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Lesson Transcript

皆さん、ようこそ。(Mina-san, yōkoso.)
Hi everybody, my name is Chihiro and welcome to japanesepod101.com’s Kantan kana series, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn the two basic Japanese alphabets Hiragana and Katana. Over the next 25 lessons, you will go from zero to complete mastery. Are you ready? Okay let’s begin.
In the first half of this series, you will learn Hiragana. Every Hiragana character represents a certain sound but doesn’t have meaning by itself. Using these Hiragana characters, you can write almost any Japanese word. There are 46 Hiragana characters and they are commonly arranged like this. Look complicated? Don’t worry, we will do one rule at a time and before you know it, you will master them all. Okay let’s start writing.
The first character you will learn is あ(a) to write it correctly, pay attention to the stroke order. 1, 2, 3, when you are starting out, try to make your characters look as close to mine as possible. Keep your line slightly curved like this. Good, let’s move on.
The second character is い(i). い(i) is more simple than あ(a) but there are two things to keep in mind. First watch me try it once. 1, 2, when you drop い(i), imagine there is an vowel that you are chasing around like this. This will help you write the lines correctly. Also don’t forget about this part. This is called はね(hane). this is left from when characters written with the Russian ink. Try to make this はね(hane) with your pen. Believe it or not, now you know how to write a word in Japanese. This is 愛(ai) or love. Let’s learn another character so we can write more words.
Here is う(u). Make the top stroke angled like this, not flat. This is いう(iu) which means to speak and here is あう(au) which means to meet. Two more characters for this lesson. 頑張ってください!(Ganbatte kudasai!) え(e) is next. The first stroke of え(e) is the same as う(u) and the rest is all in one stroke. Don’t lift up that pen.
This is いえ(ie) which means “house”. And this is うえ(ue) which means “up”. Our last character today is お(o). This first stroke is like あ(a) but this stroke swings around like this and makes a loop. Then make one final stroke here. This is おい(oi), “nephew”, and this is あお(ao), “blue”.
Now let’s have a short quiz. I will show you the Hiragana and you read it out loud. Bonus points if you remember what it means.
あい(ai), Love
いう(iu), to speak
あお(ao), blue
Now it’s time for Chihiro’s tip. Have you been writing as you watch? I hope so because there is no better way to master the kana quickly and to write them for yourself.
Do you know how to write かこ(kako), ”past”. You will learn that and much more in the next lesson. See you then.