "m" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "o".


r + y + vowels:

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
りゃrya[ rʲa ]Japanese "r" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "a".
りゅryu[ rʲɯ ]Japanese "r" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "u".
りょryo[ rʲo ]Japanese "r" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "o".


Hiragana examples:






Hiragana:おちゃ
Pitch:L H
Romanization: o tya
Meaning:green tea (noun)


For your interest: This word actually means all kinds of tea, and tea often means green tea in Japan. If you want to distinguish various teas, use the word りょくちゃ "ryokutya" for green tea and the word こうちゃ "kôtya" for European tea. Japanese tea is not always green; ほうじちゃ "hôzitya" (roasted tea) and げんまいちゃ "genmaitya" (roasted tea with popped rice) are brown. Other than them, うーろんちゃ "ûrontya" (oolong tea) and むぎちゃ "mugitya" (barley tea) are popular. Japanese people never use sugar or milk for any tea but European tea.





Hiragana:しょうゆ
Pitch:L H H
Romanization:syô yu
Meaning:soy sauce (noun)






Hiragana:ぎゅうにゅう
Pitch:L H H H
Romanization:gyû nyû
Meaning:cow's milk (noun)


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