Learning Hiragana: Mastering the Alphabet and Learning the 4th and 5th rows

2009 October 7

This is the third installment in learning the Hiragana alphabet, if you have not read the first two articles on “Learning Hiragana” please refer to those articles first. Up till now, you’ve learned 15 characters, or have you? Part of learning Hiragana is not just sitting down and writing them 5 times, but actually learning to recognize the characters. In a world where internet is taking over handwritten letters, the focus when learning Hiragana should be more and more on being able to read and recognize.

Here’s a quiz for recognizing the first 15 characters:

かお

すし

ぜいき

あか

すう

Answers will be at the bottom of the article. Without further ado let’s introduce the next two rows of characters, remembering that their pronunciation will follow the “Katrina Needs Food Hates Home” model.

ta chi tsu te to

– “Tsu” sounds like Two in English, but there needs to be a plural s put in between the word, like the s sound in “choose”. Or, just do a slight “t” sound, like “ta” but without the vowel sound of the “a” and then the sound for su, which sounds like “sue”.

na ni nu ne no

So in Learning Hiragana there are 5 steps of characters. The first two articles covered 15 characters, this article represented the third step with 10 more characters. When learning please remember to write each character 5 times, and then practice reading the Hiragana. The key is to be able to recognize them and learn the pronunciation.

(Answers to the above)

Ka – o (Face)

Su – Shi

Se – I – ki (Century)

A – ka (Red)

Su – u (Number)

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