The Japanese language is made up of ideograms, where each ideogram can have a meaning. This makes the Japanese language full of super short words that often have only one letter, syllable or sound.
The Japanese alphabet is not composed of conventional letters, but characters that form a sound, similar to Portuguese syllables. Each ideogram is usually also one of these sounds, or sometimes two or even three sounds (syllables). But most of the time it takes more than one ideogram to form a complete word.
The problem is that there are many Japanese words formed only by an ideogram or kanji, as the Japanese call it. In English we have something similar called monosyllables like “there", "at the" It is "I", but in Japanese it's more complicated because it's not the joining of two letters, but just one.
Things get even worse when we remember that there are few syllables in the Japanese language, and that there is no change in the pronunciation of these syllables like the accents in English. These are some of the main Japanese language reasons use ideograms.
In Japanese monosyllabic words are called tan-onsetsu [単音節].
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Japanese words with one syllable
Below we present a list of Japanese words composed of one syllable or hiragana. Most of these words necessarily need an ideogram to make any sense. Then we will share an exclusive list of Japanese words composed only of the hiragana AIUEO (あいうえお).
It may be that some of the words mentioned in this article are not commonly used alone, but only complement other words and expressions as a suffix or prefix. As there are multiple readings in an ideogram, it can have different ways of using the word.
Japanese words with literally one letter
There are Japanese words that are formed only with a vowel A, I, U, E or O. This can be even more complicated if we are reading a sentence without kanji or without being fully structured. Below is a list of Japanese words made up of only one letter (roman character).
I tried to put only ideograms that are usually used in isolation as a noun or word. If we were to examine all the ideograms that have a reading of only one syllable, this list would be endless.
Learning the words in this article is made easier by being just one hiragana or syllable. I hope this article has been of help to you reader. If you liked it, share it with your friends and leave your comments.
Do you know any other monosyllabic words in Japanese? If you know, share with us in the comments!