How does "Chotto" in hiragana make any sense??
I'm really confused here... "Chotto" is written as "ちょっと". Correct me if I'm wrong, I only just started learning Japanese, but the characters... How come they're not sounded out like this: Chi-yo-tsu-to? Might not have gotten the sounds of each character correct, like I said I'm a novice, but still, I'm really confused.
Compare よ/ょ and つ/っ. See how there are regular size and smaller versions? ちよ sounds like "chiyo", while ちょ sounds like "cho". These combinations are called digraphs and uses small versions of ゃ, ゅ, and ょ to make combination sounds.
The small っ is special and means a very slight pause. This sounds like doubling the following consonant. So ちょと sounds like "choto", and ちょっと sounds like "chotto". This should all be covered in the tips part of the lessons I think.
It takes a bit of getting used to but soon enough you will instantly see the difference between ちょっと and ちよつと.
You can also see Japanese getting creative with the system to represent even more sounds.
For example, you might have noticed Japanese only have ha-hi-fu-he-ho (with "fu" being essentially blowing the air). However, there are some loanwords with "fa". They spell it as a combination of "FU" and a small "a": ソーファ= sofa .
("ti" is also problematic, so they use TE + i, i.e. ティ)
ちょ is pronounced cho. Notice that the ょ is smaller. It is frequently used in other combinations similar to this and the i is silent.
っ does not make a sound. Instead, it causes the next consonant to be pronounced for a longer period of time. In this case it gives emphasis to the t. To get it right, just say the t twice. "Chotto".