For your hiragana assignment points, you must complete the Student Activity Manual (SAM) pages and mail them in for grading. Go HERE for more information.
|Hiragana characters are used for all native Japanese words (as opposed to words borrowed from foreign languages). Any word written in kanji can also be written in hiragana. However, many words that are spelled the same in hiragana have different meanings and are written with different kanji characters. So, you still have to learn kanji! The characters only have one sound, unlike English in which the letter “e” can be a long “e” or a short “e,” hard “g” or soft “g,” etc. That’s good news!
Notice that all the hiragana except ん end in a vowel sound. The character ん can never begin a word. Also, the hiragana を (pronounced o or wo) is never used as a part of a word, but follows the direct object in a sentence. It is called particle o.
The chart on the right consists of basic hiragana. To make more sounds, you can add diacritic marks (two dots or little circles) to certain characters to change the consonant sounds. There is a separate chart below for that.
One very important thing to note is that typed hiragana and handwritten hiragana are different! When you write hiragana, please follow the charts below. The main difference is with characters ki and sa. If you draw them with only one stroke and connected, they will be marked wrong! Finally, hiragana そ (so) can be handwritten either as 2 strokes (the modern way) or one stroke (traditional).