Japanese/Kana/Lessons/Hiragana/Lesson 4

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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 た、ち、つ、て、と. 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 た、ち、つ、て、and と will produce だ、ぢ、づ、で、ど.

Clear sounds[edit | edit source]

Brush Stroke:


  • It's a stylized version of the lowercase letters t and a. The artist drew a curved t and neglected to close the a on either side.
  • たこ (tako) octopus
  • たぬき (tanuki) raccoon dog
  • たね (tane) seed
  • だいがく (daigaku) university, college
  • だいこん (daikon) Japanese radish
  • だく (daku) to hug
Note: In Japan, the t is crossed first, not last.
Brush Stroke:

About this sound chi

  • It's a backwards c with a cross on top. The horizontal line is drawn first, and the backwards c is drawn in the same stroke as the vertical line of the cross.
  • chi translates as blood, and this is a man raising his blood pressure by yelling.
  • Your little sister's birthday is today, so you write a 5 on the card because she is 5 years old.
  • It's like a child's attempt at writing a 5.
  • ち (chi) blood
  • ちいさい (chiisai) small, little
  • ちず (chizu) map
  • む (chijimu) to shrink
  • れげ (chijirege) curly hair
  • はな (hanaji) nosebleed
Brush Stroke:

About this sound tsu

  • Tsunami- this shows the crashing wave of a tsunami.
  • Your ' tsu 'oup bowl fell and all the soup spilled, so now it's on it's side and empty.
  • its a man sneezing Aaah'tsu!
  • つえ (tsue) walking stick, magic wand
  • つき (tsuki) moon
  • つくえ (tsukue) desk
  • かなち (kanazuchi) hammer
  • かんめ (kanzume) canned food
  • り (tsuzuri) spelling

In modern Japanese language, no words start with "づ" and only few have it.

Brush Stroke:


  • Looks like the capital letter T.
  • It's a broken tennis racket.
  • てちょう (techou) notebook
  • てつ (tetsu) iron, steel
  • てぶくろ (tebukuro) gloves
  • でんわ (denwa) telephone
  • でる (deru) to go out, to leave
  • でんぱ (denpa) radio wave
Brush Stroke:


  • It's a toe (to) with a splinter stuck in it.
  • It resembles a toenail. When thinking of "to", think toenail.
  • とけい (tokei) clock, watch
  • とこや (tokoya) barber
  • とびら (tobira) door
  • どうぐ (dougu) tool, instrument
  • どうぶつ (doubutsu) animal
  • どく (doku) poison

Double Consonants[edit | edit source]

By adding a small "っ" (tsu) in front of a syllable, it causes the subsequent consonant to double. This is called the sokuon (促音(そくおん)). This kana results in a slight pause between the two consonants (a double consonant pause). There is an exception for the kana . Instead of having a 'cch', a ~tch is used.

A couple examples are かった (katta) and しっけ (shikke).