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Lesson 3: The Writing System

Part 2: Hiragana

こんいちわ みんなーさん (konnichiwa minna san) and welcome to the second part of lesson 3. I'm sorry that this lesson was delayed (my net connection died for a while >_<) And besides I'm sure you all needed that extra time to practice Katakana ^_^. So before we begin here are some words in katakana for you to practice with. If you still can't get your browser to support kanji click here.

1 セーラースータース

2 マズ

3 プリンス デマンド

4 コンピューター

5 コードネマ

6 ムーン クリスタル パワーメイク アーップ!

7 バーニング マンダラ!

8 クラウン

9 タクシード

10 ヴィーナス

Answers: sailor stars, mars, prince demando, computer, code name, moon crystal power make-up!! (^_^), burning mandala, tuxedo, Venus.

And now on with our lesson:


The structure in Hiragana, is identical to katakana, with the same amount of characters and the same permutations. I'll go over them in brief here for you:

X -> X" -> Xー

K -> G

S -> Z

T -> D

H -> B -> P

Here's a chart of the basic characters: (at the end of this lesson is a link to a full alphabet, with all the characters of both hiragana, and katakana, which I suggest you should print out)

An important thing to remember here is this: If you see a small letter tsu (つ) before another character, then the consonant of that character is doubled: like in shippou (tail) which is written しっぽう the tsu means that the "p" of the po (ぽ) sound is doubled. Another thing to remember is that when I've been writing in Japanese throughout these lessons, I've taken care to exaggerate the spaces between the words. In standard Japanese this is not so, and usually there are no spaces between the words at all. However, once you learn the basic word endings, and increase your vocabulary you will not find it to be as much of a problem as it first appears to be.

As the structure of hiragana is the same as that in katakana, I'm going straight into the practice section ^_^.

1 つきの うさぎ

2 ちびーうさ

3 あいの みなこ

4 きの まこと

5 みずの あみ

6 ひの れい

7 ちば まもる

8 らんま 1/2

9 いぬやしゃ

10 かごめ


12 はるか

12 はるか

Answers: Tsukino Usagi, Chibi-usa, Aino Minako, Kino Makoto, Mizuno Ami, Hino Rei, Chiba Mamoru, Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, Kagome, Akane, Haruka (Most of these names can/are also written in Kanji, and I'll illustrate that next lesson)

Here is a full chart of both the Hiragana and the Katakana, that you should print out, and look at when you have time. It is a very well designed chart, and I have found it to be very useful.

Note: since this is a small lesson, I will try to put up part three (Intro to Kanji) up on Sunday, so we can jump right into basic expressions next week ^_^. でわ また! (see you later)

As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to write to me at the address below ^_^.

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Kaitou Ace Princess Minako