Learn Hiragana-KA KI KU KE KO

In the last lesson we went over あいうえお — the core vowel sounds. The Japanese language consists of simply adding consonants to these core sounds. Let’s start with K first.

This is a very simple lesson, nothing tricky in the K consonant series.

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” without the O
  • こ (ko) – sounds like “koh” –“oh” with a k in front

Look Out For き-さ and け-せ

You haven’t learned a couple of these characters yet, they’re in the next lesson. You can see (ki) is very similar to (sa). It has one more stroke across the top stem.

(ke) and (se) are a little less similar. The catch is when written on signs け almost looks like せ. I like to think け is “facing left” and せ is “facing right.”