Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

This is the last Hiragana lesson before our review. If you see anything you don’t understand, check out one of the last 11 lessons to get caught up.
We will cover two concepts in this lesson, the small つ(tsu) and combined sounds. Do you know the Japanese word for ticket? It’s きっぷ(kippu). How would you spell that in Hiragana? You may think to just write きぷ(kipu) but listen carefully, きっぷ(kippu). After the first character, the beginning of the second character is held for short time. It sounds like you are holding your breath for a split second. きっぷ(kippu)
There are a lot of words in Japanese like this ざっし(zasshi), かっぱ(kappa), きって(kitte). How would you write that short pause in Hiragana? It’s actually very easy. Remember つ(tsu)? All you have to do is write a small つ(tsu) between the two characters. So to write きっぷ(kippu), we would write き(ki), small つ(tsu), ぷ(pu). Let’s look at a few words in Japanese that feature the small つ(tsu).
きって(kitte), “Stamp”
ざっし(zasshi), “Magazine”
りっぱ(rippa), ”Splendid”
Listen carefully to the words in here. The small つ(tsu) can be difficult to catch out first but keep listening and it will soon become easier. Our last Hiragana concept is combined sounds. How would you write the name of the largest city in Japan? とうきょう(Tōkyō). It starts out easy.
と(to), う(u) but then what? きょ(kyo)? We need to learn how to write this new sound. The trick to form these sounds in Hiragana is also pretty simple. Take the consonant sound “K”, and use the character in the い row. So for “きょう(kyō)”, we would use き(ki). Then we need the character for よ(yo) but it needs to be small. Add one more う(u), and we have とうきょう(Tōkyō). This trick works with any character in the い row and the small character can either be よ(yo), ゆ(yu) or や(ya). Let’s take a look at all the possible combinations.
As you can see, there are 11 consonant characters in the い(i) row and combined with よ(yo), ゆ(yu) or や(ya) it makes 33 possible sounds. Now let’s use these sounds in some words.
りょう(ryō) “Amount”
じしょ(jisho) “Dictionary”
はっぴゃく(happyaku), ”Eight hundred”
ぎゅうにゅう(gyūnyū), “Milk”
Now you try writing. I will say a word and you write it in Hiragana.
やっと(yatto). Once more. やっと(yatto). This means “finally”. It wasn’t やと(yato). There was a small つ(tsu) sound in the middle. So you write や(ya), small つ(tsu), と(to). Let’s try one more. いっしゅうかん(i-shhūkan). Once more. いっしゅうかん(i-shhūkan). This means “one week”. This word uses both the small つ(tsu) and the small ゆ(yu). The small つ(tsu) comes after the い(i) where you hold your breath for a split second. The small ゆ(yu) comes after the し(shi) which creates the しゅ(shu) sound. Then add the rest and you get いっしゅうかん(i-shhūkan).
Did you get it? You’ve now learned all there is to know about Hiragana. Try to avoid Romaji from now on and read as much Hiragana as you can. The more you see these characters, the faster you will be able to read them.
Now it’s time for Chihiro’s tip. The reason people sometimes say that Japanese pronunciation is easy is because it is. You’ve just learned every sound used in the language. If you can pronounce the characters by themselves, it doesn’t change when they are in the middle of a word. Try to find a really long word in your Japanese dictionary and pronounce it.
Now that you’ve learned the Hiragana, it’s surprisingly easy, isn’t it? In the next lesson, we will go out in the real world and read some Hiragana you will see in Japanese daily life. See you next time.

143 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 24th, 2010 at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

This is our last lesson covering hiragana. Have you got the hang of them yet? Are you ready to move onto katakana? :D

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 1st, 2021 at 01:50 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Namrata Kadamさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

I think it will be ナマータ (na mā ta)😉


Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

りょうま(Ryoma)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Namrata Kadam
October 23rd, 2021 at 09:55 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Japanesepod101 my name is Namrata Kadam. My name's Namrata 'ra' is not pronounced ra it is pronounced just r. Could you tell me how it is pronounced in Japanese?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 29th, 2021 at 02:12 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Jonathan Lamar Danielさん


質問(しつもん)ありがとうございます😄

They will be ジョナサン (jo na sa n) and ダニエル (da ni e ru)👍


Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Jonathan Lamar Daniel
April 29th, 2021 at 04:42 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

My name is Jonathan Daniel. the first part is pronounced Jon-na-than, and the last part is pronounced Dan-iel. Could you tell me how it is said in Japanese?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 25th, 2021 at 01:41 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Derekさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

It would be better if you can learn the vocabulary alongside the hiragana because that also helps you learn hiragana😉

Though if you think it's too much, you don't have to since the main focus here is learning hiragana😇

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Derek
March 23rd, 2021 at 06:02 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Question, should we also learn the vocabulary mentioned in the examples alongside the actual hiragana?

Thanks in advance

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 11th, 2021 at 02:26 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Lynn (Rini)さん


Thank you so much for your advice😄

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Lynn (Rini)
March 9th, 2021 at 11:31 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

For Andy.... I have used Crunchy Nihongo stories for hiragana practice and it has made a real difference. I have no clue what the words mean, but I can get the romaji translation correct!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 29th, 2021 at 03:14 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Andyさん

質問(しつもん)ありがとうございます😄

Making and using flashcards should help you a lot😉

Not just writing each letter and its pronunciation, but also you can write words so that you can practice hiragana and the vocabulary at the same time. がんばってください😇


Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Andy
January 28th, 2021 at 11:08 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Konichiwa Japanese 101, I am curious of what I can read or do to improve and memorize hiragana besides looking at all my notes and passed lessons. Is their some easy books anything I can use to help me out?