Hiragana

The sounds that make up the current Japanese Hiragana character set have developed over 1000 years. They are displayed in the table below and make up what is known as the gojū-on zu or the “Fifty Sounds Table”. Changes over the years have reduced the actual number to 46.

Place the mouse cursor over a character to display the English letters representing the character (called romaji) in the RED BOX and the actual pronunciation of the character in the YELLOW BOX.

Hiragana Character Set
daku-on are the sounds correpsonding to g, z, d and b.  This is also referred to as daku-ten or nigori-ten referring to the two small lines written in the upper right portion of the character.  handaku-on corresponds to the sound p.  This is also referred to as handaku-ten or maru referring to the small circle written in the upper right portion of the character.

Place the mouse cursor over a character to display the English letters representing the character (called romaji) in the RED BOX and the actual pronunciation of the character in the YELLOW BOX.

Hiragana (daku-on and handaku-on characters)
yō-on are the sounds correpsonding to the use of ゃ, ゅ and ょ as a small character proceeding a character as shown in the table below.  These sounds can be combined with the soku-on mark denoted by a small version of つ, which looks like っ.  The soku-on character extends the preceeding character sound.  Example: きっ or when combined with yō-on, きゃっ.

Place the mouse cursor over a character to display the English letters representing the character (called romaji) in the RED BOX and the actual pronunciation of the character in the YELLOW BOX.

Hiragana (yō-on characters)
りゃ みゃ ひゃ にゃ ちゃ しゃ きゃ
りゅ みゅ ひゅ にゅ ちゅ しゅ きゅ
りょ みょ ひょ にょ ちょ しょ きょ
Another character used in written Japanese to express the months counter is ヶ and used to replace the similarly functional soku-on character (for example, 一ヶ月, which means one month.)




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