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Study Japanese with Roo

Roo received a surprise at the end of last week, that they were going to get a chance to spend 7 days in Japan, in the Japanese spring of 2019. They will also take Duo (plushy) with them, and may even share here some of the sights they are looking forward to see, here with this community. ;P

This has come as a surprise to us. So it means it is time to dust off my Japanese beginners learning from about ... ohhh almost 20 years ago, and study again this amazing language.

First off - I will need to restudy Hiragana.

So I created this spreadsheet to assist my learning. And thought this may be of use to others as well. Writing in "banana" orange, like: [ɯ] , is where the IPA symbol differs from "standard" Romaji.

a i u e o
(a) (i) (u)ɯ え (e) (o)
k (ka) き (ki) (ku) け (ke) こ (ko)
s (sa) (shi)ɕi す (su) せ (se) そ (so)
t た (ta) (chi)tɕi つ (tsu)tsɯ て (te) と (to)
n (na) (ni) ぬ (nu) ね (ne) の (no)
h (ha) ひ (hi)çi ふ (fu)ɸɯ へ (he) ほ (ho)
m ま (ma) み (mi) む (mu) め (me) も (mo)
y や (ya)ja ゆ (yu) (yo)jo
r ら (ra) り (ri) る (ru) れ (re) (ro)
w わ (wa)ɰa を (o)

The letters highlighted in yellow are the ones you learn in the very first Hiragana skill on Duolingo.

Also if you click on them - they will play audio.

It is also highly recommended to check out Tips and Notes which can be accessed by the "light bulb" icon when you enter a skill. Also check out the excellent resource of https://duome.eu/tips/en/ja. It has the advantage of letting you read tips and notes, even if you have not unlocked that skill.

Citation: Audio is from: Abe, Namiko. "How to pronounce hiragana - Japanese Hiragana With Audio Files." ThoughtCo, Apr. 24, 2017, thoughtco.com/how-to-pronounce-hiragana-japanese-hiragana-with-audio-files-4077351.

Roo's though at times make errors. So if you find any, please let me know.
Thank you for your patience with me ;P

I would also enjoy others to share information that they find useful for their language learning.
While also looking forward to link to resources that others have created in Duolingo forums.

Also - I am creating a Duolingo tiny cards deck to compliment the course. If you look below I will be including links to any decks I create or recommend. Also -please - list other resources you find useful for learning Japanese.

Another reference I am creating is [guide]Japanese Resources.

Talking about Kanji

And I, as always, look forward to your feedback.

January 21, 2019



Thanks! Why is the ん (n) with the audio link there though?

EDIT: This post is outdated since each stroke-GIF Kana now has an audio link below it, not just ん.


To try to make it a little less like watching the neon lights in Tokyo for me.

I do not know if this is improves it or not. I am testing things out, as roos will do.


That is so cool! Very helpful also.


If you are interested in physical learning material, I highly recommend this book, available on Amazon and elsewhere:


It is designed for use by self-learners and has a huge bank of practice sentences to test your knowledge and gain skill reading hiragana. It also provides in-depth grammar explanations that you will not find easily on DuoLingo. Definitely worth the price.


Thank you DestinyCall, I will check this out :D


This is ... well ... my first draft at Hiragana 1 with audio in TinyCards.

I am not totally happy with it. But , there are aspects that I like about it.



I've realized just how easy it is to pick up everything else once you've learned hiragana, If you can READ something then you can use a dictionary to find what it means and add it to your vocabulary.


ohhhhh - I so like this !
Thank you for sharing with us :D


I think this is also one of the key reasons why the spreadsheet of all words, that the spreadsheet needs to have a hiragana column.

Thank you for this knowledge, that hiragana is so essential for looking up words in a dictionary. Dictionaries, and being able to use them are such a great assistance to true language learning.


ahhh gosh - I misunderstood what "kana" is. And that that is the column where you put things such as pronunciation in Hiragana.

Please , all you brilliant people, do correct me when I get things ... well ... muddled.


Domo arigatou gozaimasu


どういたしまして :D


I have also created a "working document" of all words in the course:
You can check it out here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15QtIUz79M7jpq1CA6bRaf--f8BpGs9hl7gT6YuMhLwQ/edit?usp=sharing

I welcome others to also collaborate and embellish this spreadsheet, and also assist in working through the words with other useful references, including romaji and word definitions, and links to other information.

Please note, the "romaji" in the spreadsheet is as used in http://www.romajidesu.com/dictionary .

I am noticing there are quite some differences when comparing direct hiragana to what is taught as the romaji for the hiragana. Which I am finding ... confusing. And wish there was a question I could ask about it. But I do not know what that question is.

This resource is a "work in progress". Though if we as a community can work together on it, it will be got through faster.


Also, I am realizing how key it is to learn Hiragana.
And I think this is what I was wanting to ask.
Should the spreadsheet include a column for pronunciation of all words into Hiragana ?


Romaji is a compromise, and you have to chose how to represent the kana as latin characters. は can be pronounced and represented as "ha" or "wa" depending on if it's part of a word or a particle. And the particle を is "wo" but it's (almost always) pronounced as "o". After learning the kanas and the basic pronunciation patterns, romaji stopped being helpful at all.

By the way this is a fun project, good luck with your learning adventure! がんばれ!


Katakana / Hiragana

a i u e o
(a) (i) (u) (e) )(o)
k )(ka) (ki) (ku) (ke) (ko)
s (sa) (shi) (su) (se) (so)
t (ta) (tshi) (tsu) (te) (to)
n (na) (ni) (nu) (ne) (no)
h (ha) (hi) (fu) (he) (ho)
m (ma) (mi) (mu) (me) (mo)
y (ya) (yu) (yo)
r (ra) (ri) (ru) (re) (ro)
w (wa) (o)

... hmm - still a few coding problems ... still to be fixed.

  • also, I need to present the table in the normal way for Japanese speaking.

For just starting out, it is fine that these tables read in the English way, from left to right, and down the page.

However, once you pass those initial learning steps, it would be MUCH better to have these tables in the way that Japanese read their text.


very useful, thanks a dozen


Thank you NeoDore1.

There is a lot more to come. Including Hiragana : Dakuten. and also for Katakana.
You can see the tips and notes on this here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ja/Hiragana-4/tips-and-notes

Though for a Roo like me, I need to put it in a different way.

And also - to have all these tables presented in the Japanese way - starting from the top right corner.
As per :

and you can read more about in https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/24437266

Also to read through and process in a "rooish way", the great information in :
https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/24871159 and all its links.

There is so much fun for me to have. :D


Wow, this is amazing Lin. Thank you.

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