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Day 1 あ, か And さ Lines

3 minute read · Sun 5 December

Day 1 あ, か And さ Lines

Welcome to the first lesson in the series to get you familiar with different kana as quickly as possible. With a bit of dedication, it's easy to learn Hiragana and Katakana. It's important to study these two alphabets first before jumping in with Kanji or relying on Romaji. It will help with your pronunciation and understanding when it comes to speaking, and learning Kanji when the time comes. Let's start with Hiragana: the basic sounds of Japanese.

あ (a), い (i), う (u), え (e), お (o) are the vowels in Kana. These five sounds make up the basis of all the other sounds of Kana. All the other hiragana and katakana are just a consonant sound, plus one of these five vowels.

You pronounce
あ like 'ah!' or 'apple',
い as in 'ee' or 'eel' it doesn't sound much like an 'i' or 'eye',
う like 'ooh' or your favourite 'udon' noodles. A short 'u' sound,
え as 'eh!' or 'elephant' and
お as 'oh!' or 'hollow.

This next line is the ka-line as it's a 'k' consonant attached to each of the five vowels.

か (ka) as in 'kite' or 'kana' かな,
き (ki) is pronounced like 'key' or 'kick',
く (ku) as in a bird noise 'coo-coo',
け (ke) like the ke in 'kettle',
こ (ko) like 'copy.' It looks like two identical copied lines on top of each other.

Last line for today, is the sa-line. It follows the same principle as the ka-line; a 's' attached to one of the five consonants.

さ (sa) as in 'sight',
し (shi) as in 'sheep',
す (su) as in 'super',
せ (se) as in 'say',
そ (so) as in 'sorry'

And here's today's homework:

  • • Watch the video, and match the shape with its sound. You can see the next lines of kana on the chart
  • • Follow the stroke order and write it on your own on a piece of paper 10× times or more. This kind of learning is called 'rote' learning and it can be particularly useful in the beginning. You'll get the hang of understanding the shapes you need to draw. Gridded paper can help you get the proportions correct which you can download and print here.
  • • Then, write it down again without looking at anything.
  • • Come back in 3 days to repeat Task 3. Set a reminder on your calendar while you remember!

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