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How To Read And Pronounce The Japanese Alphabet (Easy Guide)

The Japanese alphabet consists of two phonetic alphabets: Katakana and Hiragana (there's also Kanji which are Chinese characters). It's vital to learn these special characters if you want to learn Japanese.

Like Korean, the Japanese alphabet is silabic with the exception of the "n".

This means that you're actually reading syllables instead of combining individual letter sounds as we do in English.

The Japanese alphabet has 46 pure sounds (SEION) some of them soften in another 20 sounds (DAKUON and HANDAKUON). Some syllabes are combinated with others making 33 sounds (YOON). Read on to see how the Japanese alphabet works.

Hiragana Alphabet

In this table you'll see the Japanese alphabet for words that are originally from Japan.

Hiragana - SEION
あ aい iう uえ eお o
か kaき kiく kuけ keこ ko
さ saし shiす suせ seそ so
た taち chiつ tsuて teと to
な naに niぬ nuね neの no
は haひ hiふ fuへ heほ ho
ま maみ miむ muめ meも mo
や yaゆ yuよ yo
ら raり riる ruれ reろ ro
わ waを wo
ん n
Hiragana - DAKUON and HANDAKUON
が gaぎ giぐ guげ geご go
ざ zaじ jiず zuぜ zeぞ zo
だ daぢ jiづ zuで deど do
ば baび biぶ buべ beぼ bo
ぱ paぴ piぷ puぺ peぽ po

Hiragana - YOON

きゃ kyaきゅ kyuきょ kyoしゃ shaしゅ shuしょ sho
ちゃ chaちゅ chuちょ choにゃ nyaにゅ nyuにょ nyo
ひゃ hyaひゅ hyuひょ hyoみゃ myaみゅ myuみょ myo
りゃ ryaりゅ ryuりょ ryoぎゃ gyaぎゅ gyuぎょ gyo
じゃ jaじゅ juじょ joびゃ byaびゅ byuびょ byo
ぴゃ pyaぴゅ pyuぴょ pyo

Katakana Alphabet

This alphabet is used for word that are foreign to Japan like names of cities in America.

Katakana - SEION
aiueo
kakikukeko
sashisuseso
tachitsuteto
naninuneno
hahifuheho
mamimumemo
yayuyo
rarirurero
wawo
n

Katakana - DAKUON and HANDAKUON

gagigugego
zajizezo
dajizudedo
babibubebo
papipupepo

Katakana - YOON

kyakyukyoshashusho
chachuchonyanyunyo
hyahyuhyomyamyumyo
ryaryuryogyagyugyo
jajujobyabyubyo
pyapyupyo
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Author: Ichika
"新しい言語は、新たな人生の始まり。"
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