Learn HIRAGANA: aiueo – ALL 46 Characters Every Japanese Beginner Must-Know

Link to the Hiragana Practice Sheet ↓
HIRAGANA PRACTICE SHEET

This site gives you the ultimate guide for learning Hiragana characters.
Let’s learn how to write and read ALL Hiragana with me!Although English is written in one kind of alphabet, Japanese is written in 3 styles of letter: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.

By the way, Most of Japanese people finish up learning Hiragana at the age of 6-7 years old. And we learn Katakana at almost the same time.

Kanji is the most confusing part. We start leaning Kanji from the first grade of elementary school, and we continue to learn until about 15 years old.
We start from easier Kanji and it gets more and more difficult as we advanced in grade.

And then finally, we are supposed to learn more than 2,000 Kanji!!

That sounds hard right?!

That’s tough to learn all of 3 styles of letter: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.
So why don’t we complete Hiragana character first.

As long as you know Hiragana character, you will be able to access text-based Japanese! Even though you don’t know how to write Kanji character, you can easily find reading matters that Hiragana placed above kanji.Look at this slide above. Even though you don’t know how to write the word “Japanese” in Kanji character, Hiragana character could be used to substitute Kanji.
I mean, Some of reading matters are having those expression that Hiragana is placed above Kanji.

Also writing using only Hiragana is totally fine, it’s understandable when you want to transmit your words in Japanese.

So, let‘s master Hiragana!!


First of all, let me explain the basic knowledge about Hiragana.
There are 46 hiragana characters, and this is the table to master all of characters.

Please look at topmost, the orange part. Japanese has five vowel sound, and each vowel is transliterated to each of the five letters of the Roman alphabet: A, I, U, E, O.
These vowel sounds become hiragana characters as you can see on top column: あ い う え お.


By the way, unlike English alphabet, each Hiragana character represents only one syllable sound. As you can see the slide above, the pronunciation of English alphabet “A”, for example changes depending on the word.

But Hiragana is not like that, you will always sound the same way “a (あ)”.


Lets’ go back to the table.
How about the rest of characters other than five vowels?

The rest of characters consist of the consonant sound and one of vowel sound. You need to memorize 9 kinds of consonant: K, S, T, N, H, M, Y, R, and W.


Look at the green part.
For example, the combination of  “consonant K” on the second column and the second vowel “i” will be “Ki”. It is going to be Hiragana character “き”.



At the end, there is exceptional sound “ん” which is transliterated to “N”.


That’s all for 46 Hiragana characters.
I think some of you wonder why there are some blanks on the table. The characters on the blanks were used a long time ago but actually those characters had replaced by other 46 characters. So now they are gone.

We will learn each one of Hiragana character next.
Let’s check the stroke order and how to pronounce them.

If you have time please check my YouTube video. I explain each Hiragana characters’ pronunciation in the video using English words.


Let’s start with the five vowels on the first column.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant K” and “each vowel”.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant S” and “each vowel”.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant T” and “each vowel”.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant N” and “each vowel”.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant H” and “each vowel”.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant M” and “each vowel”.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant Y” and “each vowel”.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant R” and “each vowel”.


Next, let’s look at the combination of “Consonant W” and “each vowel”.
Also, the final Hiragana “N”.


That’s ALL for Hiragana characters!!!
We have learned 46 Hiragana characters, Yay!!!

Finally I want to introduce the great sheet for practicing Hiragana characters. You can trace the letters on this paper.
HIRAGANA PRACTICE SHEET

Most of Japanese master Hiragana characters by writing so many times. (I did it too!)
So I recommend having a lot of practice with this paper until you can speak or write from memory.

がんばりましょう!!!