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Takasugi

Teach Yourself Japanese

1. Introduction 1.1. Introduction to Japanese 1.2. Romanization, phonemes, and morae 1.3. Grammatical terms 2. Standard hiragana 2.1. Hiragana for vowels 2.2. Hiragana for k/g + vowels 2.3. Hiragana for s/z + vowels 2.4. Hiragana for t/d + vowels 2.5. Hiragana for n + vowels 2.6. Hiragana for...
Takasugi
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1.1.1. Preface Thank you very much for visiting my Japanese language pages. My name is TAKASUGI Shinji (surname first is the Japanese way). I am a native Japanese speaker living in Yokohama, Japan. Please let me know when you find errors. The purpose of this article series is to provide a way...
Takasugi
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2,120
1.2.1. Romanization Writing Japanese with the Latin alphabet is called Romanization. Japanese people use kana and kanji to write Japanese, and they aren't always able to write Romanized Japanese. Romanization is used mainly for non-Japanese. Vowels in Romanized Japanese are based on Latin...
Takasugi
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2,690
1.3. Grammatical terms I use several grammatical terms on this site, and they might be difficult if you haven't learned English grammar. Since most grammatical terms are used in both English and Japanese grammar, knowing English grammar will help you learn Japanese grammar. You can skip this...
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1,852
2.1. Hiragana for vowels Japanese has only five vowels like Latin and Spanish, and they are easy to distinguish. Vowels: HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription あa[ a ] Listen Similar to the first sound of eye [aI], but without the ending [ I ]. It is pronounced in the front of the...
Takasugi
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1,794
2.2. Hiragana for k/g + vowels HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription かka[ ka ] Listen English "k" + Japanese "a". きki[ kʲi ] Listen Similar to English "k" + Japanese "i", but the tongue position gets closer to the hard palate (the hard roof of the mouth). くku[ kɯ ] Listen English "k" +...
Takasugi
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2,998
2.3. Hiragana for s/z + vowels s + vowels: HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription さsa[ sa ] ListenEnglish "s" + Japanese "a". しsi (shi)[ ɕi ] Listen Similar to English "sh" + Japanese "i". You shouldn't round your lips when you pronounce [ɕ], unlike the [ʃ] in she [ʃi:]. すsu[ sɯ ]...
Takasugi
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2,067
2.4. Hiragana for t/d + vowels t+ vowels: HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription たta[ ta ] ListenEnglish "t" + Japanese "a". ちti (chi)[ tɕi ] Listen Similar to English "ch" + Japanese "i". You shouldn't round your lips when you pronounce [tɕ], unlike the [tʃ] in cheese [tʃi : z]. つtu...
Takasugi
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1,219
2.5. Hiragana for n + vowels n + vowels: HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription なna[ na ] ListenEnglish "n" + Japanese "a". にni[ nʲi ] Listen Similar to Spanish "ñ" + Japanese "i". Since the Japanese don't distinguish [nʲi] from [ni], you can use the latter pronunciation (English "n" +...
Takasugi
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1,556
2.6. Hiragana for h/b/p + vowels h+ vowels: HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription はha[ ha ] ListenEnglish "h" + Japanese "a". There is a single-kana postposition with this kana whose actual pronunciation is わ "wa". It will be explained in a later lesson. ひhi[ çi ] Listen German "ch" in...
Takasugi
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2,707
2.7. Hiragana for m + vowels m + vowels: HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription まma[ ma ] ListenEnglish "m" + Japanese "a". みmi[ mi ] Listen English "m" + Japanese "i". むmu[ mɯ ] ListenEnglish "m" + Japanese "u". めme[ me ] ListenEnglish "m" + Japanese "e". もmo[ mo ] ListenEnglish "m"...
Takasugi
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1,467
2.8. Hiragana for y + vowels y + vowels: HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription やya[ ja ] ListenJapanese "y" + Japanese "a". Japanese "y" sounds like English "y" but is slightly softer. Don't cause friction of breath. いi[ i ] Listen This is the hiragana for "i". ゆyu[ jɯ ] ListenJapanese...
Takasugi
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1,480
2.9. Hiragana for r + vowels r + vowels: HiraganaRomanisationPronunciationDescription らra[ ɽa ] ListenJapanese "r" + Japanese "a". Japanese "r" is similar to Spanish "r". It is quite different from English "r", and using English "l" is better. When you pronounce English "l", you touch the front...
Takasugi
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4,502
2.10. Hiragana for w + vowels w + vowels: HiraganaRomanizationPronunciationDescription わwa[ wa ] ListenJapanese "w" + Japanese "a". Japanese "w" sounds like English "w" but is slightly softer. Unlike English "w", you don't have to round your lips. いi[ i ] Listen This is the hiragana for "i"...
Takasugi
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1,632
2.11. Hiragana for /N/, /Q/, and /H/ /N/: HiraganaRomanisationPronunciationDescription んn' (before a vowel or y) n (otherwise) (m before m/p/b in Hepburn) [m] before p/b/m [n] before t/d/n/r [ŋ] before k/g [N] otherwise Listen (see right)Basically, the pronunciation of /N/ is "n" with...
Takasugi
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1,353
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...
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2,541
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...
Takasugi
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1,497
4.1. Romanised Japanese in English The words at the beginning of sentences, as well as proper nouns, are written with a capital letter in Romanized Japanese precisely like in English. As I have explained, a long vowel is written with a vowel letter with a circumflex ("^") or a macron ("¯")...
Takasugi
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1,788
4.2. Hiragana table A table of the hiragana (ひらがな "hiragana") is called ごじゅうおんず "gozyûonzu", which means a fifty-sound chart. It contains all the hiragana except ones with voiced sound marks, ones with semi-voiced sound marks, and small hiragana (/Q/ and double hiragana). Since Japanese...
Takasugi
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2,640
4.3. Hiragana shapes4.3.1. Hiragana fonts The following hiragana often have different shapes for different fonts. Since all the Japanese characters have the same height and width, they don't have a different width in proportional fonts. Even the smaller kana used for double kana have the same...
Takasugi
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6,230

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