How to read Hiragana

How to read Hiragana!

I love Japanese! It’s such a fun, energetic and satisfying language to learn – and it isn’t for the faint-hearted! Japanese isn’t the hardest language to learn, but it’s not a piece of cake either — and that’s what adds to the fun! So, let’s get to work!

 

There are three writing systems in Japanese (four if you count Romaji- the Romanization writing system). The one we will be learning today is the most basic one you need to get started with Japanese, if you want to progress beyond Romaji.

So, let’s start with the basic 5!Evernote Camera Roll 120140625 002833

あ [a]

Pronounced “ah”!

い [i]

Pronounced “ee”!

う [u]

Pronounced “oo”!

え [e]

Pronounced “eh”

お [o]

Pronounced “O” — like “Oh” cut short

 

Those really sounded like the noises you make watching a firework display, right! “Oo” “Ah” “Ee”!

Now you know these ones, you’re well on your way to knowing all the sounds you’ll need for speaking Japanese!

Hiragana chart 1

wa
ra
ya
ma
ha
na
ta
sa
ka
a
ri
mi
hi
ni
chi
shi
ki
i
ru
yu
mu
fu
nu
tsu
su
ku
u
re
me
he
ne
te
se
ke
e
wo
ro
yo
mo
ho
no
to
so
ko
o

 

You can download this hand Hiragana chart pdf: hiragana chart

You’ll notice that there are a few odd ones in there. The characters ‘fu’, ‘tsu’ and ‘chi’, and they’re ones you’ll want to be careful of. Thankfully these characters look quite distinctive and it becomes quite tough to miss them once you’ve got the hang of it!

Keep checking the site as I’ll soon be sharing the next Hiragana chart which will complete the set!

Thanks for reading! If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, send me a message using the contact form below!

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