Ultimate guide to start learning Japanese alphabet

Ultimate guide to start learning Japanese alphabet

Now you start learning Japanese! Hmm…. but where should we start?

Basic greetings in Japanese? Of course!
Self-introduction? Nice one!
The pronunciation? Of course, it’s important!

Then what about the Japanese alphabet?
Maybe you think that you don’t need to learn the Japanese alphabet to improve your conversation skill. (Actually, I know some people who can speak Japanese without knowing the alphabet)

Although did you know the fact that if you learn the alphabet, you can learn pronunciation efficiently?
And another fact is that if you want to learn newer words and expressions, learning the alphabet is a “must” and you’ll be able to learn faster!

Today, I will share how to learn the basics of the Japanese alphabet, “Hiragana“!

Step 1. Learn how to read

Actually, the rules for Japanese pronunciation are very simple! 90% of the pronunciation of hiragana is a combination of “1 consonant” and “1 vowel (a, i, u, e, o)“.

At the beginning of this article, I said that if you learn the alphabet, you can learn pronunciation efficiently.
First, take a look at the hiragana chart below.

Hiragana Chart - Japanese alphabet

The basics of hiragana are “あ(a), い(i), う(u), え(e), お(o)“. Because the other hiragana pronunciations are applications of these five hiragana sounds.
When you can read “あ(a), い(i), う(u), え(e), お(o)”, try pronouncing it in combination with consonants.

You can check the hiragana pronunciations on the “Marugoto” website, so please try to say aloud it together while listening.

Also, the above convenient hiragana chart can be downloaded for FREE, so stick it on the wall so that you can look at it at any time! (HQ and printable PDF)

Step 2. Now let’s try to write hiragana

When you start to read hiragana, let’s actually write it in your notebook.

The key point here is to “write saying aloud”. I highly recommend the “Marugoto” website I already mentioned because you can see how to write hiragana with animation.
And the important thing is to continue. Write 5 hiragana every day.

If you start to feel comfort to write hiragana, try writing Japanese words (in hiragana) while looking at the “Marugoto” website above.

By using these a method, the brain can associate sound with vision & how to write.

Step 3. Test for yourself if you remember

Testing is the most effective way to see if you really remember it.

I made a flashcard set on Quizlet to check your hiragana!

The good thing about this app is:

  1. Questions will be given at random
  2. It automatically calculates the odds of making a mistake and controls the question. (So you can practice repeatedly where you are not good at).
  3. There are also game modes, it’s a lot of fun!
  4. You can also check the pronunciation.

I share the flashcard set I created below. Feel free to use it for your hiragana learning!

Next step

When you test yourself and make fewer mistakes, start learning katakana!
Try to proceed with the learning in the same steps as hiragana.

Now you’ve opened a new Japanese language gate! Welcome!

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