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Japanese Lessons with Madeline (Lesson 1 - Hiragana Alphabet Part 1)

Hi everyone!

So, I know most people have been waiting for a Japanese for English speakers course, so I decided to teach a bit of Japanese in the meanwhile! I'm a trilinguist, and Japanese is one of my native languages. I haven't spoken it regularly, though, since I live in America. I'm going to back to live in Japan in April 2018, so I think this would be a great way for me to brush up on my skills as well.

In the first lessons, I'll be reviewing the Table of 50 sounds. In part 1, we'll be learning the first 5 letters of the Hiragana alphabet. They are the short vowels of the alphabet, and are pronounced like the short vowels in English. They are also in the first row of the Table of 50 sounds. I'll also show you some punctuation marks.

According to Google:

Hiragana is a Japanese syllabary, one basic component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana, kanji, and in some cases rōmaji (the Latin-script alphabet). The word hiragana means "ordinary syllabic script".


: a

: i

: u

: e

: o

Here is a picture of the Table of 50 sounds:

Now for some punctuation marks!


Comma: It is written as 読点, and it is spoken tōten.

Period: It is written as 句点, and it is spoken as kuten.

Beginning and end Quotation Marks: 「 」 Both are written as かぎ括弧, and they are spoken as kagikakko.

Question Mark: It is written as 疑問符, and it is spoken as gimonfu.

Exclamation mark: It is written as 感嘆符, and it is spoken as kantanfu.

I hope you enjoyed this Japanese lesson! Please comment! Be sure to look out for these posts, as I hope to create many more until the JP>EN course. If you have any questions, feel free to write in either Japanese or English!

頑張りましょう!- Madeline

August 15, 2015



Oh, this is cool! Have a lingot. ♦️


You're very welcome! :D


I have already mastered my Hiragana pretty well. I just sat down and spent 5 hours each for two days at my grandparents and went through flashcards; then they were pretty well solid. However I did learn something new with your punctuation mark names even after three years of very lazy study lol. So even I was able to get something out of your well designed article. Thanks for that. Although if someone does not know basic Hiragana, they definitely won't remember those Kanji. lol


Ah, good old flashcards, I remember those from when I was 5. My tutor drilled me twice a day for 3 hours, everyday. Yeah, I know that sounds harsh for a little kid, but I pretty much knew everything by the time I started school at 6. Flashcards pay off! The punctuations were new to me, too! I thought I was an expert, but I finally discovered something I didn't know for 7 years! :D Glad you liked the article! And yup, I plan to teach the Kanji a few lessons down. :D


I used Heseigs method to learn how to break down and write Kanji, but I learned I couldn't learn Kanji very well from that method alone, it was long, and ultimately, too time consuming and boring for me to finish. So instead I downloaded vocabulary lists for Anki. and for each word involving Kanji, I would have a Kanji dictionary open in another tab and I would figure out what it meant. But while it is a bit slower, I was seeing all the Kanji in context, I would further break down kanji and make a menomic story out of it if I struggled with it however. (I.E. Hesiegs method)


Yeah, Kanji is really hard. It took me a while to learn. I admit, I actually suck at it. :(


Brilliant! A Lingot 4 you :-)


I studied Japanese at primary school through to high school, but I've forgotten so much :/ I hope it comes to duolingo soon because I love the language so much!!


I studied it right before I started 1st grade (in Japan). I'm going to high school there, and I'm really bad, so my mom says I need to practice some parts of Hiragana, and I need to re-learn most of my Kanji. And I'm not even going to talk about the Katakana, that's a total mess. :(


I'm sure you'll be fine. I'm just surprised that duolingo doesn't have Japanese yet and I've been waiting for ages!!!


Yeah, me too! Maybe it's because of all the different characters involved. :l

[deactivated user]

    Is Katakana THAT bad? I thought Kanji was the hardest!


    Well, Kanji is the hardest, and Katakana wasn't that hard for me, but I haven't needed to use my Katakana for, idk, 5 years? So I forgot most of it and I'm very terrible at it. I am now re-learning it. :)


    応援しています。ファイト☆♪ \(^o^)/


    ありがとう (Arigatō) ^-^ :)


    I like it a lot! Where's the others classes?


    gave u lingot- this is SO cool



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