1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. Help with Hiragana


Help with Hiragana

How do I know which hiragana mean which letters in English? For example, all Russian characters translate to one English letter. Is it the same in Japanese?

February 20, 2018



The hiragana translate to each vowel(and syllable) as either standalone or with a consonant. The basic first sets to learn are:

a - あ e - え i - い o - お u - う

ka - か ke - け ki - き ko - こ ku - く

sa - さ se - せ shi - し so - そ su - す

And so on since there's more than just these above. Japanese is easily broken down into short vowel sounds too. There's also the katakana alphabet which is similar to hiragana but used on foreign words(ex. hamburger = ハンバガア or ha-n-ba-ga-a). And finally there is the kanji or Chinese characters, but they add those in a little at a time.

Hope that explains it well. I highly recommend learning a good amount of hiragana at the beginning of the Japanese course. It makes a huge difference.

Good luck and がんばれ!


Small nitpick: Hamburger is ハンバーガー (Ha・n・baー・gaー).


Oops, forgot about that extra 'a'


I was looking for the same answer.. There was no way to know the english translation ...

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.