Japanese/Kana/Lessons/Hiragana/Lesson 3

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Hiragana: [ a ] [ ka ] [ sa ] [ ta ] [ na ] [ ha ] [ ma ] [ ya ] [ ra ] [ wa, wo, n ] [ ゐ and ゑ (ancient hiragana in disuse) ]
Katakana: [ a ] [ ka ] [ sa ] [ ta ] [ na ] [ ha ] [ ma ] [ ya ] [ ra ] [ wa, wo, n ] [ ヰ and ヱ (ancient katakana in disuse) ]

In this lesson you are going to learn how to read and write さ、し、す、せ、そ. Adding two small lines called (だく)(てん) dakuten, but commonly known simply as 点々(てんてん) tenten, meaning "two marks", causes clear sounds to change to their voiced sound. Thus, adding the 点々(てんてん) tenten marks to さ、し、す、せ、and そ will produce ざ、じ、ず、ぜ、ぞ.

Clear sounds[edit]

Brush Stroke: さ-bw.png ざ-bw.png
Sound:

sa

za
Mnemonic:

The horizontal line is a saw (sa) cutting through an apple tree branch, and the round part is the apple.

Example:
  • さら (sara) plate
  • さけ (sake) rice wine
  • さわる (sawaru) to touch
  • ざんねん (zannen) too bad, regrettable
  • ざんぎょう (zangyou) overtime (work)
  • ざいがい (zaigai) overseas
Brush Stroke: し-bw.png じ-bw.png
Sound:

About this sound shi

ji
Mnemonic:

She (shi) has very long hair.

Example:
  • した (shita) below; rude
  • しぬ (shinu) to die
  • しる (shiru) to know
  • じぶん (jibun) oneself
  • じしょ (jisho) dictionary
  • じごく (jigoku) hell
Brush Stroke: す-bw.png ず-bw.png
Sound:

su

zu
Mnemonic:
  • It's someone who committed suicide by hanging.
  • Tie a knot to a "T"
Example:
  • する (suru) to do
  • すみません (sumimasen) excuse me
  • すごい (sugoi) awesome, terrific
  • すし sushi
  • ずるい (zurui) sly, cunning
  • ずいい (zuii) optional
  • ずいちょう (zuichou) good omen
Brush Stroke: せ-bw.png ぜ-bw.png
Sound:

se

ze
Mnemonic:
  • It's the face of a person named Seth (se).
  • A guy has his arm wrapped around the girl and says "say you love me"
Example:
  • せんたく (sentaku) laundry
  • せなか (senaka) back (of the body)
  • せまい (semai) confined, small, cramped
  • ぜひとも (zehitomo) by all means
  • ぜんぶ (zenbu) all, entire
  • ぜん (zen) Zen (Buddhism)
Brush Stroke: そ-bw.png ぞ-bw.png
Sound:

so

zo
Mnemonic:
  • There are SO many lines at the top of this symbol, and SO few at the bottom.
  • Think to the sign of "Zorro" plus a fox tail
  • The zig-zag of a sewing stitch.
Example:
  • そら (sora) sky
  • そば (soba) Japanese buckwheat noodles
  • そと (soto) outside
  • ぞう (zou) elephant
  • ぞうき (zouki) internal organs
  • ぞうり (zouri) sandals