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A bit of help with "tsu" and "small tsu"

あれっくす

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29 Sep 2019
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Hello everyone!

First of all, thank you to everyone helping out here on the forums, it's nice to see that you can ask questions here, and get help from people with the proper understanding / knowledge! :D

I have a "quick" question about "tsu"

My japanese teacher provided me with two pages, "Hiragana Practice 1 & 2" and the assignment is to read the hiragana on the page, and then write the romaji afterwards, and i'm pretty far into page 1, but I have an issue, and i'll provide you with the first sentence in the assignment

わたしのこどもはほんとうにとくべつだよ!きのう、いぬどんぶりをつくってくれました!

And this is my translation to romaji

wa ta shi no ko do mo ha ho n to u ni to ku be [ tsu? } da yo! ki no u, i nu do n bu ri o [ tsu?] ku [ small tsu ] te ku re ma shi ta!

I'm just confused about the "tsu" and the "small tsu" and I have read a ton of guides / examples, but it's not sticking yet..yet!

But as I understand the "small tsu" / っ

You have to prolong the word, when the small tsu appears, or am I getting this all wrong? I have a few assignments, where "tsu" and the "small tsu" appears, and I really want to understand the concept!

Best regards Alex.
 
Alex,

When writing a small tsu in romaji, we usually double the consonant that follows it:

いった。 Itta. He went. (plain form) 行った。
かった。 Katta. I won. (plain form) 勝った。
いっこ ikko one hand-held object 一個
いっせい issei first generation 一世

Yes, you 'prolong' the word when it contains a small tsu. Compare the following word-pairs:

かた kata way; method 方
かった。 Katta. I won. (plain form) 勝った。

さき saki ahead; before 先
さっき sakki a while ago

The above words with the small tsu are considered to be three-syllable words, so these words are pronounced 'longer', with a slight delay between pronouncing the first and last syllables. (The middle syllable is nothing more than a silent pause between syllables.)

~~~~~

I would also strongly recommend you put spaces between words in sentences that only contain hiragana. In addition, do not put spaces between hiragana that are all in the same word:

Confusing:
わたしのこどもはほんとうにとくべつだよ!きのう、いぬどんぶりをつくってくれました!

Better:
わたし の こども は ほんとう に とくべつ だ よ! きのう、いぬ どんぶり を つくって くれました!

Confusing:
wa ta shi no ko do mo ha ho n to u ni to ku be [ tsu? } da yo! ki no u, i nu do n bu ri o [ tsu?] ku [ small tsu ] te ku re ma shi ta!

Better:
Watashi no kodomo wa hontou ni tokubetsu da yo! Kinou, inu donburi o tsukutte kuremashita!
 
Last edited:
Buntaro, that spacing recommendation is for study purposes? Apologies, I don't usually become involved in language threads, but I am always reading them. That recommendation sort of surprised me. Maybe it still does.
 
Hello everyone!

First of all, thank you to everyone helping out here on the forums, it's nice to see that you can ask questions here, and get help from people with the proper understanding / knowledge! :D

I have a "quick" question about "tsu"

My japanese teacher provided me with two pages, "Hiragana Practice 1 & 2" and the assignment is to read the hiragana on the page, and then write the romaji afterwards, and i'm pretty far into page 1, but I have an issue, and i'll provide you with the first sentence in the assignment

わたしのこどもはほんとうにとくべつだよ!きのう、いぬどんぶりをつくってくれました!

And this is my translation to romaji

wa ta shi no ko do mo ha ho n to u ni to ku be [ tsu? } da yo! ki no u, i nu do n bu ri o [ tsu?] ku [ small tsu ] te ku re ma shi ta!

I'm just confused about the "tsu" and the "small tsu" and I have read a ton of guides / examples, but it's not sticking yet..yet!

But as I understand the "small tsu" / っ

You have to prolong the word, when the small tsu appears, or am I getting this all wrong? I have a few assignments, where "tsu" and the "small tsu" appears, and I really want to understand the concept!

Best regards Alex.
Were you by any chance doing this assignment from TOFUGU the website?
 
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