Hiragana-HA HI FU HE HO

In the last lesson, we went over なにぬねの — a pretty simple lesson with not much to watch out for.

Get ready though, the H consonant series throws a couple of curve-balls at us. As in a whole new sound that isn’t so easy to say — and double modifiers!

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 like “hoe”

What the ふ?

Fu is interesting. First, because it’s part of the H consonants (ha, hi, hu/fu, he, ho). Second, it doesn’t sound like it looks. It’s not “foo” but instead “fwho.”


Yep, imagine fu as “fwho.” It’s like saying who, but with a very faint F sound mixed with the w.

Look Out For は and ほ

(ha) and (ho) are very similar. At first glance it appears just one stroke separates them, but there is more than that. Take special notice that the top “stem” on ほ is at the top — not crossing.

Something Else: Double Modifier

There’s something else you will need to think about with the H consonants. There are two modifiers to change the sounds of these characters.

I don’t want to overwhelm you just yet, we’ll talk more about this later in the course.

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 brings back さしすせそ to combine with はひふへほ.

Good job! Continue practicing until you can confidently complete this with ease. Use 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 quick break and then move on to the next lesson.