1. Hiragana Chart
Memorize the reading of all 46 hiragana characters as quickly as you can so you do not have to rely on the romanized version of Japanese.
You read the chart from top left ($B!V$"!W(B) to right. The characters in the first line are vowel characters (a, i, u, e, o) , and from the second line on, they are the combination of the vowel and a consonant as you can see in $B!V$+!W(B(consonant 'k' plus the vowel 'a').
2. Hiragana Pronunciation
Pay special attention to $B!V$i!"$j!"$k!"$l!"$m!W(Bpronunciation. These are different from English 'ra, ri, ru, re, ro'. In Japanese, there is no lip rounding for $B!V$i!"$j!"$k!"$l!"$m!W(Bsounds.
3. Writing of the Characters
1) General Rules of Stroke Orders
Both kana (hiragana and katakana) and Kanji have the same general rules of stroke orders.
a. Write from top to bottom, and left to right
b. Horizontal before vertical
When horizontal and vertical lines cross, horizontal lines are usually written before vertical lines.
c. Character-spanning strokes last
Vertical line that pass through other strokes are written after the strokes passed through are written.
Practice writing Hiragana
When you write Japanese characters, pay special attention to:
a. length of each the line
4. Hiragana with Diacritical Marks
You can create 23 additional sounds by adding diacritical marks. With short parallel lines, the unvoiced consonants [k], [s], [t], and [h] become voiced consonants [g], [z], [d], and [b] respectively. Additionally, by adding a small circle to [h], the sound changes to [p].
5. Transcribing Contracted Sounds
When small $B!V$d!W!V$f!W!V$h!W(Bare added to the letters in the $B!V$$!W(Bcolumn except for $B!V$$!W(B, it transcribe contracted sounds. Contracted sounds are single syllable.
6. Transcribing Double Consonants
By using small $B!V$C!W(B, you can transcribe double consonants.
$B$,(B$B$C(B$B$-!!!!(Bgakki $B!!!!(Bsemester; term
Double consonant 'n' is transcribe with $B!V$s!W(B.
$B$"(B$B$s(B$B$J$$(B $B!!(Ba n na i$B!!!!(Bguide
$B$5(B$B$s(B$B$K$s!!(Bsa n ni n $B!!(Bthree people
7. Other Rules
1) Long Vowels
[aa] - add $B!V$"!W(Bto the $B!V$"!W(Bstep hiragana$B!'$*$+$"$5$s!J(Bo ka a sa n)$B!!(B'mother' (someone else's, not your own)
[ii] - add $B!V$$!W(Bto the $B!V$$!W(Bstep hiragana$B!'$*$K$$$5$s!J(Bo ni i sa n) $B!!(B'older brother' (someone else's, not your own)
[uu] - add $B!V$&!W(Bto the $B!V$&!W(Bstep hiragana$B!'$/$&$-!J(Bku u ki$B!K(B'air'
[ee] - add $B!V$(!W(Bto the $B!V$(!W(Bstep hiragana$B!'$*$M$($5$s!J(Bo ne e sa n) $B!!(B'older sister' (someone else's, not your own)
[oo] - add$B!V$&!W(Bto the $B!V$*!W(Bstep hiragana$B!'$[(B$B$&(B$B$j$D!J(Bho o ri tsu)$B!!(B'law'
* However, there are words that $B!V$*!W(Bis added instead of $B!V$&!W(B.
$B$*(B$B$*(B$B$-$$!J(Bo o ki i)
2) Vowels to be Dropped
When vowel [i] and [u] are placed between voiceless consonants ([k], [s], [t], [p], [h]) or at the end of the sentence proceeded by voiceless consonants, they are sometimes omitted.
$B$9$-$d$-$G$9!#!!(Bsu ki ya ki de su $B!!"*!!(Bs ki ya ki de s$B!!!J(BIt is 'sukiyaki', the beef dish.)
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