Katakana-HA HI FU HE HO

In the last lesson we went over ナ二ヌネノ — a pretty simple lesson with not much to watch out for.

The H consonant throws a couple curve-balls at us though.

HA HI FU HE HO-ハヒフヘホ

  • → ha (like “ha”)
  • → hi (like “he”)
  • → fu (like “fwho”)
  • → he (like “hay”)
  • → ho (like “hoe”)

What the フ?

Fu I also covered in the hiragana course. It’s a strange one because it’s part of the H consonants (ha, hi, hu/fu, he, ho). But it doesn’t sound exactly 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.

Lucky ヘ

It turns out (he) is nearly identical between hiragana and katakana (you’ll often see the katakana ヘ written just a bit sharper than hiragana’s).

Phew, one less character to worry about.

Look Out For フ-ワ-ウ

Sure seems like katakana is really fond of similar characters, doesn’t it?

You haven’t learned (wa) yet, but as you can see we have (fu) (wa) and (u). Almost seems like the characters build off each other — but then, why is u the most complex? Seems backward.

Just take note of the differences and use the recall practices to keep things straight in your mind. Eventually, these will be easy too.

Something Else: Double Modifier

Just like in hiragana 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.

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 サシスセソ to combine with ハヒフヘホ.

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.