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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. Today we will take on five more characters, did you learned the last five characters? Go ahead and review some previous lessons once in awhile so you don’t forget.
Let’s start today with ナ(na). 1, 2. This character looks pretty easy and it’s even easier when you remember the hiragana version of な(na). It’s just the first two strokes. Careful that you don’t make it look like a plus sign. So covet slightly to the left.
Here is サウナ(sauna), “sauna” and here is ツナ(tsuna), “tuna”.
Next is ニ(ni). 1, 2. Again, this is an easy character made even easier when you think about the hiragana version. Just take off the first stroke and flatten it out. ニ(ni) is also the same shape and reading of the kanji for #2 in Japanese. So there you have it, two birds with one stone. Now you know kanji as well. Here is テニス(tenisu) “tennis” and here is シニア(shinia), “senior”.
Our third katakana today is ヌ(nu). 1, 2. Here is カヌー(kanū), ”canoe” and here is テタヌス(tetanusu), “tetanus” as in a tetanus shot.
All the characters so far have been pretty easy. So here is a tougher one for you ネ(ne). 1, 2, 3, 4. You can think of this as a boat hitting an iceberg, at ネ(ne) boat, disaster. Here is ネクタイ(nekutai), “neck tie”; and here is コネ(kone) which is short for connection.
If you think that character is hard, then you will be glad to know that the last character today happens to be the easiest kana there is ノ(no) just one stroke. If you forget what angle the stroke goes at, just remember the hiragana version. It’s the same. Here is ノート(nōto) as in a notebook or the note taking class and here is ナノ(nano) as in a nanometer.
Now let’s have a short quiz. I will show you a word in katakana and you read it. Bonus points if you remember what it means.
テニス(tenisu) “tennis”
カヌー(kanū) “canoe”
ネクタイ(nekutai) “neck tie”
Now it’s time for Chihiro’s tip. Do you know how to write your name in Japanese? If not, you will by the end of this series. Just like place names, your name needs to be transcribed into katakana. Some names transcribe easily. For example Tony is トニー(Tonī), almost the same but it’s harder for other names like the one syllabic nickname Chris because it becomes クリス(Kurisu). Other languages may have sounds that do not exist in Japanese. So there is a good chance that your name sounds a little different in the translation.
You are halfway there already. Do you know how to write that popular morning drink コーヒー(kōhī)and the sweet sticky syrup ハニー(hanī) in katakana. You will learn how to write coffee and honey in the next lesson. I will see you then.