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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 35 hiragana characters from the previous lessons.
In this lesson, you'll learn five new hiragana characters.
The first hiragana character for this lesson is ら. ら.
Think of ら as a *RA*BBIT sitting on its hind legs.
Is it hard to tell between ら and ち? Just remember that ち has the top part crossing over.
Hiragana ら is written in 2 strokes.
The first stroke is a short slanted line at the top.
The second stroke is similar to writing the second stroke of the number 5. It starts here, goes down diagonally to the left, then turns and makes a big curve. Finish this stroke by flicking your pen.
Ok, let's see it again.
Ok, next up is the hiragana character り. り.
り looks like a *RI*VER. Easy to remember, right?
い and りlooks very similar, especially when written. One way to remember the difference is that the right stroke of り is longer and it flows like a *RI*VER.
Hiragana り is written in 2 strokes.
The first stroke is a vertical stroke going down and finishes up with a "hane."
Without putting away your pen, go to where the second stroke starts, then draw a long stroke going down, curving to the left. Flick your pen at the end of this stroke.
Hiragana り is also commonly depicted as one whole connected stroke in some fonts. However the correct way of writing it is in two strokes.
Ok, let's see it again.
The third one is the hiragana る. る.
To remember this character, think of it as a hand holding a *RU*BY.
Hiragana る is written in 1 stroke.
First, start with a short horizontal line, then turn and make a diagonal line to the left. Retrace a bit, make a big curve, and end with a small loop inside.
The end of the stroke doesn't go past this line, unlike the loops for は and ま.
Ok, let's see it again.
This is the Hiragana character れ. れ.
Think of れ as a *REI*NDEER looking up!
Hiragana れ is written in 2 strokes.
れ is written like ね except for this part. So it starts with a vertical line that goes from top to bottom.
Then 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 squiggly line instead of making a big curve with a loop.
Another difference is that you flick your pen at the end of the second stroke.
Ok, let's see it again.
And our final character for this lesson is the hiragana ろ. ろ.
Remember る? It looks very similar, right? But where's the *RU*BY the hand was holding? It's gone now so you got *RO*BBED!
Hiragana ろ is written in 1 stroke.
Writing ろ is the same as writing る but without the loop. Start by drawing a short horizontal line, followed by a diagonal line to the left. Retrace a bit, then finish it off by making the big curve at the end.
Remember, this should all be written in one stroke.
Ok, let's see it again.
Let's see all the characters again. ら, り, る, れ, ろ.
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?
Which one is the hiragana り? (pause 3 sec) It's this one with the flowing last stroke – just like a *RI*VER.
ね. Remember not to confuse it with れ.
く. Remember the cuckoo's beak?
さる. This means "monkey."
はれ. It means "sunny" or "clear weather."
らく. らく means "convenient" or "comfortable."
おふろ. おふろ means "bath," and it's an important part of Japanese culture!
くすり. This means "medicine."
おにぎり. おにぎり is a famous Japanese dish and you eat it with just your hands.
ぬいぐるみ. This means "stuffed toy"!
Great job! Are there still other similar letters you are confused about? Post them in the comments and we'll try to help you out!
Ok, let's wrap up this lesson by recapping what you've learned.
In this lesson, you learned ら, り, る れ, and ろ. Please note that we skipped the Y column this time so that we could discuss all the Japanese digraphs in the next lesson.
よくできました!You've now mastered 40 characters and 66 Japanese syllables:
You're almost done with learning hiragana! Do you need more *REASON* to watch the next lesson? How about learning to say and write it in Japanese? Next time we will talk about the Y column.
Before you go, practice writing the following words on your own!
And to learn MORE Japanese, go to JapanesePod101.com.
Did you know that we offer FREE audiobooks? These can be a great way to learn Japanese on the go. Master the language with interactive lessons on unique and interesting topics. Start speaking from the first lesson. Follow the link to see our complete list of free Japanese audiobooks.
See you in the next lesson! またね!