Hello there. Last year I promised that I will post whatever I have learned about the Japanese language. But I didn’t. Simply because I was preoccupied with other stuff.. and I was lazy. I didn’t even bother to open my Japanese books again :( Since I miss learning Japanese (and I also want to write more in my blog), I will start posting in this category. I learn, you learn :)
If you don’t know how to read Japanese characters, I will teach you that here.
There are four kinds of writing system used in Japan:
– These characters are the curvy ones. They are used to write native words. If you don’t know the kanji equivalent of certain words, it’s best to use Hiragana.
– These characters are linear. They are used to write foreign or borrowed words. Some words doesn’t have direct Japanese translations, so they make it seem like Japanese words by using Katakana. For example: The brand UNIQLO. In Japanese, it is pronounced as YUNIKURO. Then they write it in Katakana, ユニクロ.
– These characters are the adopted Chinese characters. I find it hard reading them as they have different kinds of readings depending on the character beside it. More on it on another post.
– The letters from A to Z.
- Top to bottom, left to right
There are certain strokes to be followed, depending on the character. But if you know this simple rule, it won’t be difficult to remember the stroke order.
For today, let’s just focus on the first ten characters of Hiragana. Get a pen/pencil and paper so you could practice writing these characters :)
*Note: Each syllable in the Japanese language is represented by one character (I’m talking about Hiragana and Katakana. Kanji is a different thing. But I won’t pressure you, hehe).
Vowels: (can be combined with consonant letters or can be used by itself to produce a syllable)
(the following images were from Yoshida Institute. Thank you!)
Now it’s time to combine these vowels with the first consonant, K.
Were you able to write them? Practice, practice, practice until you get them right. Then eventually, you can write them without looking at your references.
Here are some practice words. Write them in Hiragana. The meanings are enclosed in parenthesis.
- ai (love)
- ooi (many)
- iie (no)
- ue (on top)
- e (picture/painting)
- aoi (blue)
- ie (house)
- ike (pond)
- koe (voice)
- eki (train station)
- kaku (to write)
- kiku (to listen)
Are you done? If you’d like to check if you have written them correctly, check the answers below:
Don’t give up! Just be patient and keep on practicing :)