Learning Hiragana: The Foundation for any Japanese language learner

There’s good news and bad news with learning Japanese. The bad news is there’s three alphabets, two with about 50 characters, and a third, Kanji, with 2-3,000. The good news is the first alphabet you learn, Hiragana, has sounds that are repeated for the rest of the alphabets. So once you’ve mastered Hiragana.  

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Writing Japanese - The Secrets of Hiragana

Welcome back! This is the second article in a series on the Japanese writing system. In the first article we took a look at kanji 漢字, where we learned a few key things: 1) kanji express meaning, 2) different kanji can be read the same way (e.g. 髪 “hair” and 紙 “paper” are both “kami”), and 3) each kanji can be read differently. In this article we’ll take a look at hiragana ひらがな. There are 46 unique hiragana shapes, all of which are derived from one kanji or another. In general, hiragana ...

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Learning Hiragana: Finishing Up the Final Rows

Learning Hiragana is a crucial part of becoming a speaker of the Japanese language. Not only does the alphabet provide you with all the pronunciation sounds you’ll have to learn in Japanese, but also gives you an opportunity to be able to read the Japanese language. 

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Learning Hiragana, Mastering the Technique of Memorization (6th and 7th rows)

This article is the 4th installment for learning Hiragana. By now you should be quite familiar with the rows from あいうえお かきくけこ さしすせそ たちつてと なにぬねの. You should be able to at least recognize those and read them in succession. The key to memorizing is repeating the rows out loud in order, again and again. 

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Learning Hiragana: The 2nd and 3rd Row of Characters

Learning the Japanese language can seem intimidating, so many characters, so little time. The good news is learning the first alphabet, Hiragana, is actually quite simple. There are only 52 characters that cover the entire phonetic structure of the Japanese language. 

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