HIRAGANA

Introduction

The Japanese language uses 3 writing systems:
Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji.

In Japanese, broadly three scripts are used in a mixed way.

Hiragana and Kanji are used widely in a sentence. Katakana is mainly used for borrowerd words from foreign language.

For example,

ラジオ日本をきいた。(I heard a Japanese song on radio)

In the above sentence all the three scripts are used as follows:

Hiragana: で, の, を, きいた
Katakana: ラジオ
Kanji: 日本, 歌

Table of Contents

The Goal of this Session

  • Master Hiragana alphabets within 3~20 days.
  • To be able to pronounce the alphabets correctly.
  • To be able to write Hiragana alphabets with proper stroke order.
  • To be able to read basic Hiragana vocabularies. The only purpose is to focus on reading, so do not worry about the meanings.

Do you know this Kanji?

What is Hiragana(平仮名)?

  • Hiragana alphabets are simplified forms of the kanji.
  • Hiragana is a set of 46 basic alphabets.
  • In addition to 46 basic Hiragana letters called as gojuuon, there are modified sounds like:
    20 dakuon , 5 handakuon, 36 yoon, 1 sokuon.
  • You can download and print Hiragana chart(PDF) for practice.

    The meaning of each has been summarized below:
  • Gojuuon(五十音): basic 46 alphabets
  • Dakuon(濁音): addition of 2 small dots (called as dakuten) to the hiragana in か(ka), さ(sa), た(ta), and は(ha) rows.
    For example,
    adding 2 small dots to は(ha) becomes ば(ba).
  • Handakuon(半濁音): addition of a small circle (called as handakuten)
    For example,
    adding a small circle to は(ha) becomes ぱ(pa)
  • Yoon(拗音): is described by :
    i-column letter + small や(ya)、ゆ(yu)、or よ(yo)
    For example,
    き(ki) + small や(ya) = きゃ(kya)
  • Sokuon(促音): is described by small つ(tsu)
    small つ(tsu) means that the alphabet in the next character is doubled and a slight pause results.
    For example, さっき(sakki) 
Gojuuon(五十音)
  • In Japanese, alphabets are organized in 5 x 10 matrix. This table is known as gojūon-zu which means `Table of 50 sounds`.
  • In total, 46 letters (45+1) are counted as gojūon (50 sounds).
  • The first row alphabets あ (a), い (i), う (u), え (e) and お (o) are five vowels of the Japanese language.
  • Letters お and を represent the same sound (o). を is used only as the particle in a sentence.
 aiueo
a
a

i

u

e

o
ka
ka

ki


ku


ke


ko


sa
sa


shi


su


se


so

ta
ta


chi



tsu


te


to

na
na


ni


nu



ne


no

ha
ha


hi


fu


he


ho


ma
ma


mi



mu


me


mo

ya
ya

 


yu

 
yo

ra
ra


ri


ru


re


ro

wa
wa

   
wo




Dakuon(濁音)
  • Dakuon means two small dots
  • Dakuon can be added only to か(ka), さ(sa), た(ta), and は(ha) rows. Dakuon is usually added to the right top of the letter.
  • and are pronounced the same as ji.
  • and are pronounced the same as zu.
 aiueo
ga
ga


gi


gu


ge


go

za
za


ji


zu


ze


zo

da
da


di


du


de


do

ba
ba


bi


bu


be


bo

Handakuon(半濁音)
  • Handakuon means a small circle.
  • Handakuon is added to the right top of は(ha) row only.
 aiueo
ha
pa


pi


pu


pe


po

Yoon(拗音)
  • Addition of small や(ya), ゆ(yu), or よ(yo) to consonants is known as Yoon(拗音)
  • Formula:
    i-column letter + small や(ya)、ゆ(yu)、or よ(yo)
 ~ya~yu~yo
kiきゃ
kya

きゅ
kyu

きょ
kyo

shiしゃ
sha

しゅ
shu

しょ
sho

niにゃ
nya

にゅ
nyu

にょ
nyo

hiひゃ
hya

ひゅ
hyu

ひょ
hyo

mi

みゃ

mya


みゅ
myu

みょ
myo

riりゃ
rya

りゅ
ryu

りょ
ryo

giぎゃ
gya

ぎゅ
gyi

ぎょ
gyo

jiじゃ
ja

じゅ
ji

じょ
jo

biびゃ
bya

びゅ
byu

びょ
byo

piぴゃ
pya

ぴゅ
pyu

ぴょ
pyo

 

Practice test 1

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Practice test 2

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Videos

Video lessons

Coming soon……….

 

Fun way to Memorize!

To memorize the  Hiragana letters, we have provided a video link that will help you to learn musically! It will also help you in developing your listening skills because songs can be useful in language learning as they provide a format for memorizing vocabulary and rhythm of the language.

So, we suggest you to become a kid again and use your creativity to widen your language learning potential

Final Test

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Download Free PDF

Hiragana chart pdf

To download the Free PDF of Hiragana chart, please click on the Download button.

Hiragana practice sheet pdf
  1. To download the Free PDF of Hiragana Practice book, please click on the Download button.
  2. This e-book contains stroke order of all the hiragana letters.

Did You know ?

Japan in Japanese is Nihon or Nippon.

Recommended books

For more practice, we recommend the books below. Click on any book to get a detailed review. Also check out some popular dictionaries and Flip cards that can boost your study method.

To summarize

Practice reading and writing Hiragana alphabets as many times as you can until you become Perfect. And then you are ready to shift to Katakana learning.

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