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Lesson Transcript

みなさんこんにちは。(Mina-san, konnichiwa) Hi everyone, I am Chihiro and welcome back to JapanesePod101.com’s Kantan kana series. In the last lesson, we learned the カタカナ(katakana) characters ア(a), イ(i), ウ(u), エ(e) and オ(o). If you remember your hiragana that would really help with this lesson. If you see some characters you don’t know, be sure to review some past lessons. Now let’s take a look at the next five katakana characters.
We will begin with カ(ka) 1, 2. Looks pretty familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because it’s almost the same as the Hiragana か(ka) but there is no final stroke. It’s also more angular which is a common characteristic of katakana.
Here is カカオ(kakao) or cacao what chocolate is made from. Remember when we talked about long vowels, in katakana, it’s a little different and a lot easier. Just add a “dash” after the character you want to extend. So this would be カ(ka) but this would be カー(kā) which is one way you can write car in Japanese.
Next up is キ(ki). 1, 2, 3. This one should also look a little familiar too. It’s similar to the hiragana き(ki). Here is キウイ(kiui).
Next is ク(ku). 1, 2. Make sure these two lines are parallel. Now you can write クエーカー(kuēkā) “quaker”.
Here is ケ(ke). 1, 2, 3. This is simple to remember because it kind of looks like a “K” that’s been tilted. Let’s write ケーキ(kēki), “cake” and オーケー(ōkē), “okay”, but most Japanese just write this in Roman letters.
Our last character is コ(ko). 1, 2. When you compare this character to the Hiragana version, you may be able to see the similarities. Instead of having はね(hane) on the right side, the strokes completely connect to each other. Now you can write ココア(kokoa) and “coco”, and コア(koa) “core”.
Now let’s have a short quiz. I will show you the katakana and you read it. Bonus points if you remember what it means.
キウイ(kiui), “kiwi”
ケーキ(kēki), “cake”,
ココア(kokoa), “coco”
Now it’s time for Chihiro’s tip. You will recognize a lot of katakana words from English but this isn’t always the case because your past first contact with foreigners was with the Portuguese, there are some Portuguese words like パン(pan) which means “bread”. There are other words that have roots in German, Russian, Korean and many other languages. If you see a katakana word you don’t recognize, it may come from another language. You are off to a great start with katakana.
In our next lesson, you will learn how to write the ス(su) for the word アイス(aisu) or ice cream, a great dessert. Hope to see you then.