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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 25 katakana characters from the previous lessons.
In this lesson, you'll learn the five katakana characters in the H column. We'll be using the dakuten and handakuten as well.
ハバパ
ヒビピ
フブプ
へべぺ
ホボポ
The first katakana character for this lesson is ハ. ハ.
To remember ハ, imagine it as a roof of a *HOU*SE.
Do you remember how to pronounce ハ with a "dakuten?"
It will be バ. ハ; バ. ハ; バ.
And what will be its sound if we put a "handakuten" to it instead?
Do you remember? ハ with a handakuten is pronounced パ. ハ, パ; ハ, パ.
Katakana ハ is written in 2 strokes.
The first stroke is a curved diagonal going to the bottom left.
The second stroke is another curved diagonal mirroring the first one.
Make sure there is a gap between where the two strokes start.
Ok, let's see it again.
Ok, next up is the katakana character ヒ. ヒ.
Can you see it as a side of a *HEE*L?
Now, let's add a dakuten to ヒ. ヒ with a dakuten is pronounced as ビ. ヒ; ビ. ヒ; ビ.
And, how will it sound like with a handakuten? It's going to be ピ. ヒ; ピ. ヒ; ピ.
Katakana ヒ is written in 2 strokes.
The first stroke is a slightly slanted horizontal stroke going from left to right.
The second stroke goes from top to bottom then curves to the right. The angle on this corner is not as sharp as in other katakana characters.
Make sure the second stroke only touches the first stroke and doesn't cross it.
Ok, let's see it again.
The third katakana for this lesson is フ. Remember, it's not "hu" or "fu" but somewhat in between: フ. フ.
To remember the katakana フ, try to think of it as the tip of a *FOO*T.
Let's try adding a "dakuten" to フ as well. What do you think it will sound like?
It's pronounced as ブ. Listen carefully. フ; ブ. フ; ブ.
Now, let's try it with a handakuten. It becomes プ. フ; プ. フ; プ.
フ is special as it is the only syllable in Japanese to have a sound very close to an F sound. However, since it is not in the I row, you couldn't combine it with や, ゆ and よ to make digraphs. Instead, you combine フ with smaller versions of the katakana vowels to make a whole "F" column: ファ, フィ, フ, フェ and フォ.
Take note that you don't combine a small ウ to フ since it already ends in an "u" sound.
Katakana フ is written in 1 stroke.
You have done this stroke in other katakana characters. Start with a horizontal line then turn sharply to draw a curved diagonal line going to the bottom left. And that's it.
Ok, let's see it again.
Next is the katakana character へ. へ.
へ looks exactly like its hiragana counterpart with no exceptions.
Let's modify へ with a dakuten. It is now pronounced as べ. へ; べ. へ; べ.
And when へ is modified with a handakuten, it will be pronounced as ぺ. へ; ぺ. へ; ぺ.
Katakana へ is written in 1 stroke.
Start from the middle and draw a diagonal line upwards then turn and make a longer diagonal line towards the bottom right.
The "peak" of this character should not be in the center. Instead it's a bit to the left.
Ok, let's see it again.
Our final character for this lesson is the katakana ホ. ホ.
You can think of ホ as a shining, holy cross.
What does ホ sounds like with a dakuten?
ホ with a dakuten is pronounced ボ. ホ; ボ. ホ; ボ.
And with a handakuten? It will be ポ. ホ; ポ. ホ; ポ.
Katakana ホ is written in 4 strokes.
The first stroke is a long horizontal line.
The second stroke is a long vertical line cutting through the middle of the first stroke.
The third stroke is a diagonal which starts from here then goes down to the left.
The fourth stroke is a mirrored version of the third stroke. Make sure the third and fourth strokes are not touching the other lines.
Ok, let's see it again.
Let's see all the characters again. ハ, バ, パ, ヒ, ビ, ピ, フ, ブ, プ, へ, べ, ぺ, ホ, ボ, ポ and the new digraphs ファ, フィ, フェ, and フォ.
Quiz time!
Now, let's review what you've learned. I'll show you a character or a word and give you time to say them. Ready?
プ.
ヒ.
わ. Remember the *WHI*TE S*WA*N?
べ.
ク.
り.
ナ. It looks like a *KNI*FE, remember?
ベース. This could mean "bass," the musical instrument or the "bases" in baseball.
サボる. It means "to slack off."
コーヒー. This means "coffee."
デパート. This refers to a "department store."
ビジネス. ビジネス means "business."
パーティー. This means "party." Yeah!
ピカピカ. This means "shiny" or "sparkling."
ゴボゴボ. This is an onomatopoeia for rushing water. ゴボゴボゴボ.
Great job! Did you know that many loan words have become so popular that they even become verbs or adjectives? Some examples are シェアする meaning "to share," スマート meaning "smart-looking" and サボる meaning "to slack off." This last one comes from an abbreviation of "sabotage."
Ok, let's wrap up this lesson by recapping what you've learned.
In this lesson, you learned ハ, バ and パ, ヒ, ビ and ピ, フ, ブ and プ, へ, べ and ぺ, ホ, ボ and ポ and the digraphs ファ, フィ, フェ, and フォ.
よくできました!You've now mastered 76 Japanese characters.
Up for some games? Find out how it's spelled in Japanese first when we talk about the M-column in the next lesson.
Before you go, practice writing the following words on your own!
[pause]
And to learn MORE Japanese, go to JapanesePod101.com.
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See you in the next lesson! またね!

10 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 6th, 2016 at 06:30 PM
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Do you know other words with these katakana?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 21st, 2020 at 04:55 PM
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Hi praveen,


Thank you very much for your comment!

I'm sorry for this late reply.


We are happy to have you here.

It's great that anime motivates you to learn Japanese.

You will have much fun when you can hear and understand what they say without subtitles.


Thank you for learning Japanese with us:)


Sincerely,

Miho

Team JapanesePod101.com

praveen
October 4th, 2020 at 02:19 AM
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I'm watching anime as long as ik and every time I listen to a new word I look up the meaning in translate. Then I came to a realization that I can watch and consume content that is in Japanese without subs. It's a shame if I could not read them . so found this site and it was an awesome experience to learn from scratch the grammar, the writing systems, and so on.


Thankyou❤️️

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 31st, 2019 at 09:59 AM
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Meghanaさん


質問(しつもん)ありがとうございます😄

Unfortunately, nope. Coffee is only written as コーヒー. Coffee was one of the first things we received from outside Japan, so back then we still couldn't write the sound "fe" as フィ. Instead, it stayed as ヒ.


Please let us know if you have any question :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Meghana
December 29th, 2019 at 12:38 AM
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Hello!

Coffee can also be written as "コーフィー" right?

seems like a close pronunciation

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 15th, 2017 at 10:48 PM
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Hi Luigi,

Thank you for your comment!


Actually I hear リ as "ri". This might be because of my "Japanese" ears.

To be exact, there are no exact R/L-sounds in Japanese. We only have the sound of らりるれろ(ra ri ru re ro).

In romanization, we use "R" for those characters just because we think "R"-sound is the closest to らりるれろ-sound.


Hope this helps you.


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Luigi
November 2nd, 2017 at 05:26 PM
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Konnichiwa!


Just wanna ask why the リ character was pronounced as 'Di' instead of 'Ri' in Quiz Time?



Arigatou!

Japanesepod101.com Verified
August 11th, 2017 at 03:08 AM
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Hi Andrea,


Thank you for commenting! We are glad that you're enjoying the lessons!


If you ever have any questions, please let us know! ;)


Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team Japanesepod101.com

Andrea
August 11th, 2017 at 02:42 AM
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こんにちは。

The mnemonics for the Katakana characters in this video especially are super helpful! ありがとうございます。

Rafael
November 27th, 2016 at 01:02 PM
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Hi! Konnichiwa!


futatsu no shitsumon:


Is フ the only one of the series that is between H and F sound? I always tries to pronounce the others the same way, trying to make an intermediate sound...

So ハ, へ and the others are to be pronounced like normal H sound?

thanks!