Japanese Alphabet Katakana and Hiragana

japanese woman

Do you want to learn the Japanese alphabet “Katakana” and “Hiragana“?

If so, what I’m going to say must help you to learn Japanese.

Basically, people do not like just remember something.

when I was a kid, learning English is just boring.

But now, I can learn English with enjoyment because I can choose the way to study everything.

Nowadays, there are a lot of ways to get knowledge while having fun. 

So I will tell you how to learn Japanese during enjoying.

Japanese Girl Learning | FAIR Study

Hiragana ひらがな

な  naた  taさ  saか  kaあ  a
に  niち  chiし  shiき  kiい i
ぬ  nuつ  tsuす  suく  kuう  u
ね  neて  teせ  seけ  keえ  e
の  noと  toそ  soこ  koお  o
わ  waら  raや  yaま  maは  ha
 り  ri み  miひ  hi
を  woる  ruゆ  yuむ  muふ  fu
 れ  re め  meへ  he
ん  nろ  roよ  yoも  moほ  ho
ぱ  paば  baだ  daざ  zaが  ga
ぴ  piび  biぢ  diじ  jiぎ  gi
ぷ  puぶ  buづ  duず  zuぐ  gu
ぺ  peべ  beで  deぜ  zeげ  ge
ぽ  poぼ  boど  doぞ  zoご  go
びゃ  byaぢゃ  dyaじゃ  jyaしゃ  shaぎゃ  gya
     
びゅ  byuぢゅ  dyuじゅ  jyuしゅ  shuぎゅ  gyu
     
びょ  byoぢょ  dyoじょ  jyoしょ  shoぎょ  gyo
ひゃ  hyaにゃ  nyaちゃ  chaきゃ  kyaぴゃ  pya
     
ひゅ  hyuにゅ  nyuちゅ  chuきゅ  kyuぴゅ  pyu
     
ひょ  hyoにょ  nyoちょ  choきょ  kyoぴょ  pyo
  りゃ  ryaみゃ  myaひゃ  hya
     
  りゅ  ryuみゅ  myuひゅ  hyu
     
  りょ  ryoみょ  myoひょ  hyo

Above, this graph is Hiragana. Can you see あ and below A, か and Ka? Top of the line is all “a” end of the alphabet. If you speak Alphabet in the top line slowly, you will understand the end of pronunciation is the same. Actually, every line is the same structure so learning pronunciation is easier than you expect.
Basically, Hiragana is used when we can not use Kanji. For example, ”明日晴れるといいな” Ashita hareruto iina = I wish it will be fine.

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We can not use Kanji instead of いいな. Because いいな does not exist in Kanji and also れる as well. Plus, We do not use Kanji too much in 1 sentence. For example, ”何卒よろしくお願いいたします” Nanitozo yorosiku onegai shimasu = Best regards, In Kanji, ”何卒宜しくお願い致します” same pronunciation with the above one. Some of Japanese use this phrase in Kanji. But when you use Kanji too much, even the Japanese cannot read easily. So balance is important between Kanji and Hiragana. I suggest you remember vocabulary only made in Hiragana at the beginning. For example, ”かわいい” Kawaii = cute

Cat | FAIR Study

I think everybody has already known this word so you should remember words you have already heard and also words you like is easy to understand than words you are not interested in.
I will give you some examples.

りんご Ringo   apple

Apple | FAIR Study

いちご   Ichigo   strawberry 

みかん   Mikan     orange   

あめ   Ame   candy, rain

おこめ   Okome   rice   

けん   Ken   sword,  Prefecture 

なまえ   Namae   name 

さる   Saru   monkey

はな   Hana   flower, nose

Sunflower | FAIR Study 

ひと   Hito   person

あした   Ashita   tomorrow

にんじゃ   Ninja   

さむらい   Samurai

まんが   Manga   cartoon  

おたく   Otaku   

にほん   Nihon   Japan

くるま   Kuruma   car

すし   Sushi

のみもの   Nomimono   drink

Lemonade | FAIR Study

すもう   Sumou

やきゅう   Yakyu   baseball

じてんしゃ   Jitensya   bicycle 

つなみ   Tsunami

じしん   Jishin  earthquake.

Katakana カタカナ

ナ  naタ  taサ  saカ  kaア  a
ニ  niチ  chiシ  shiキ  kiイ  i
ヌ  nuツ  tsuス  suク  kuウ  u
ネ  neテ  teセ  seケ  keエ  e
ノ  noト  toソ  soコ  koオ  o
ワ  waラ  raヤ  yaマ  maハ  ha
 リ  ri ミ  miヒ  hi
ヲ  woル  ruユ  yuム  muフ  fu
 レ  re メ  meヘ  he
ン  nロ  roヨ  yoモ  moホ  ho
パ  paバ  baダ  daザ  zaガ  ga
ピ  piビ  biヂ  diジ   jiギ  gi
プ  puブ  buヅ  duズ  zuグ  gu
ぺ  peベ  beデ  deゼ  zeゲ  ge
ポ  poボ  boド  doゾ  zoゴ  go
ビャ  byaヂャ  dyaジャ  jyaシャ  shaギャ  gya
     
ビュ  byuヂュ  dyuジュ  jyuシュ  shuギュ  gyu
     
ビョ  byoヂョ  dyoジョ  jyoショ  shoギョ  gyo
ヒャ  hyaニャ  nyaチャ  chaキャ  kyaピャ  pya
     
ヒュ  hyuニュ  nyuチュ  chuキュ  kyuピュ  pyu
     
ヒョ  hyoニョ  nyoチョ  choキョ  kyoピョ  pyo
  リャ  ryaミャ  myaヒャ  hya
     
  リュ  ryuミュ  myuヒュ  hyu
     
  リョ  ryoミョ  myoヒョ  hyo

Above, this graph is Katakana. Pronunciation is exactly the same between Hiragana and Katakana. Did you think why two types of alphabet exist in Japanese? Basically, Katakana is needed for loan words.

For example

”ローン” ro-n = loan.

“マシーン” mashi-n = machine.

”ワーキングホリデー” wa-kinguhoride- = working holiday.

working holiday

Something like that. And Katakana is often used for name of foreigners. ケビン Kevin, マイク Mike, レオナルド・ディカプリオ Leonardo DiCaprio, ミランダ・カー Miranda Kerr アンジェリーナ・ ジョリー Angelina Jolie.

miranda kerr

You should check your name in Katakana. Also, Katakana is often used for companies name. Everyone knows “TOYOTA” but it should have been 豊田 because the president of this company used to be 豊田. But this company hoped it going to be a worldwide company so the name must have been a clear name which foreigners can understand So TOYOTA is トヨタ in Japan. Panasonic パナソニック and Uniqlo ユニクロ as well. If you like cars and bikes, why do not you remember the name of a car or bike company at the beginning such as Suzuki スズキ, Honda ホンダ, Yamaha ヤマハ? I will give you some example.

コンピューター computer

Laptop Digital Learning | FAIR Study

コーヒー coffee 

ショップ  shop

マイクロソフト  Microsoft

ゴリラ  Gorilla

ハット  hut

ネットフリックス  Netflix

ロゴ  Logo

レター  letter

ワード  word

ジョブ  job

バトル  battle

バリュー  value

ボーイ  boy

ガール  girl

ジェンダー  gender

ゲーム  game

ライオン  lion

ペンギン  penguin

penguin

コピー  copy

タイム  time

クローゼット  closet

ルーム  room

リビング  living

Conclusion

If you want to get the ability to use Japanese, you have to remember the Japanese alphabet Hiragana and Katakana. I know it is the most boring part to learn Japanese. But after that, you can see the beautiful Japanese language world. This is a just first step but it is a huge step to study Japanese. I hope you will get a good start.

FAIR Japan provides useful information about Japan. 

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  1. November 16th, 2020