Today we will only see three hiragana: や, ゆ and よ, and the halwidth hiragana ゃ, ゅ, ょ and っ!
Do you see how each of the following characters looks like?
- Hiragana lesson 1: a, i, u, e, o
- Hiragana lesson 2: ka, ki, ku, ke, ko
- Hiragana lesson 3: sa, shi, su, se, so
- Hiragana lesson 4: ta, chi, tsu, te, to
- Hiragana lesson 5: na, ni, nu, ne, no
- Hiragana lesson 6: ha, hi, fu, he, ho
- Hiragana lesson 7: ma, mi, mu, me, mo
If not, refer to our previous lessons.
Now, get your paper and pencil ready!
This hiragana is pronounced: [ya]
It has 3 strokes:
- Write 10 times the character や in a row.
- Write 5 times the word へや [heya] / room /
- Write 5 times the word やま みち [yama michi] / mountain // path /
- Write 5 times the word やさい [yasai] / vegetable /
This hiragana is pronounced: [yu]
It has 2 strokes:
- Write 10 times the character ゆ in a row.
- Write 5 times the word ゆき [yuki] / snow /
- Write 5 times the word ゆかた [yukata] / yukata (light kimono) /
- Write 5 times the word ゆうえんち [yuuenchi] / amusement park /
This hiragana is pronounced: [yo]
It has 2 strokes:
- Write 10 times the character よ in a row.
- Write 5 times the word よむ [yomu] / to read /
- Write 5 times the word ようふく [youfuku] / western style clothes /
- Write 5 times the word たいよう [taiyou] / sun, solar /
Small や, ゆ, よ, つ
One specificity of the hiragana や, ゆ, よ and also つ is that there exist a smaller version of each these characters: しゃ, にゅ, きょ, くって.
For や, ゆ, よ, such sound can only be made based on some characters which sounds end in -い (き, ぎ, し, じ, ち, に, ひ, び, ぴ, み, り – you have a spoiler here of some characters you will learn soon ^^) and can lead to either a merging of the two sounds (with き, ぎ, に, ひ, び, ぴ, み, り) or a new sound where the final vowel of the first character is replaced by the final of the small character (with し, じ, ち).
き [ki] + ゃ [ya] gives きゃ [kya].
み [mi] + ゅ [yu] gives みゅ [myu].
に [ni] + ょ [yo] gives にょ [nyo].
し [shi] + ゃ [ya] gives しゃ [sha].
じ [ji] + ゅ [yu] gives じゅ [ju].
ち [chi] + ょ [yo] gives ちょ [cho].
Here is the complete list:
- Write 5 times the characters やゃゆゅよょ in a row.
- Write 5 times the word かいしゃ [kaisha] / company /
- Write 5 times the word きょう [kyou] / today /
- Write 5 times the word りゅう [ryuu] / dragon /
The small っ on its side has for effect to make the first letter of the following consonant being slightly repeated (for consonants starting with either the sound k, t, ch or p) or sounding longer (when the consonant starts with s or sh – refer to A step further with hiragana and katakana for more details).
- Write 5 times the characters つっ in a row.
- Write 5 times the word かっこいい [kakkoii] / cool (behaviour), stylish /
- Write 5 times the word まっちゃ [matcha] / Japanese powdered green tea /
- Write 5 times the word かった [katta] / bought /
- Write 5 times the word いっさい [issai] / one year old /
Here it is for today. See you soon for five new characters!
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