https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ParkJimin307567

I need help with Japanese.

Can anyone explain to me why the character は says "wa" and "ha" It just confuses me. I don't know when to use it as wa or ha.

December 10, 2018

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jawad-Dawdi

When it plays the role of the particle indicating the topic it is pronounced (wa) - elsewhere it is pronouced (ha).

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ParkJimin307567

Thank you very much!

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike899735

Surely the は in  こにちは and こんばんは is pronounced wa not ha?

December 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KingOfCarbs

Originally they were parts of a sentence but are now used as phrases on their own.

December 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OlgaBab1

yuo could try memorising as something along the lines "it's because it originally was 'konniti wa ' (good day) and 'komban wa ' (good evening) with tails of the sentences dsappearing and paryicles "sticking" to the words ^^"

December 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

は is "wa" when it is used as a topic particle, and as "ha" when it is part of a word. The Japanese syllabary went through a lot of work and reform to get to where it it is now.

Originally that kana was "pa" which turned into "wa", and then the kana for the W column was moved to the vowel column, then many of those W kana were dropped and then shuffled with the H column. Most of the kana, which before the reform had multiple readings depending on context and were a complete mess, were simplified. However the particle kanas は, を and へ, while they adopted their new column pronunciations, society was already using them as particles Wa, O(wo) and E, so instead of changing them to a single new reading and having to go through changing every book and historical document and re-educate everyone how to read they simply left the original particle reading alone.

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ParkJimin307567

I am just a beginner right now. Thanks for the info!

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Rigel-

は Kinda looks like Ha if you break it down, and the character for wa looks wonky to me so I think of wa as the wonky character.

December 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kayla45314

I have a friend who is fluent in Japanese who explained this to me awhile ago. I know some people already explained, but I'll just put what she said just in case. "It can be pronounced either "wa" or "ha." Phonetically, when it's part of a word, pronounce it as "ha" like in "hai." Pronounce it as "wa" when you use it to connect words. For example, in the sentence "the pencil is pink." The "is" connect pencil and pink. In this instance, if the sentence was written in Japanese, you would write "は" for "is." " I hope this helped! :))

December 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OlgaBab1

And you will face the same situation with へ as you progress in your studies. it is HE as a part of the word and E as a direction particle ^^ Japnese is fun like that!

December 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pteramyth

By itself it's wa but With other characters such as はなせ, it's ha

April 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BJCUAl

Unhelpful. It's generally not going to be 'by itself', as Japanese doesn't clearly demarcate between words.

April 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pteramyth

What about topic markers? Like " 田中は先生です"? Unhelpful.

April 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BJCUAl

Well, if you intentionally surround it with kanji (unlike your example above) it's a bit more evident, but you said 'other characters', then showed kana to be representative of these 'other characters'.

あれはなぜ (why is that) 'wa' topic marker
あれはなせ (let that go) 'ha' part of imperative form of verb hanasu

The surrounding context needs to be understood and は's nature as either part of a word or a particle unto itself must be deduced. 'Hesuffersfromaplasticanemia' would be an example of how this would look in English if we didn't clearly separate words. Although the pronunciation of 'a' doesn't change, you would still need to identify it as part of the word 'aplastic' by context, rather than two words 'a plastic'.

April 6, 2019
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