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.

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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

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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

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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


コピー  copy

タイム  time

クローゼット  closet

ルーム  room

リビング  living


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 just the 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