In this Article, we will see a Definitive Guide to Hiragana and Katakana, you will know the basics of the Japanese alphabet and I will still recommend the true definitive guide at the beginning of this article. That's right! Kana: Definitive Guide to Hiragana and Katakana!
KANA: The definitive guide to Hiragana and Katakana
Oh bro, check out the video that is complementing Kevin's post! In it I show a lot of TOP things about the Kanas!
I know that "definitive”Is a word used quite freely today, but this material really seeks to live up to the name! You can trust!
Escaping the basic explanation that “hiragana is used to write Japanese words and katakana is used to write foreign words”, this pack seeks to show how kanas are really used in Japan!
The pack consists of a 199-page book and a website with extra content. The content of the book is divided between theory and practice. In the theoretical part you will learn about:
- The sounds of the Japanese;
- Japanese writing;
- The use of kanas;
- The history of the kanas, and;
- How to train reading and writing
The practical part includes exercises with kanas written by hand by a native Japanese, so that you can learn to write in a more natural way, without copying computer sources.
On the site you will find the audio of the kanas, also recorded by native Japanese, pronunciation comparison and much more! So, again, don't try to learn Hiragana and Katakana with just your basic instructions, get to know the Book:
What is Hiragana and Katakana?
Have you ever wondered what the Japanese alphabet looks like? How does it work? The Japanese language has a syllabic script, where letters are actually syllables that form words.
These syllables are written using Hiragana a set of 46 simple ideograms that form the 109 syllables in the Japanese language.
The problem is that the Japanese alphabet does not only have Hiragana, there is another set of ideograms that form 109 syllables called Katakana.
There is also a gigantic number of more complex ideograms that are usually 1 to 3 syllables and form whole words called kanji. Let's get to know these Japanese alphabet scripts now.
The good thing about the Japanese alphabet is that because it consists of syllables, it increases the speed of reading and speaking. Another very good thing in Japanese is that the pronunciation of the syllables doesn't change like Portuguese where the S has a Z sound and things like that.
There are no accents beyond the dakuten which is actually a complete change of the letter.
Types of writing in the Japanese alphabet
Hiragana - 平仮名: It is used for all words for which there is no kanji, or it exists but is little used. It is also used to replace kanji and the endings of verbs and adjectives. (あいうえおかきくけこ)
Katakana - 片仮名: Katakana is used to write common and proper names of foreign origin, mainly western, onomatopoeia, technical words, slang and scientific names of plants and animals. (アイウエオカキクケコ)
Kanji - 漢字: They are ideograms of Chinese origin, which are used in countless Japanese words. We will not go into detail about kanji in this article.
Romaji - As we call Japanese written using our Roman letters. It is the transliteration of the Japanese alphabet to ours.
Connect! Hiragana = あいうえお
Katakana = アイウエオ
Kanji = 水火地風空!
How did 46 letters see 109 sounds?
The truth is that there are 46 drawings that form syllables, but there are elements used as diacritics in Japanese, responsible for changing the sound of the lyrics. Don't worry that there are few:
- Handakuten or maru - ゜ - a small circle, similar to the degree symbol. (は = ぱ);
- Dakuten or ten-ten - ゛ - It looks like a quote. (か = が);
- Sokuon (っ) -a small tsu. It serves to extend the sound between 2 hiragana. (だって);
- Ya Yu Yo - small, used to make sounds like: Kya Nya, etc. (ぴゅ / ニャ);
Each of them is capable of modifying the sound of hiragana in a different way. In the list of characters below you will find the use of handakuten and dakuten. You will also see combinations with hiraganas.
Questions about Hiragana and Katakana
Over the years, Suki Desu has written several articles answering questions about the Hiragana and Katakana alphabet. I decided to briefly summarize these doubts and add the articles that address them in detail.
What is Hiragana and Small Katakana for?
Small hiragana used to be used in syllables such as wi (うぃ), we (ウェ), vi (ヴィ), ve (ヴェ), je (じぇ), fa (ファ) and others. Nowadays, these syllables are rarely used, with only the tsu small [っ] used to lengthen syllables.
The small tsu is called Sokuon [促音] which indicates a doubled sound of a consonant or a pause or cut in pronunciation. Unfortunately, only the kana アイウエオあいうえどうつやゆよ can become small.
For more information, read the article: How to Use and Type Hiragana and Small Katakana
Can I use Hiragana and Katakana in the same word?
We know that alphabets are written together, but in different words except for ideograms with hiragana. What about Katakana? Can it be mixed in a hiragana word or vice versa? Yes, but it is rare and impossible and usually breaks the rules of Japanese.
There are some created verbs that mix katakana with a hiragana ending, as in the case of go to starbucks what is said sutabaru [スタバる]. Not to mention that a single word can be written with both hiragana and katakana.
For more information, read the article: Can I use hiragana and katakana in the same word?
Kanji or Hiragana? When to know Which one to use?
There is no way to know how or which to use. If the word is usually written with Kanji and Hiragana, it is up to you to choose. All words can be written with Hiragana or Kanji, except those that are of foreign origin or verbs and adjectives that use both written in their composition.
Still, you may be able to write a verb or adjective entirely in hiragana, without the kanji, but you cannot write it entirely in kanji. It all depends on the context, the words of the text, the message you want to convey, there is no right or wrong.
The goal of Kanji is to prevent people from getting lost when reading a word, because of the countless words with the same Hiragana script. When studying Japanese you will understand which words are usually written in hiragana, even if there is kanji. Through reading and contact with the language, you will understand how the words are natively written by the Japanese.
How to distinguish the Katakana Similar? [シンツソ]
Many when learning katakana are confused with the [シンツソ]. The truth is that only time and practice can help you to distinguish these diabolical similarities. Some apply the following tip to help you memorize:
- シ - shi it's a girl looking at tsu's eyes
- ツ - tsu it's a boy looking away
- ソ - Blinking "only“
- ン - Thinking about it "NNNNN ... I do not think like that."
- ノ - Eyes closed “noooooooooooooo!”
We recommend reading our article on Distinguish Similar Katakana for more information.
Hiragana Table - ひらがな
n / m
Japanese alphabet combinations Hiragana
Katakana table - カタカナ
n / m
Japanese alphabet combinations Katakana
Videos to decorate hiragana and katakana
What is the right way to write the Japanese alphabet? How will I decorate all of this? First, we ask that you focus on memorizing the meaning of these characters. We have also prepared some videos to help with this task;
To do this, observe this table several times and try to write what you are reading using the game below, try to get as many hits as possible. To access this tool to learn the Japanese alphabet click here.
The video below teaches Hiragana pronunciation and also helps to memorize it:
The video below our channel teaches you how to write the Japanese alphabet Hiragana:
What did you think of the Japanese alphabet? Already learned? We appreciate the comments and shares that help a lot.