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Lesson Transcript

Over the last 10 lessons, we learned 46 Hiragana characters to make 46 different sounds. That was the hard part. Now we are going to learn 23 new sounds just by adding small things to the characters you’ve already learned. Here are all the new things to remember for this lesson.
The first one is called てんてん(tenten) and it looks like quotation marks. The other one is called まる(maru) which is Japanese for circle. By adding these marks to Hiragana, you can create new sounds. There are 20 characters that you can attach てんてん(tenten) to, and only 5 characters that you can attach まる(maru) to. Here are the 20 characters you can attach てんてん(tenten) to. Listen to what happens to the sound.
When you add it かきくけこ(kakikukeko) becomes がぎぐげご(gagigugego) Did you hear it? The K sound becomes the G sound. We call this voicing. Put your hand on your throat as you make both the “K” and “G” sounds. You will notice that when you make the “G” sound, you can feel your vocal chords vibrating. That’s what voicing is. All consonants that have てんてん(tenten) are made with this vibration.
さしすせそ(sashisuseso) becomes ざじずぜぞ(zajizuzezo). Here the S sound becomes a Z. The exception is し(shi) which becomes “ji”.
たちつてと(tachitsuteto) becomes だぢづでど(dajizudedo). The T sound becomes a D. Here there are two exceptions. ち(chi) becomes ぢ(ji), and つ(tsu) becomes づ(zu). These characters have the exact same sound as じ(ji) and ず(zu). As a result, these two characters are very uncommon but they still appear in a few words.
That’s all for the exceptions but there are five more characters that you can add てんてん(tenten) to.
はひふへほ(hahifuheho) becomes ばびぶべぼ(babibubebo). So the H becomes a B. Once again てんてん(tenten) makes the sound voiced but when you add a まる(maru) to the H sound, you get a very different sound. ぱぴぷぺぽ(papipupepo). The H sound becomes a P sound. These are the only five characters you can add まる(maru) to. This means you’ve learned 23 new sounds and there are a lot of new words you can write.
かぎ(kagi), “key”
えいご(eigo), “English”
だいがく(daigaku), “University”
えんぴつ(enpitsu) ,”Pencil”
Now it’s time for Chihiro’s tip. Do you have a minute? Try to write all the Hiragana in one sitting. At the beginning, it might be hard but it will help you find out which characters are still difficult to remember. Use the 五十音(go-jū on) ordering that you learned in lesson 3. Can you write all 46 from memory?
In the next lesson, we will wrap up Hiragana with the few more rules. Do you know how to write Tokyo? You will learn that and more in the next lesson.