Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Learning Kana, post 3 (hiragana ma-n)

Last week for hiragana, not that many this time as not all the rows actually have 5 kana, though there are some very similar kana in this set.

You can find older posts here: Learning kana, post 1 (a-zo), Learning kana, post 2(ta-po).


All gifs that I display with the kana are from: http://www.umich.edu/~umichjlp/Hiraganapro/index.html

Seventh row M
No dakuten on this row though there are two kana that look a lot like previous rows.


MA

Yes, this looks a lot like HO from the last time, it just doesn't have the stroke on the left side. This is why I split this set up before the M row, this way you can be comfortable with one before learning about the other.



MI

I always feel this looks a lot like the H capital in cursive. Remember that the kana is sloped and not straight and that the end of the first stroke goes downward, not horizontal.



MU

Not the easiest to write. Though someone said it looks a bit like a mug with an ear, and I think that really does help to remember this kana.


ME

Looks a lot like NU from before, just without the curl at the end of the second stroke. Someone said that you might remember it my thinking of menu, me is the one without the loop at the end and nu the one with the loop.



MO

No hints on how to write or remember this. Just remember that the first stroke goes upwards at the end and towards the beginning.



Eighth row Y
Only three kana in this, the other two have become extinct. You can still find them on some sources but you don't need to know them as they are no longer used.



YA

Remember to keep it sloped but that the first and third stroke cross each other straight (like a cross, just sloped) and that the third stroke is straight, not curved.





YU

Unlike previous kana, this one has all curves, no straight lines. Keep everything nice and round and you should be fine.




YO

You've seen this construction before on quite a few kana, but this time the first stroke is only on one side of the second kana, also the end of the second kana should not stick out further than the first stroke.



Ninth row R(L)
There are multiple tricks with this row. First, the pronunciation. The sound of this row is between the R and the L sound in (you can find a guide here). A lot of the kana here look like kana we've seen before. Don't let that scare you off, just practice.



RA

Remember the Chi? Well, this is one without the top stroke but rather with a little hook.








RI

Yes, this looks like the I, just with a longer second stroke.









RU

This one is more hooked than the RA. Remember to make the second hook point out further than the start of the stroke and that you keep the loop round.






RE

Looks like NE, but without a loop at the end, rather it goes straight down (parallel to the first stroke), more like the ending of a cursive n.






RO

Like RU but without the little extra loop on the end.








Tenth row W
Just two of these, rest is no longer in use.



WA

Like NE and RE but this one bows inwards, just doesn't loop.








WO

This one is often not pronounced as WO but as O and is mostly used in grammar.





Eleventh row N
This is more a special character. This is the only consonant without a vowel. The sound is like an N but can in some cases turn into more of an M sound depending on the kana around it.



N

Remember E? N looks like that, just without the top.








And that is it! Those are the last kana of hiragana. How many of them can you recognise by now? Are you still practising? I hope you are, since knowing kana is very important when you're studying Japanese (if you want to know why, check out my post on why I don't use romaji on the blog or my post on kanji).

Next week I'll be spending on how to create special sounds in hiragana. You won't be learning any new kana, just how to combine them. The week after that I'll start with katakana.

Study on!

Kia


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