Our lessons teaching hiragana.

Hiragana Boot Camp

Train Yourself Here’s what I want you to do. Use this recall practice now — do it as many times as you can. Once every character is super easy for you to answer, take a long break. Long enough that you feel like you’re on the verge of forgetting the characters. When Are You Done? […]

Hiragana Diphthongs

What Does Diphthong Mean? This combination of characters is called a diphthong… though you’ll never need to remember this. Just know that Japanese diphthongs are created by combining the beginning consonant from each “i” vowel sound kana き (ki) ぎ (gi) し (shi) じ (ji) ち (chi) に (ni) ひ (hi) び (bi) ぴ (pi) み […]

Extended Hiragana

These extended characters are just minor cosmetic changes that you’ll recognize easily — based on the K, S, T, and H consonant sounds only, no others. A modifier is applied to each character, changing its consonant sound. The two modifiers are: ゛ and ゜ (but ゜ is only applied to the H consonant). The K, S, and T […]

Hiragana-N

Pronouncing N-ん First, let’s cover how to pronounce this character. You might think the N sound would be pretty simple. It is, but there is something I want you to know about it. ん (n) Stand-Alone Syllable The N sound is its own standalone syllable. Take for example the Japanese word for bakery: panya (パンや). […]

Hiragana-WA WO

WA WO-わを First, let’s cover how to pronounce these characters. You can tap each character to hear the native pronunciation. Pronouncing わを わ (wa) – sounds like “wa“を (wo) – sounds like “whoa” Look Out For わ and ね Pay close attention to わ(wa) and ね (wo). You can see ね has a curl and […]

Hiragana-YA YU YO

YA YU YO-やゆよ First, let’s cover how to pronounce these characters. You can tap each character to hear the native pronunciation. Pronouncing やゆよ や (ya) – sounds like “yah”ゆ (yu) – sounds like “you”よ (yo) – sounds like “yo” Look Out For よ and は よ (yo) and は (ha) at first glance don’t look […]

Hiragana-RA RI RU RE RO

RA RI RU RE RO-らりるれろ First let’s cover how to pronounce these characters. You can tap each character to hear native pronunciation. This consonant has a catch. The R sounds like L. Pronouncing らりるれろ ら (ra) – sounds like “la”り (ri) – sounds like “lee”る (ru) – sounds like “loo”れ (re) – sounds like “lay”ろ […]

Hiragana-MA MI MU ME MO

MA MI MU ME MO-まみむめも First let’s cover how to pronounce these characters. You can tap each character to hear native pronunciation. Pronouncing まみむめも ま (ma) – sounds like “ma”み (mi) – sounds like “me”む (mu) – sounds like “moo” (like a cow)め (me) – sounds like “May”も (mo) – sounds like “Moe” Look Out […]

Hiragana-HA HI FU HE HO

HA HI FU HE HO-はひふへほ First let’s cover how to pronounce these characters. You can tap each character to hear the native pronunciation. Pronouncing はひふへほ は (ha) – sounds like “ha”ひ (hi) – sounds like “he”ふ (fu) – sounds like “who” with a slight F sound “fwho”へ (he) – sounds like “hay”ほ (ho) – sounds […]

Hiragana-NA NI NU NE NO

NA NI NU NE NO-なにぬねの Let’s cover how to pronounce these characters. You can tap each character to hear the native pronunciation. Pronouncing なにぬねの な (na) – sounds like “nah” — “ah” with a N in frontに (ni) – sounds like “knee”ぬ (nu) – sounds like “new”ね (ne) – sounds like “nay”の (no) – sounds […]

Hiragana-TA CHI TSU TE TO

TA CHI TSU TE TO-たちつてと First up, pronouncing these characters. Tap each character to hear native speakers pronounce them. Keep your eyes on ち and つ. Notice ち is pronounced “chi,” not “ti” and つ is not “tu” (though you may sometimes see them written in romaji as “ti” and “tu”). Pronouncing たちつてと た (ta) […]

Hiragana-SA SHI SU SE SO

SA SHI SU SE SO-さしすせそ First up, pronouncing these characters. Tap each character to hear native speakers pronounce them. Notice し sounds like “she” not “see.” You will sometimes see it written in romaji as “si.” Pronouncing さしすせそ さ (sa) – sounds like “sah” — “ah” with a S in frontし (shi) – sounds like […]

Learn Hiragana

Learn Hiragana – KA KI KU KE KO

KA KI KU KE KO-かきくけこ First let’s cover how to pronounce these characters. You can tap each character to hear native pronunciation. Pronouncing かきくけこ か (ka) – sounds like “kah” — “ah” with a k in frontき (ki) – sounds like “key”く (ku) – sounds like “koo”け (ke) – sounds like “kay” — like “okay” […]

Learn Hiragana – A I U E O

What is Romaji? Before we get into these I want to explain romaji real quick. Romaji is simply the way to write Japanese characters using roman characters like we use in the English language. It’s how I can write A for あ, U for う, or KA for か. (and no, romaji isn’t normally capitalized, […]