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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone! Welcome to BASIC JAPANESE WRITING. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to master the Japanese alphabet!
You've learned these 43 hiragana characters from the previous lessons.
In this lesson, you'll learn three new characters, and just 2 new sounds. Yes, you've learned one of them before. Stay tuned to find out which one.
わをん
The first hiragana character for this lesson is わ. わ.
Do you remember that the hiragana character は is pronounced as "wa" if it's a particle? Well, the "wa" sound is actually signified by this character as well. わ!
To remember わ, think of it as a SWAN behind a number ONE
Many people have a hard time distinguishing between ね, れ and わ because their left halves all look the same.
Hopefully our mnemonics can come to the rescue. Remember, ね is a SNAIL with a spiral in its shell, れ is a REINDEER looking up in the sky, and わ is a WHITE SWAN wading on the water.
Hiragana わ is written in 2 strokes.
It starts the same way as the characters similar to it, so it starts with a vertical line that goes from top to bottom.
The second stroke starts with a short horizontal line that passes the first stroke. It then goes diagonally to the left passing the first stroke again and retraces back, but this time it makes a big curve and you're done.
Ok, let's see it again.
The third hiragana for this lesson is を. を. It is also commonly said as "o." "o."
Try to think of を as a crack in the WALL.
を is a very distinct character. It is never used in a word but instead it functions as the object marking particle.
So whenever you see it, that means that the word before it is the object of the sentence.
For example, りんごをたべました。This means "(I) ate an apple." The object of the verb たべました or "ate" is りんご or "apple," and it's the one that comes before を
Hiragana を is written in 3 strokes.
The first stroke is a horizontal line going from left to right.
The second stroke starts as a diagonal line that crosses the first stroke then turns and makes a hump. It should end lower than where it turned.
The third stroke is a curved line that starts from here and intersects the second stroke on the humped part.
Ok, let's see it again.
Our final character for this lesson is the hiragana ん. ん.
This one's easy. It looks like an italicized N.
Hiragana ん is also special because you can never start a word with it. It could only be found in the middle or end of words.
One more thing that's special about ん is that its pronunciation varies a bit depending on the syllable that comes after it.
It can sometimes have an "mm" sound when it comes before a B or P-sound. For example: こんぶ, and かんぱい. And sometimes it can have an "ng" sound when it comes before a "g" sound, like in はんがく.
Hiragana ん is written in 1 stroke.
It starts out as a diagonal line going down to the left. Then it turns and retraces a bit before making a wave. Flick your pen at the end.
Ok, let's see it again.
Let's see all the characters again. わ, を or "o" and finally, ん.
Quiz time!
Now, let's review what you've learned. I'll show you a character or group of characters and give you time to say them. Ready?
を. It looks like a crack in the WALL, right?
よ.
ぱ.
げ.
Which one is the hiragana わ? [pause 3 sec] It's this one!
ん.
しょ. Remember it's not しよ. It's しょ.
かわ. This means "river."
えん. It means "circle." It's also the Japanese currency, yen. In Japanese, we call it えん.
わたし. わたし is "I."
おんがく. This means "music!"
しんぶん. It's a "newspaper." Since after ん comes ぶ, we pronounce it as "mm." しんぶん.
おかあさん. おかあさん means "mother."
みずをのむ。This means "to drink water."
やさいをたべる。This means "to eat vegetables."
Great job! Did you know? There used to be hiragana characters for "wi" and "we"? However, just like how を is pronounced interchangeably as "o", "wi" and "we" was also pronounced as the vowels "i" and "e" so they became obsolete. You never know, but maybe を might become obsolete in the future as well.
Ok, let's wrap up this lesson by recapping what you've learned.
In this lesson, you learned the hiragana characters わ, を, and ん.
よくできました!You've now mastered all 46 hiragana characters and all 101 Japanese syllables!
Here are the 46 hiragana characters. They are used mainly for Japanese words and as grammatical particles.
These are the five vowel sounds and the rest are a combination of a consonant and a vowel sound except for ん.
This is the "dakuten" or "ten ten" mark that makes the consonant of the syllable voiced. It can modify the characters under the K, S, T, and H columns.
On the other hand, this is the "handakuten" or "maru" mark and it's exclusively used for the H column. It makes the consonant sound plosive.
Japanese digraphs are formed by adding a small や, ゆ, or よ to a consonant + an "i" syllable. They are pronounced by gliding to the Y-sound and not pronouncing the "i."
Pronunciation of hiragana characters is always the same except for these characters with alternate pronunciations:
は is pronounced "wa" when it is used as the topic-marking particle.
へ is pronounced "e" when it is used as a preposition.
を is actually more commonly pronounced as "o."
And ん can sometimes be pronounced "mm" or "ng," depending on the syllable that comes after it.
Congratulations! You now know all the syllable sounds native to Japanese! But wait! We're not done yet. Did you know that around 10% of Japanese is made of loan words from English? You will already know many Japanese words just by learning the loan words in katakana, so you definitely don't want to miss out on them.
Before you go, practice writing the following words on your own!
And to learn MORE Japanese, go to JapanesePod101.com.
Are you looking for an easy way to study Japanese vocabulary? Have you heard about our WordPower App? Rapidly master 4,000 of the most common words and phrases in the Japanese language right on your mobile device with this powerful app! The app is packed with cultural insights and practical Japanese phrases!
See you in the next lesson! またね!

45 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 6th, 2016 at 06:30 PM
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Do you know any word with these hiragana?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 26th, 2021 at 09:37 AM
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こんにちは Anderix,


Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Anderix
May 23rd, 2021 at 06:08 PM
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ありがとうございます I made it to the end! :)

Thanks to Risa and Japanese 101 pod for this really good way to learn the hiragana characters!


I ll try to use my new knowledge (よろしくおねがいします):

りささん, わさびがだいすきです.

きょうはむしあつい.

じゃあね, Anderix

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 4th, 2021 at 09:34 AM
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こんにちは Brenden,


You are very very welcome. 😇❤️️ We were so happy to read your positive message!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Brenden
January 3rd, 2021 at 06:42 PM
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I've tried to learn Hiragana several times with other programs and failed each time. You all did such a good job teaching this I actually made it to the end and remembered everything! I'm going to keep on reading and writing so I don't forget it!😄 Thanks so much!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 30th, 2020 at 08:04 PM
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Duckさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

Actually, it's a particle. こんにち means "today" and は is the subject-maker, so こんにちは literally means "today is," which makes it mean "how's your day?" or something like that, but we use it as "hello."

This goes the same with こんばんは. こんばん means “tonight.”😉

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Duck
December 28th, 2020 at 07:26 PM
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Konichiwa

Thank you for helping me in learning all Hiragana characters. I noticed that konichiwa is written with the は character despite it not being a particle. Is there a rule to this?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 3rd, 2020 at 10:15 AM
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Musaabさん

Thank you for your comment!

Yes, good job👍

Please let us know if you have any questions!


Sincerely,

Erica

Team JapanesePod101.com

Musaab
October 20th, 2020 at 03:16 PM
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Here is a word with "ん”

こんにちは

meaning "Hello".

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 12th, 2020 at 01:44 PM
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Jonahさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

She says よくできました (yoku dekimashita), which means "you did a good job."

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Jonah
October 9th, 2020 at 05:32 AM
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@7:17 Risa says what sounds like "Yokodomashita".

She also says this in all previous videos. What is the meaning of this phrase?

Thank you!