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Showing posts with label - Japanese characters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label - Japanese characters. Show all posts

Sep 21, 2018

September 21, 2018

What is Kanji? Why is Kanji necessary for Japanese?


Hello! I'm Kosuke!

How is your study going?

Maybe you already know that Japanese has three types of characters, Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.


In this article, I will explain about Kanji!


Is this too late?

This is the 41st article of this blog.

I have already explained about Hiragana and Katakana.
  Hiragana >>
  Katakana >>

I even developed small games for them...!
  Hiragana quiz >>
  Katakana quiz >>


However, I didn't explain about Kanji until now...




Did I forget it? hehe


Actually, I think Kanji is too difficult for beginners.

In addition to that, Kanji is not mandatory to remember for you to speak Japanese.

Japanese children speak Japanese without knowing Kanji.




However, for Japanese people, Kanji are very important characters.

Without Kanji, Japanese sentences are very difficult to read even for native Japanese people...

Kanji makes it easier for Japanese people to read sentences.




Let's learn what is Kanji in this article!

Below is the index!





Aug 21, 2018

August 21, 2018

Japanese Katakana chart


Hello. I'm Kosuke!


Do you already remember all Hiragana characters using the Hiragana quiz?

   Hiragana chart >>

   Hiragana quiz >>



Today, let's check the Katakana chart!

Also, I will explain when you should use Katakana later!



After studying the Katakana chart from this article, please check your memory using this:
      Katakana quiz >>




1. Basic Katakana chart

Basic Katakana chart is below!

The line of A
(a)

(i)

(u)

(e)

(o)
The line of K
(ka)

(ki)

(ku)

(ke)

(ko)
The line of S
(sa)

(shi)

(su)

(se)

(so)
The line of T
(ta)

(chi)

(tsu)

(te)

(to)
The line of N
(na)

(ni)

(nu)

(ne)

(no)
The line of H
(ha)

(hi)

(fu)

(he)

(ho)
The line of M
(ma)

(mi)

(mu)

(me)

(mo)
The line of Y
(ya)

(yu)

(yo)
The line of R
(ra)

(ri)

(ru)

(re)

(ro)
The line of W
(wa)

(wo)

(n)


What do you think?

Some of them are very similar to Hiragana, don't you think?


If you have already studied Hiragana, maybe you already know "Dull sound", "P-sound", and "Contracted sound".

If you are not sure about them, please check these:


Let's check the Katakana charts for them below!




2. Katakana chart for dull sound

Below is the chart for dull sounds!

The line of G ガ (ga) ギ (gi) グ (gu) ゲ (ge) ゴ (go)
The line of Z ザ (za) ジ (ji) ズ (zu) ゼ (ze) ゾ (zo)
The line of D ダ (da) ヂ (ji) ヅ (zu) デ (de) ド (do)
The line of B バ (ba) ビ (bi) ブ (bu) ベ (be) ボ (bo)

If you already remember the basic Hiragana chart, the Katakana chart for dull sound is not so difficult.

They just have two small points to the upper right of the characters.

If you want to study about dull sound more, please check this:





Below is the chart for P-sounds!

The line of P パ (pa) ピ (pi) プ (pu) ペ (pe) ポ (po)

It's a very small chart!

To make the P-sound characters, please put a small circle to the upper right of the Katakana characters in the H line!

If you want to check the Hiragana characters for P-sound, please check this:





Below is the chart for contracted sounds!

The line of Ky キャ
(kya)
キュ
(kyu)
キョ
(kyo)
The line of Sh シャ
(sha)
シュ
(shu)
ショ
(sho)
The line of Ch チャ
(cha)
チュ
(chu)
チョ
(cho)
The line of Ny ニャ
(nya)
ニュ
(nyu)
ニョ
(nyo)
The line of Hy ヒャ
(hya)
ヒュ
(hyu)
ヒョ
(hyo)
The line of My ミャ
(mya)
ミュ
(myu)
ミョ
(myo)
The line of Ry リャ
(rya)
リュ
(ryu)
リョ
(ryo)


The line of Gy ギャ
(gya)
ギュ
(gyu)
ギョ
(gyo)
The line of J ジャ
(ja)
ジュ
(ju)
ジョ
(jo)
The line of J ヂャ
(ja)
ヂュ
(ju)
ヂョ
(jo)
The line of By ビャ
(bya)
ビュ
(byu)
ビョ
(byo)


The line of Py ピャ
(pya)
ピュ
(pyu)
ピョ
(pyo)

Contracted sound consists of two characters.

If you want to know the details and example sentences about contracted sound, please check this:





When we use Katakana, 'ー' is used for long sounds.

For example, "coffee" is "コーヒー", and "ball" is "ボール" in Japanese.

Please use 'ー' when you want to write the sound of "aa", "ii", "uu", "ee", "oo", and "ou" in Katakana.

EnglishKatakana
needsニーズ
gameゲーム
girlガール
breederブリーダー


By the way, in Hiragana, we don't use 'ー' as a macron.

Instead, we write another vowel Hiragana character if we need to write it in Hiragana.

EnglishKatakanaHiragana
girlガールがある
breederブリーダーぶりいだあ





Do you remember all the Katakana chart? hehe

By the way, when do we use Katakana characters?
Isn't Hiragana enough?


Mainly, there are two cases when we use Katakana instead of Hiragana.





Sometimes, foreign words are imported as new Japanese words.

In Japan, we use Katakana for the Loan-words from foreign countries.

EnglishKatakana
cakeケーキ
printerプリンター
smartphoneスマートフォン
computerコンピューター


In addition to that, maybe, your name will be written by Katakana if you are from foreign country.

EnglishKatakana
Michael Jacksonマイケル ジャクソン
Mariah Careyマライア キャリー
Usain Boltウサイン ボルト




Onomatopoeic word represents a sound.

It is written by Katakana in Japan.

For example, when horses run, you can hear the sound of hooves trotting along the ground.
In Japan, we write "パカパカ" for that sound.


EnglishKatakana
boom
(sound of explosion)
ドカーン
do ka n
clap
(sound of handclap)
パチパチ
pa chi pa chi
glug
(sound of bell)
チリンチリン
chi ri n chi ri n

Like "パチパチ" and "チリンチリン", we sometimes repeat the same Katakana pattern to express the sound.


Also, the sound animals make is written by Katakana.

EnglishKatakana
wuff wufff
(voice of dog)
ワンワン
wa n wa n
meow
(voice of cat)
ニャー
nya
cock-a-doodle-doo
(voice of chicken)
コケコッコー
ko ke ko k ko



As I explained above, we use Katakana characters for "Loan-words from foreign countries" and "Onomatopoeic word".



To confirm that you remember all Katakana characters, please use this:
   Katakana quiz >>



I hope this article helps you study Japanese!
Thank you for reading!



Jul 30, 2018

July 30, 2018

Romaji chart



Today, please let me explain about Romaji!

After memorizing the Romaji chart, please use this to check your memory of Romaji:
   Hiragana quiz >>



If you are an English speaker, Romaji is quite easy for you.

Romaji is the way to write Japanese words using the alphabet.


Originally, there were no alphabetic words in Japan.

They used old Hiragana and old Kanji.

If you don't know what Hiragana and Kanji are, please check the article below:
  The three types of Japanese characters >>


However, recently, Japanese people need to write Japanese word in English.

For example, when they go abroad, they need to write their name in English.

That's why Romaji is generally used in Japan now.



Let's check the Romaji chart:

    あ
a
    い
i
    う
u
    え
e
    お
o
    か
ka
    き
ki
    く
ku
    け
ke
    こ
ko
    さ
sa
    し
shi
    す
su
    せ
se
    そ
so
    た
ta
    ち
chi
    つ
tsu
    て
te
    と
to
    な
na
    に
ni
    ぬ
nu
    ね
ne
    の
no
    は
ha
    ひ
hi
    ふ
fu
    へ
he
    ほ
ho
    ま
ma
    み
mi
    む
mu
    め
me
    も
mo
    や
ya
    い
i
    ゆ
yu
    え
e
    よ
yo
    ら
ra
    り
ri
    る
ru
    れ
re
    ろ
ro
    わ
wa
    を
wo
    ん
n
                   

    が
ga
    ぎ
gi
    ぐ
gu
    げ
ge
    ご
go
    ざ
za
    じ
ji
    ず
zu
    ぜ
ze
    ぞ
zo
    だ
da
    ぢ
ji
    づ
zu
    で
de
    ど
do
    ば
ba
    び
bi
    ぶ
bu
    べ
be
    ぼ
bo

    ぱ
pa
    ぴ
pi
    ぷ
pu
    ぺ
pe
    ぽ
po

    きゃ
kya
         きゅ
kyu
         きょ
kyo
    しゃ
sha
         しゅ
shu
         しょ
sho
    ちゃ
cha
         ちゅ
chu
         ちょ
cho
    にゃ
nya
         にゅ
nyu
         にょ
nyo
    ひゃ
hya
         ひゅ
hyu
         ひょ
hyo
    みゃ
mya
         みゅ
myu
         みょ
myo
    りゃ
rya
         りゅ
ryu
         りょ
ryo
    ぎゃ
gya
         ぎゅ
gyu
         ぎょ
gyo
    じゃ
ja
         じゅ
ju
         じょ
jo
    びゃ
bya
         びゅ
byu
         びょ
byo
    ぴゃ
pya
         ぴゅ
pyu
         ぴょ
pyo


I showed you this chart because I will use Romaji when I explain to you about Japanese grammar.
So I thought it would cause some confusion if I didn't explain about Romaji at all.

You should just remember that Romaji is a way to write Japanese words using the alphabet.


Please use the quiz to confirm if you remember all Romaji characters!
  Hiragana quiz >>



By the way, は sometimes makes the sound 'wa' instead of 'ha'.
Why does it happen?

In the next article, let's learn about post-positional particle, は(wa)!
  ~は(wa) >>

I hope this article helps you study Japanese.
Thank you for reading!


Related articles:

    Hiragana quiz >>

    Hiragana chart >>

    Dull sound >>

    P-sound >>

    Syllabic nasal >>

    Contracted sound >>

July 30, 2018

Contracted sound



In the previous article, I explained about syllabic nasal.
  Syllabic nasal >>

It is a small version of the character, つ.

Like that, there are other small characters in Japanese.

They are called "Contracted sound".

But the way to use them is a little bit different from syllabic nasal!


At first, let's check the chart of contracted sound!



The chart of contracted sound:


The line of Ky きゃ
(kya)
きゅ
(kyu)
きょ
(kyo)
The line of Sh しゃ
(sha)
しゅ
(shu)
しょ
(sho)
The line of Ch ちゃ
(cha)
ちゅ
(chu)
ちょ
(cho)
The line of Ny にゃ
(nya)
にゅ
(nyu)
にょ
(nyo)
The line of Hy ひゃ
(hya)
ひゅ
(hyu)
ひょ
(hyo)
The line of My みゃ
(mya)
みゅ
(myu)
みょ
(myo)
The line of Ry りゃ
(rya)
りゅ
(ryu)
りょ
(ryo)


The line of Gy ぎゃ
(gya)
ぎゅ
(gyu)
ぎょ
(gyo)
The line of J じゃ
(ja)
じゅ
(ju)
じょ
(jo)
The line of J ぢゃ
(ja)
ぢゅ
(ju)
ぢょ
(jo)
The line of By びゃ
(bya)
びゅ
(byu)
びょ
(byo)


The line of Py ぴゃ
(pya)
ぴゅ
(pyu)
ぴょ
(pyo)


As the table above, contracted sound is a sound written by two characters, one big character and one small character.

If you still don't remember basic Hiragana characters, please check the Hiragana chart below:

If you still don't remember ぎ, じ, or び, please remember the dull sound chart below:

If you still don't remember ぴ, please remember the P-sound chart below:



In the table of contracted sound, there are two lines of J.

Actually, the second line is not used normally.
So じゃ, じゅ, and じょ are normally used instead of ぢゃ, ぢゅ, and ぢょ if there is not some special reason.



Let's check some examples of contracted sound!




Examples:

EnglishHiraganaRomaji
catきゃっとkyatto
nuclearにゅうくりあnyukuria
joinじょいんjoin
pureぴゅpyua

If you don't remember the small character, っ for 'cat', please check the previous article.
  Syllabic nasal >>

Right column of the table is written in Japanese alphabetic letter, called "Romaji".
As I told in previous article, if you are an English speaker, you might feel "cat" and "kyatto" sound different.
But Romaji is generally used in Japan to convert Hiragana and Katakana into alphabet.
Please check the article below for further information about Romaji:
  Romaji >>

I hope this article helps you study Japanese!
Thank you for reading!


Related articles:

    Hiragana quiz >>

    Hiragana chart >>

    Dull sound >>

    P-sound >>

    Syllabic nasal >>

    Romaji chart >>

July 30, 2018

Syllabic nasal



In this article, let me talk about syllabic nasal!

Syllabic nasal is the sound of the word, ''.

Is that ' (tsu)'?

No no.
Please look at the letter well...


It is a little bit smaller than normal Hiragana.


Let's compare:

Normal HiraganaSyllabic nasal

Can you see the difference?


Let's check how it is used!

Example:

EnglishHiraganaRomaji
hatはっとhatto
bookぶっくbukku
getげっとgetto
kickきっくkikku
fashionふぁっしょんfasshon
lollipopろりぽっぷroripoppu

If you still don't remember basic Hiragana characters, please check the Hiragana chart below:
  Hiragana chart >>

If you still don't remember ぶ and げ, please remember the dull sound chart below:
  Dull sound >>

If you still don't remember ぽ and ぷ, please remember the P-sound chart below:
  P-sound >>


Regarding the first example in the table, はっと is from the English word, "hat".

Like hat, っ is used for the word you should stop the sound in the middle of the word.

If we remove っ from 'はっと(hatto)', it becomes 'はと(hato)'.
はと means pigeon, and it is a different word.


Right column of the table is written in Japanese alphabetic letter, called "Romaji".
If you are an English speaker, maybe you feel "hat" and "hatto" sounds different.
But Romaji is generally used in Japan to convert Hiragana and Katakana into alphabet.

Please check the article below for further information about Romaji:
  Romaji >>



っ is the small version of つ.
Like that, there are still other small Hiragana characters.

I will explain other small characters called "contracted sound" in the next article.
  Contracted sound >>


I hope this article helps you study Japanese!
Thank you for reading!




July 30, 2018

P-sound



In this article, please let me explain about "P-sound"!

However, if you have already understood the explanation about basic Hiragana and Dull sound, this article is quite easy for you!

   Basic Hiragana chart >>

   Dull sound >>


"P-sound" is quite similar to "Dull sound".

Let's look at the chart of the P-sound characters at first!


The chart of P-sound characters is below:

The line of P ぱ (pa) ぴ (pi) ぷ (pu) ぺ (pe) ぽ (po)



Is that all!?

Yes, that's all.

Only those 5 characters are P-sound in Japanese.


Let's compare them with basic Hiragana characters:

The line of H は (ha) ひ (hi) ふ (fu) へ (he) ほ (ho)



Did you notice the rule?

If you want to make the P-sound character, you just put a small circle at the upper right of the basic character.

The small circle is called "P-sound consonant mark".
Isn't this so similar to the rule of "Dull sound"?


In the next article, let's talk about Syllabic nasal!
  Syllabic nasal >>


I hope this article helps you study Japanese.
Thank you for reading!

July 30, 2018

Dull sound


Hiragana's basic rule is explained in the previous article!
  Hiragana list >>


In addition to that, you should understand "Dull sound"!


Dull sound is based on basic Hiragana characters.

They are like below:

The line of G が (ga) ぎ (gi) ぐ (gu) げ (ge) ご (go)
The line of Z ざ (za) じ (ji) ず (zu) ぜ (ze) ぞ (zo)
The line of D だ (da) ぢ (ji) づ (zu) で (de) ど (do)
The line of B ば (ba) び (bi) ぶ (bu) べ (be) ぼ (bo)

What do you think?
Is this easy to remember.

When you compare this with the basic Hiragana chart, you will know this is quite easy.

Below is a part of the basic Hiragana chart corresponded to dull sound:

The line of K か (ka) き (ki) く (ku) け (ke) こ (ko)
The line of S さ (sa) し (shi) す (su) せ (se) そ (so)
The line of T た (ta) ち (chi) つ (tsu) て (te) と (to)
The line of H は (ha) ひ (hi) ふ (fu) へ (he) ほ (ho)

Have you already remembered the chart above?

When you want to write a character of dull sound, you just need to write two small points at the upper right of the character.
(You will see it when you compare the two charts above.)

These two small points are called "sonant mark".


Officially, there are only 20 characters of dull sound in the chart, and they are easy to remember, right?


Sometimes Japanese people give the sonant mark to other Hiragana characters, like あ(a).

But it is not official.
Maybe you will see that way to use a sonant mark on the internet.

However, I recommend you to use sonant mark only for the 20 characters above, because it is the official way to use it.



In the next article, I will explain about P-sound!
  P-sound >>


I hope this article helps you study Japanese.
Thank you for reading this article!

July 30, 2018

Japanese Hiragana chart


In previous article, I explained that there are three types of characters in Japanese.
  The three types of Japanese characters >>


In this article, let me talk about the Hiragana chart!

After memorizing the Hiragana chart, please use this to check your memory of Hiragana:
   Hiragana quiz >>



Below is the Hiragana chart:

The line of A
(a)

(i)

(u)

(e)

(o)
The line of K
(ka)

(ki)

(ku)

(ke)

(ko)
The line of S
(sa)

(shi)

(su)

(se)

(so)
The line of T
(ta)

(chi)

(tsu)

(te)

(to)
The line of N
(na)

(ni)

(nu)

(ne)

(no)
The line of H
(ha)

(hi)

(fu)

(he)

(ho)
The line of M
(ma)

(mi)

(mu)

(me)

(mo)
The line of Y
(ya)

(yu)

(yo)
The line of R
(ra)

(ri)

(ru)

(re)

(ro)
The line of W
(wa)

(wo)

(n)



Basically, 46 characters above are all the Hiragana you should remember.

Even if you can't remember all of the Hiragana above quickly, you don't need to be sad.
You will see many examples using Hiragana characters, and you will get used to them soon.



By the way, did you find the rule of the Hiragana chart?


Hiragana chart is classified by vowels and consonants.


In the hiragana chart, there are 10 lines, A, K, S, T, N, H, M, Y, R, and W.
They are consonants. 
However, there is no consonants for the first line, A.

For each line, there are 5 letters correspondent with 5 vowels, aiue, and o.

It is the rule of the Hiragana chart.
However, you may have two things which you think are strange.




#1. There are only three words in the line of Y!

Yes, there are only three characters in that line.
Probably, the reason is that they are difficult to pronounce.

Can you pronounce "yi" and "ye"?
For a Japanese speaker, it is very uncomfortable to pronounce!

Actually, in the very old Japanese character chart, "yi" and "ye" were included.
However, they are normally not used now.




#2. The line of W is strange!

Yes, that line is very strange.
There are only three characters in this line.
In addition to that, why is 'ん(n)' here?

Please just remember this line.

Actually, 'ん(n)' should not be included in this line.
But 'ん(n)' is a special character for Japanese.
So we just want to put it somewhere.
That's why we put it at the end of the Hiragana chart normally.

I need to explain one more thing about the line of W.
It is 'を(wo)'.

Actually, 'を(wo)' is also a special character in Japanese.
The case to use 'を(wo)' is limited.

For knowing the details of 'を(wo)', please check this:
  Particle "を(wo)" >>


'を(wo)' is always put just after objects (noun) of the sentence.

For example, if you eat a cake, you will put 'を(wo)' after cake, like:

   "cakeを"




Do these sound hard?

But if you remember all Hiragana characters, you can pronounce all Japanese sounds!


Let's learn more Hiragana rule, "Dull sound", "P-sound",  "Syllabic nasal", and "Contracted sound", from the next article.


Also, please use the Hiragana quiz to confirm if you remember all Hiragana characters!
   Hiragana quiz >>


I hope this article helps you study Japanese!
Thank you for reading!