Additional hiragana charactersNeed help?
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 ( ゛) 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 な row of the kana table (な, に, ぬ, ね, の) can not have diacritical marks.
The "k" row of hiragana かきくけこ becomes "g" sounds with the diacritical marks.
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.
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.
The "h" row of hiragana はひふへほ becomes "b" sounds with the diacritical marks (゛).
The "h" row of hiragana はひふへほ also becomes "p" sounds with the diacritical marks (゜).
Small versions of や, ゆ, and よ can be added to characters which use the い vowel (き, し, ち, に, ひ, み, り, ぎ, じ, び, ぴ ) to make additional sounds. Note that these characters still represent a single syllable.
A small つ 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 ん + a hiragana with the n consonant (な, に, ぬ, ね, の) instead.
- さんねん (sannen)
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)