Hiragana: An Introduction

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Hiragana is the main phonetic writing system in Japanese used to represent every distinct sound.

The table represents the entire Hiragana characters organized by the consonant and vowel sounds. Most sounds in Japanese are easily represented by a vowel or consonant-vowel, “chi,” “shi,” “fu,” and “tsu” are the only exceptions as shown in the chart.  There is also one consonant-only sound: “ん”. The above chart also shows the stroke order for Hiragana.

A simplified chart without stroke order is shown below:

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Here are a few sample words in Hiragana:

あう —> to meet

いえ —> house

おい —> nephew

うえ —> above

いう —> to say

Practice writing the hiragana characters to help commit them to memory. You can do this on a blank sheet of paper or here are some easy practice sheets you can print out below.  Make sure you practice the proper stroke order.  It will be helpful to get in the practice before moving on to the more complex Kanji.

Practice sheets: http://japanese-lesson.com/characters/hiragana/hiragana_writing.html

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