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TYJ Double hiragana used only for imported words

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This article is in the series Teach Yourself Japanese
3.2. Double hiragana used only for imported words

The double hiragana shown here are used only for imported words. You don't have to memorise these hiragana now, because they are not necessary to learn Japanese grammar.

Instead of the smaller hiragana of や, ゆ, and よ, the smaller hiragana of あ, い, う, え, and お (hiragana for vowels) are often used.

Since katakana are used for imported words, these morae are commonly written with katakana, not hiragana as shown here. I will explain katakana later.

HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription
いぇye[ je ]Japanese "y" + Japanese "e".
うぃwi[ wi ]Japanese "w" + Japanese "i".
うぇwe[ kwe ]Japanese "w" + Japanese "e".
うぉwo[ wo ]Japanese "w" + Japanese "o".
きぇkye[ kʲe ]English "k" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "e".
ぎぇgye[ gʲe ]English "g" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "e".
しぇsye[ ɕe ]Similar to English "sh" + Japanese "e".
じぇzye[ dɕe ]Similar to English "j" + Japanese "e".
すぃs'i (si)[ si ]English "s" + Japanese "i".
ずぃz'i (zi)[ dzi ]English "dz" + Japanese "i".
You can pronounce it as English "z" + Japanese "i".
ちぇtye (che)[ dɕe ]Similar to English "ch" + Japanese "e".
つぁtsa[ tsa ]English "ts" + Japanese "a".
つぃtsi[ tsi ]English "ts" + Japanese "i".
つぇtse[ tse ]English "ts" + Japanese "e".
つぉtso[ tso ]English "ts" + Japanese "o".
てぃt'i (ti)[ ti ]English "t" + Japanese "i".
でぃd'i (di)[ di ]English "d" + Japanese "i".
てゅt'yu (tyu)[ tʲɯ ]English "t" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "u".
でゅd'yu (dyu)[ dʲɯ ]English "d" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "u".
とぅt'u (tu)[ tɯ ]English "t" + Japanese "u".
どぅd'u (du)[ dɯ ]English "d" + Japanese "u".
にぇnye[ nje ]English "ny" + Japanese "e".
ひぇhye[ hje ]German "ch" + Japanese "e".
びぇbye[ bje ]English "b" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "e".
ぴぇpye[ pje ]English "p" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "e".
ふぁfa[ Φa ]Japanese "φ" + Japanese "a".
You can pronounce it as English "f" + Japanese "a".
ふぃfi[ Φi ]Japanese "φ" + Japanese "i".
You can pronounce it as English "f" + Japanese "i".
ふぇfe[ Φe ]Japanese "φ" + Japanese "e".
You can pronounce it as English "f" + Japanese "e".
ふぉfo[ Φo ]Japanese "φ" + Japanese "o".
You can pronounce it as English "f" + Japanese "o".
ふゅfyu[ Φjɯ ]Japanese "φ" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "i".
You can pronounce it as English "fy" + Japanese "u".
みぇmye[ mje ]English "m" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "e".
りぇrye[ rʲe ]Japanese "r" + Japanese "y" + Japanese "e".
bu (vu)[ bɯ ]English "b" + Japanese "u".
This kana is used to transliterate "v", but Japanese pronounce it with "b".
ゔぁba (va)[ ba ]English "b" + Japanese "a".
ゔぃbi (vi)[ bi ]English "b" + Japanese "i".
ゔぇbe (ve)[ be ]English "b" + Japanese "e".
ゔぉbo (vo)[ bo ]English "b" + Japanese "o".

About author
Takasugi
My name is TAKASUGI Shinji. TAKASUGI is my family name, and Shinji is my given name; a family name is placed before a given name in Japan, as in other Asian nations. My family name is capitalized to avoid misunderstanding.

I have been living in Yokohama since I was born. Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, which is just 30 kilometers away from the biggest city Tôkyô. It takes 30 minutes to go by train from home to Shibuya, which is the hottest town now in Tôkyô.

I work as a display engineer.

One of my hobbies is creating things with computers; creating programs, computer graphics and web pages is the thing I spent a lot of time doing. I am also interested in a wide range of sciences, and linguistics is my favorite. I like English and I like using it, but my focus is mainly on Japanese, which is my native language. I'm proud of knowing the language, and the difference between English and Japanese has been fascinating me. I have been thinking whether I can introduce it to people outside of Japan. My attempt of introducing Japanese with some Java applets has had more than 1 million visitors.

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