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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.
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?
わ. Remember the *WHI*TE S*WA*N?
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!
And to learn MORE Japanese, go to JapanesePod101.com.
Did you know we offer free lessons on iTunes? Our JapanesePod101 podcast is an innovative and fun way of learning Japanese language and culture at your own convenience and pace. Our free lessons on iTunes consist of daily audio lessons, video lessons, Japanese Word of the Day, and much much more!
See you in the next lesson! またね!