1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Writing System

Discussion in 'Japanese' started by Brandan White, May 7, 2014.

  1. Brandan White

    Brandan White Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    1. Hiragana

    Hiragana is the basic Japanese phonetic script. It represents every sound in the Japanese language. Therefore, you can theoretically write everything in Hiragana. However, because Japanese is written with no spaces, this will create nearly indecipherable text.
    Here is a table of Hiragana and similar-sounding English consonant-vowel pronunciations. It is read up to down and right to left, which is how most Japanese books are written. In Japanese, writing the strokes in the correct order and direction is important, especially for Kanji. Because handwritten letters look slightly different from typed letters (just like how 'a' looks totally different when typed), you will want to use a resource that uses handwritten style fonts to show you how to write the characters (see below for links). I must also stress the importance of correctly learning how to pronounce each sound. Since every word in Japanese is composed of these sounds, learning an incorrect pronunciation for a letter can severely damage the very foundation on which your pronunciation lies.

    Hiragana base characters

    [TABLE="class: wikitable"]
    [TR]
    [TH][/TH]
    [TH]a[/TH]
    [TH]i[/TH]
    [TH]u[/TH]
    [TH]e[/TH]
    [TH]o[/TH]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]∅[/TH]
    [TD]あ[/TD]
    [TD]い[/TD]
    [TD]う[/TD]
    [TD]え[/TD]
    [TD]お[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]k[/TH]
    [TD]か[/TD]
    [TD]き[/TD]
    [TD]く[/TD]
    [TD]け[/TD]
    [TD]こ[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]s[/TH]
    [TD]さ[/TD]
    [TD]し[/TD]
    [TD]す[/TD]
    [TD]せ[/TD]
    [TD]そ[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]t[/TH]
    [TD]た[/TD]
    [TD]ち[/TD]
    [TD]つ[/TD]
    [TD]て[/TD]
    [TD]と[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]n[/TH]
    [TD]な[/TD]
    [TD]に[/TD]
    [TD]ぬ[/TD]
    [TD]ね[/TD]
    [TD]の[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]h[/TH]
    [TD]は[/TD]
    [TD]ひ[/TD]
    [TD]ふ[/TD]
    [TD]へ[/TD]
    [TD]ほ[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]m[/TH]
    [TD]ま[/TD]
    [TD]み[/TD]
    [TD]む[/TD]
    [TD]め[/TD]
    [TD]も[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]y[/TH]
    [TD]や[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #DDDDF6"][/TD]
    [TD]ゆ[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #DDDDF6"][/TD]
    [TD]よ
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]r[/TH]
    [TD]ら[/TD]
    [TD]り[/TD]
    [TD]る[/TD]
    [TD]れ[/TD]
    [TD]ろ[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]w[/TH]
    [TD]わ[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #DDDDF6"]
    [/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #DDDDF6"]
    [/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #DDDDF6"][/TD]
    [TD]を
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD="colspan: 2"]ん (N)[/TD]
    [TD="colspan: 3"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH="colspan: 6"]Functional marks
    and diacritics[/TH]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]っ[/TD]
    [TD]ゝ[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD]゛[/TD]
    [TD]゜[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]


    unused/obsolete

    Table of hiragana

    Hiragana syllabograms [TABLE="class: wikitable nowraplinks"]
    [TR]
    [TH][/TH]
    [TH="colspan: 5, align: center"]Monographs (gojūon)[/TH]
    [TH="colspan: 3, align: center"]Digraphs (yōon)[/TH]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]a[/TH]
    [TH="width: 10%"]i[/TH]
    [TH="width: 10%"]u[/TH]
    [TH="width: 10%"]e[/TH]
    [TH="width: 10%"]o[/TH]
    [TH="width: 11%"]ya[/TH]
    [TH="width: 11%"]yu[/TH]
    [TH="width: 11%"]yo[/TH]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]∅[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]あ
    a [a][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]い
    i [/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]う
    u [u͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]え
    e [e][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]お
    o [o][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E9E9E9, colspan: 3"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]K[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]か
    ka [ka][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]き
    ki [ki][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]く
    ku [ku͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]け
    ke [ke][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]こ
    ko [ko][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]きゃ
    kya [kʲa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]きゅ
    kyu [kʲu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]きょ
    kyo [kʲo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]S[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]さ
    sa [sa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]し
    shi [ɕi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]す
    su [su͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]せ
    se [se][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]そ
    so [so][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]しゃ
    sha [ɕa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]しゅ
    shu [ɕu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]しょ
    sho [ɕo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]T[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]た
    ta [ta][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ち
    chi [ t͡ɕi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]つ
    tsu [ t͡su͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]て
    te [te][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]と
    to [to][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ちゃ
    cha [ t͡ɕa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ちゅ
    chu [ t͡ɕu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ちょ
    cho [ t͡ɕo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]N[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]な
    na [na][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]に
    ni [ni][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぬ
    nu [nu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ね
    ne [ne][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]の
    no [no][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]にゃ
    nya [nʲa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]にゅ
    nyu [nʲu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]にょ
    nyo [nʲo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]H[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]は
    ha [ha]
    ([w͍a] as particle)[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ひ
    hi [çi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ふ
    fu [ɸu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]へ
    he [he]
    ([e] as particle)[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ほ
    ho [ho][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ひゃ
    hya [ça][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ひゅ
    hyu [çu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ひょ
    hyo [ço][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]M[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ま
    ma [ma][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]み
    mi [mi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]む
    mu [mu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]め
    me [me][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]も
    mo [mo][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]みゃ
    mya [mʲa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]みゅ
    myu [mʲu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]みょ
    myo [mʲo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]Y[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]や
    ya [ja][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E9E9E9"][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ゆ
    yu [ju͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E9E9E9"][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]よ
    yo [jo][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E9E9E9, colspan: 3"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]R[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ら
    ra [ɽa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]り
    ri [ɽi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]る
    ru [ɽu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]れ
    re [ɽe][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ろ
    ro [ɽo][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]りゃ
    rya [ɽʲa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]りゅ
    ryu [ɽʲu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]りょ
    ryo [ɽʲo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]W[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]わ
    wa [w͍a][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ゐ
    i/wi [(w͍)i][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E9E9E9"][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ゑ
    e/we [(w͍)e][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]を
    o/wo [(w͍)o] (particle)[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E9E9E9, colspan: 3"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="colspan: 9"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]*[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA, colspan: 5"]ん
    n
    [n] [m] [ŋ] before stop consonants;
    [ɴ] [ũ͍] [ĩ] elsewhere[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]っ
    (indicates a geminate consonant)[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ゝ
    (reduplicates and
    unvoices syllable)[/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ゞ
    (reduplicates and
    voices syllable)[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="colspan: 9"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH][/TH]
    [TH="colspan: 5"]Diacritics (gojūon with (han)dakuten)[/TH]
    [TH="colspan: 3"]Digraphs with diacritics (yōon with (han)dakuten)[/TH]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]a[/TH]
    [TH]i[/TH]
    [TH]u[/TH]
    [TH]e[/TH]
    [TH]o[/TH]
    [TH]ya[/TH]
    [TH]yu[/TH]
    [TH]yo[/TH]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]G[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]が
    ga [ɡa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぎ
    gi [ɡi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぐ
    gu [ɡu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]げ
    ge [ɡe][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ご
    go [ɡo][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ぎゃ
    gya [ɡʲa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ぎゅ
    gyu [ɡʲu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ぎょ
    gyo [ɡʲo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]Z[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ざ
    za [za][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]じ
    ji [d͡ʑi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ず
    zu [zu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぜ
    ze [ze][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぞ
    zo [zo][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]じゃ
    ja [d͡ʑa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]じゅ
    ju [d͡ʑu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]じょ
    jo [d͡ʑo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]D[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]だ
    da [da][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E7F5DE"]ぢ
    ji [d͡ʑi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E7F5DE"]づ
    zu [zu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]で
    de [de][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ど
    do [do][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EEEFE4"]ぢゃ
    ja [d͡ʑa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EEEFE4"]ぢゅ
    ju [d͡ʑu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EEEFE4"]ぢょ
    jo [d͡ʑo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]B[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ば
    ba [ba][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]び
    bi [bi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぶ
    bu [bu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]べ
    be [be][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぼ
    bo [bo][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]びゃ
    bya [bʲa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]びゅ
    byu [bʲu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]びょ
    byo [bʲo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]P[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぱ
    pa [pa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぴ
    pi [pi][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぷ
    pu [pu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぺ
    pe [pe][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #EFFAFA"]ぽ
    po [po][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ぴゃ
    pya [pʲa][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ぴゅ
    pyu [pʲu͍][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #F3F5DE"]ぴょ
    pyo [pʲo][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TH]V[/TH]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E9E9E9, colspan: 2"][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E7F5DE"]ゔ
    vu/u [v(u͍)][/TD]
    [TD="bgcolor: #E9E9E9, colspan: 5"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    In the middle of words, the g sound (normally [ɡ]) often turns into a velar nasal [ŋ] and less often (although increasing recently) into the voiced velar fricative [ɣ]. An exception to this is numerals; 15 juugo is considered to be one word, but is pronounced as if it was and go stacked end to end: [d͡ʑu͍ːɡo].
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  2. RylieJakkens

    RylieJakkens New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This looks very helpful
     
  3. shadow

    shadow New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thanks for the lesson ... it seems easier to learn this way ^w^ ... thanks
     
  4. kbear

    kbear New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    just starting to learn, so thanks for this
     
  5. Milla The Pancake

    Milla The Pancake New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Very helpful! Many thanks ;3
     

Share This Page