Hiragana 4

Additional hiragana characters

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Hiragana 4

There are more characters besides the 46 base characters that we have learned by now. The other characters are represented by adding diacritical marks to the base characters or combining two characters together.

Diacritical marks

Diacritical Marks ( ゛) are small marks that look similar to a double apostrophe in English and are used to change how the character is pronounced. The consonants k, s, t and h become g, z, d and b. The consonant h can also change to p with the addition of the small circle ( ゜). Not every consonant can have a Diacritical mark. For example, the hiragana characters in the row of the kana table (, , , , ) can not have diacritical marks.

がぎぐげご

The "k" row of hiragana かきくけこ becomes "g" sounds with the diacritical marks.

ga

gi

gu

ge

go

ざじずぜぞ

The "s" row of hiragana さしすせそ becomes "z" sounds with the diacritical marks. じ and ぢ are pronounced the same, and ず and づ are pronounced the same.

za

ji

zu

ze

zo

だぢづでど

The "t" row of hiragana たちつてと becomes "d" sounds with the diacritical marks. じ and ぢ are pronounced the same, and ず and づ are pronounced the same.

da

ji

zu

de

do

ばびぶべぼ

The "h" row of hiragana はひふへほ becomes "b" sounds with the diacritical marks (゛).

ba

bi

bu

be

bo

ぱぴぷぺぽ

The "h" row of hiragana はひふへほ also becomes "p" sounds with the diacritical marks (゜).

pa

pi

pu

pe

po

Contracted sounds

Small versions of , , and can be added to characters which use the vowel (, , , , , , , , , , ) to make additional sounds. Note that these characters still represent a single syllable.

きゃきゅきょ

きゃ

kya

きゅ

kyu

きょ

kyo

しゃしゅしょ

しゃ

sha

しゅ

shu

しょ

sho

ちゃちゅちょ

ちゃ

cha

ちゅ

chu

ちょ

cho

にゃにゅにょ

にゃ

nya

にゅ

nyu

にょ

nyo

ひゃひゅひょ

ひゃ

hya

ひゅ

hyu

ひょ

hyo

みゃみゅみょ

みゃ

mya

みゅ

myu

みょ

myo

りゃりゅりょ

りゃ

rya

りゅ

ryu

りょ

ryo

ぎゃぎゅぎょ

ぎゃ

gya

ぎゅ

gyu

ぎょ

gyo

じゃじゅじょ

じゃ

ja

じゅ

ju

じょ

jo

びゃびゅびょ

びゃ

bya

びゅ

byu

びょ

byo

ぴゃぴゅぴょ

ぴゃ

pya

ぴゅ

pyu

ぴょ

pyo

Double consonants

A small can be used to represent a double consonant such as kk or pp.

  • あっか (akka) vs あか (aka)
  • きって (kitte) vs きて (kite)

This does not apply to the double consonant nn which is written with a + a hiragana with the n consonant (, , , , ) instead.

  • さんねん (sannen)

Long vowels

When a vowel is placed after a consonant-vowel pair of the same vowel, the pronunciation becomes longer.

  • おじいさん (ojiisan) vs おじさん (ojisan)
  • おばあさん (obaasan) vs おばさん (obasan)
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