Vocabulary (Review)

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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. In the last lesson, we learned the katakana characters ワ(wa), ヲ(o) and ン(n). If you are still feeling a little unsure of these, go back and review the previous lesson. Now you know all the kana. In this lesson, we will review some concepts taught in lesson 11 and apply them to some katakana characters.
We will start with てんてん(tenten). Do you remember how to make voice sounds? Right, you add てんてん(tenten) to the character which are the little markings on the top right. This goes for all 20 katakana characters as well. For example, when we add てんてん(tenten) the カキクケコ(kakikukeko) row becomes ガギグゲゴ(gagigugego). Now we can write ギター(gitā) or guitar. Remember in hiragana, we could also do this with the soft word. The same thing applies here サシスセソ(sashisuseso) becomes ザジズゼゾ(zajizuzezo). Here is ザラザラ(zarazara). The word that describes a rough surface. Again タチツテト(tachitsuteto) becomes ダヂヅデド(dajizudedo). You might not see ヂ(ji) and ヅ(zu) as often as ジ(ji) and ズ(zu) but they are used from time to time. Since the pronunciation is the same, it might be a little hard to guess. So double check before writing it. For now, let’s write ドア(doa) “door”. The last characters we can add てんてん(tenten to ハヒフヘホ(hahifuheho) which become バビブベボ(babibubebo). A word you might hear often in Japan is アルバイト(arubaito) which means part time job and comes from the word for “work” in Germany. Likewise, if you add a まる(maru) or the circle to the katakana counterpart, ハヒフヘ(hahifuhe) and ホ(ho) it becomes パピプペポ(papipupepo) . Let’s write パパイヤ(papaiya) “a papaya” and プロペラ(puropera), “propeller”. Now for some little catches. Do you remember the little ヤユヨ(yayuyo)? In katakana, you can also make the ア(a) row small. Here are examples of some words that use the smaller characters. シェアー(sheā) which is “share” and ティッシュ(tisshu) which is “tissue”. These smaller characters are used to create combinations of sounds that are not usually heard in Japanese. You are all familiar with Wikipedia right? When rendered into Japanese, we get ウィキペディア(Wikipedia) which also uses the smaller characters. So if you keep your eyes open, you will definitely see combinations that seem unusual. Katakana is more flexible than hiragana in this way in that it can bend the rules according to what needs to be conveyed.
Let’s have a short quiz. I will say the word and you try to write it in katakana. Bonus points if you remember what they mean.
アルバイト(arubaito), “part time job”
シェアー(sheā), “share”
ウィキペディア(Wikipedia), “Wikipedia”
パパイヤ(papaiya), “papaya”
Popeye. Now it’s time for Chihiro’s tip. This is an overall tip about pronunciation. If you speak English as your first language, it’s easy to want to stress certain syllables in a word. For example, “important” or “project”. When speaking Japanese, try to shut this habit. All of the syllables in a word get more or less the same amount of time and stress. We will take a look at some hiragana and katakana around us in the next lesson. I will see you then.