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10 July 2009 @ 01:55 pm

Now that we know the Japanese vowels, A, I, U, E, O, we'll learn more hiragana and how to use dakuten.
Japanese vowels will always appear in the order: A, I, U, E, and O. Order is very important, along with pronunciation!
Think of it like this, in a dictionary, you wouldn't go looking for a word beginning with an "A" in the "S" section, would you? The same thought applies to Japanese vowels.

Let's begin with the "K" and "G" sounds.
*Note that the characters below contain a vowel sound. (a i u e o)
*Also note that the "G" is never a fully "G" sound.
Ka"Ka" as in CarGa"Ga" as in Got
Ki"Ki" as in KeyGi"Gi" as in  froggie
Ku"Ku" as in CooGu"Gu" as in Goo
Ke"Ke" as in OkayGe"Ge" as in Get
Ko"Ko" as in CopeGo"Go" as in Go

& G sounds use the same Hiragana, but do you see the difference? "K" sounds make a "G" sound when a dakuten is applied.
This " is a dakuten. We know it as a quotation mark, but in Japanese these 「」 are quotation marks, but that's an entirely different lesson.

So, let's recap, using a much similar way of learning.

Ka + " = Ga
Ki + " = Gi
Ku + " = Gu
Ke + " = Ge
Ko + " = Go

Dakutens are not used on every hiragana. I will make notes in the future on which do not use Dakuten.

Numbers 1-10


ichi "i-chi" sounds like "Itchy" without the "t"
ni "ni" sounds like knee
san "sa-n" sounds like Nissan
yon "yo-n"
go "go"
roku "ro-ku"
shichi "shi-chi"
hachi "ha-chi"
kyuu "k-yu-u" sounds like "Q"
juu "j-u-u" sounds like "Jew"

You'll notice that "kyuu" and "juu" do not follow the constant and vowel characters that you're used to. This will be explained in a different lesson.

Some more basic words:



neko "ne-ko"
nihongo "ni-ho-n-go"
genki "ge-n-ki"
kuruma "ku-ru-ma"
ie "i-e"
hon "ho-n"
isu "i-su"

01 July 2009 @ 10:02 am
We'll start off with the basics and a few words.

A, I, U, E, O, are vowels. They will always sound the same, no matter what.
Below are the Vowels, along with their hiragana counterpart, and the way to pronounce said letter.

 A   あ"A" as in "father"
 I  い"I" as in "e" or "feet"
 U  う"U" as in "Oo" (as in little kids going "Oo" when there's trouble.)
 E  え"E" as in "Eh?"
 O           お       "O" as in "Oh"

Some very basic words that are commonly used.

    Yes       hai    はい
      No       iie   いいえ
    Good        ii   いい
     Bad     dame   だめ
Thank you    arigatou ありがとう
     Hello   konnichiwa  こんいちわ
 Goodbye   sayounara  さようなら

hai sounds like "hi"
iie sounds like "ea"
ii sounds like "e"

Constant sounds remain the same.
dame "da-me" ("me" will sound like "meh")
arigatou "a-ri-ga-to-u"
konnichiwa "ko-nni-chi-wa"
sayounara "sa-yo-na-ra"

I'll also cover "I".

  "I" Neutral & formalwatashi わたし
      "I" Feminine  atashiあたし
     "I" Masculine  boku  ぼく

watashi "wa-ta-shi"
atashi "a-ta-shi"
boku "bo-ku"

30 June 2009 @ 06:00 pm
I'll go ahead and provide answers to questions that will most likely come up.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Will this Community teach me to be fluent in Japanese? No. Fluency is achieved by repetition and interaction with people who know the language. Learning Japanese, or any language for that matter, is not learned over night or mere weeks.

How long will it take me to learn Japanese? An estimate would be around a year for conversational purposes, for those who wish to learn how to write and speak, it will take years. I've seen people who live in Japan with a work permit, and have been there for years and still do not know everything (because there's so much to learn!). It really depends on how hard you want to work.

How often should I study? Everyday! Incorporate the language into your everyday tasks.

Even if it's just one word! Instead of saying, "Monday" say "Getsuyoubi." (Ge-tsu-yo-u-bi || げつようび || 月曜日) Little things like that will make a difference, no matter how insignificant it might seem.

It's so hard! Is there an easier way? No way. Studying and repetition is the key! It'll get easier as you progress. Stick with it! Gambatte!

I don't understand this ___ (insert hiragana/word lesson here). Can you explain it to me? Sure.

Can I skip learning hiragana? That's up to you, but if you're just wanting to speak the language, go ahead and skip it. I will warn you that it will only take a little extra time associating "ka" with its hiragana か. It's not hard, and well worth learning.

Will you translate this for me? Here's the thing. I am only a novice.
What I can do, however, is translate romaji into hiragana, and possibly romaji into English. I can also tell you meanings of words. Don't expect anything spectacular from me.

Do you speak Japanese? Are you Japanese. No to both of those questions. I have a small conversational vocabulary.