https://www.duolingo.com/ZoeTtt

Question about Hiragana

I understood the difference between usual つ (tsu) and っ (small tsu): きて (kite) -- きって (kitte)

But what is the difference between other usual and small hiraganas?

May 9, 2018

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MadameSensei

We have what we call "blended sounds." This will only happen with や・ゆ・よ, and anything that rhymes with い.For example, とうきょう is not pronounced "Toe key yo" but rather the "k" and "y" smack together to make one sound.

Another example: To get the "cha" "chu" or "cho" sound, you will need to blend these three ひらがな(や・ゆ・よ) with ち: ちゃ・ちゅ・ちょ。

The blending works with anything that rhymes with い:き・ぎ・し・じ・に・ひ・ぴ・び・み・り

When you get ready for katakana, you will see a lot of other tiny vowels. That's because whatever was going to be "ye" and "yi" dropped out of the spoken language long before China taught Japan how to write, and Japanese court ladies invented ひらがな to show inflection and particles. Since nowadays, かたかな is used for foreign or made-up words, there are a few extra "blended sounds" with little イ (pronounced exactly the same as い ) or little エ (which is the same as え) or even sometimes other vowels.

パーティー (Party)

ヴァンパイア (Vampire)

フォーク (Fork), just to name a few.

Hope this helps!

February 13, 2019
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