Extended Hiragana

In the last lesson you learned the syllabic N character. A super simple lesson for sure. Now we’re going to dive into modifiers that change some of the characters into new consonants: G, Z, D, B, and P.

I know what you’re thinking right now: “OMG, even more characters to learn!?

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 Consonants Extended

K, S, and T consonants can be modified with ゛ to change their sound. These three consonants only have this modifier (you’ll see later in this lesson that the H consonant has two modifiers).

K > G = GA GI GU GE GO

  • が (ga) — sounds like “gah”
  • ぎ (gi) — sounds like “gie” (like the martial arts uniform)
  • ぐ (gu) — sounds like “goo”
  • げ (ge) — sounds like “gey”
  • ご (go) — sounds like “go”

S > Z = ZA JI ZU ZE ZO

T > D = DA JI ZU DE DO

The H Consonant Extended

H is special… it has two modifiers. When  is applied it changes to B, but when the modifier is applied it changes to P.

H > B = BA BI BU BE BO

H > P = PA PI PU PE PO

Two ZU’s and JI’s?

The only catch you’ll notice is that there are two “zu” and “ji” characters.  and are used most of the time, but why have two then?

is used when the “ji” sound follows a character. For example, ちぢ.

The same applies to the character. It is used when the “zu” sound follows a character. For example, つづ.

Study Point

The main takeaway from this lesson is that you make it very clear in your mind these extended hiragana characters make the G, Z, D, B, and P consonant sounds from K, S, T, and H consonants only.

No other consonant has modifiers.

Recall Practice

Time to practice! Just like in all lessons, do this as many times as it takes for you to feel like you can confidently select the correct answer without guessing.

This recall covers all the modified characters all together – 25 characters in total, a bit longer than the previous lessons.

Good job! Continue practicing until you can confidently identify each character with ease. Click the buttons below to restart the practice (challenge yourself with inverted and challenge mode).

Once this practice feels easy to you it’s time to take a long break and then move on to the next lesson.