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Learning Japanese


平仮名&片仮名

Hiragana & Katakana List




Last update March 27, 2019

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The Japanese writing system is a jumble of kanji, katakana, hiragana and sometimes Roman alphabets, which may be one of the discouraging factors in your learning Japanese. But there's always the bright side. Once you've learned how to read Japanese, you will appreciate the use of multiple types of letters for several reasons. You can see each word separates from others without using a space as in English or other European languages. Then, you can tell which words are imported or borrowed (not original Japanese) words, since they are always written in katakana while particles such as joshi, are represented in hiragana and used to show a relationship with other words.





The following is a list of Japanese hiragana (shown first) and katakana (next) as well as its pronunciation (bottom). Unlike English, each character forms a single syllable.

 Linked to a text-to-speech sample for model pronunciation. But please disregard the screen shown on the linked page. The Japanese text is tweaked to produce more natural-sounding voice, and the corresponding translation may be wrong (since it's a machine translation).
Vowel
/
Consonant
a i u e o
0 
/
a
shorter "ah"
/
i
shorter "ee" (see)
/
u
"oo" (foot)
/
e
"e" (bed)
/
o
shorter "a" (ball)
k 
/
ka
[k] + [a]
/
ki
[k] + [i]
/
ku
[k] + [u]
/
ke
[k] + [e]
/
ko
[k] + [o]
s 
/
sa
[s] + [a]
/
shi
"sh" (shoe) + [i]
/
su
[s] + [u]
/
se
[s] + [e]
/
so
[s] + [o]
t 
/
ta
[t] + [a]
/
chi
"ch" (check) + [i]
/
tsu
"ts" (let's) + [u]
/
te
[t] + [e]
/
to
[t] + [o]
n 
/
na
[n] + [a]
/
ni
[n] + [i]
/
nu
[n] + [u]
/
ne
[n] + [e]
/
no
[n] + [o]
h 
/
ha
[h] + [a]
/
hi
[h] + [i]
/
hu
[h] + [u]
/
he
[h] + [e]
/
ho
[h] + [o]
m 
/
ma
[m] + [a]
/
mi
[m] + [i]
/
mu
[m] + [u]
/
me
[m] + [e]
/
mo
[m] + [o]
y 
/
ya
[y] + [a]
- /
yu
[y] + [u]
- /
yo
[y] + [o]
r 
/
ra
[r] + [a]
/
ri
[r] + [i]
/
ru
[r] + [u]
/
re
[r] + [e]
/
ro
[r] + [o]
w 
/
wa
[w] + [a]
/
(obsolete)
wi
[w] + [i]
- /
(obsolete)
we
[w] + [e]
/
wo
[o]
- /
n
"ng" (seeing)
- - - -
g 
/
ga
[g] + [a]
/
gi
[g] + [i]
/
gu
[g] + [u]
/
ge
[g] + [e]
/
go
[g] + [o]
z (j) 
/
za
[z] + [a]
/
ji
[j] + [i]
/
zu
[z] + [u]
/
ze
[z] + [e]
/
zo
[z] + [o]
d (j, z) 
/
da
[d] + [a]
/
ji
[j] + [i]
/
zu
[z] + [u]
/
de
[d] + [e]
/
do
[d] + [o]
b 
/
ba
[b] + [a]
/
bi
[b] + [i]
/
bu
[b] + [u]
/
be
[b] + [e]
/
bo
[b] + [o]
p 
/
pa
[p] + [a]
/
pi
[p] + [i]
/
pu
[p] + [u]
/
pe
[p] + [e]
/
po
[p] + [o]
ky 
きゃ / キャ
kya
[ky] + [a]
- きゅ / キュ
kyu
[ky] + [u]
- きょ / キョ
kyo
[ky] + [o]
gy 
ぎゃ / ギャ
gya
[gy] (baggy] + [a]
- ぎゅ / ギュ
gyu
[gy] + [u]
- ぎょ / ギョ
gyo
[gy] + [o]
sh 
しゃ / シャ
sha
"sh" (shoe) + [a]
- しゅ / シュ
shu
"sh" (shoe) + [u]
- しょ / ショ
sho
"sh" (shoe) + [o]
j 
じゃ / ジャ; ぢゃ / ヂャ
ja
"j" (Japan) + [a]
- じゅ / ジュ; ぢゅ / ヂュ
ju
"j"(Japan) + [u]
- じょ / ジョ; ぢょ / ヂョ
jo
"j" (Japan) + [o]
ch 
ちゃ / チャ
cha
"ch" (check) + [a]
- ちゅ / チュ
chu
"ch" (check) + [u]
ちぇ / チェ
che
"ch" (check) + [e]
ちょ / チョ
cho
"ch" (check) + [o]
hy 
ひゃ / ヒャ
hya
[h] + "y" (year) + [a]
- ひゅ / ヒュ
hyu
[h] + "y" (year) + [u]
- ひょ / ヒョ
hyo
[h] + "y" (year) + [o]
by 
びゃ / ビャ
bya
[b] + "y" (year) + [a]
- びゅ / ビュ
byu
[b] + "y" (year) + [u]
- びょ / ビョ
byo
[b] + "y" (year) + [o]
py 
ぴゃ / ピャ
pya
[p] + "y" (year) + [a]
- ぴゅ / ピュ
pyu
[p] + "y" (year) + [u]
- ぴょ / ピョ
pyo
[p] + "y" (year) + [o]
my 
みゃ / ミャ
mya
[m] + "y" (year) + [a]
- みゅ / ミュ
myu
[m] + "y" (year) + [u]
- みょ / ミョ
myo
[m] + "y" (year) + [o]
ry 
りゃ / リャ
rya
[r] + "y" (year) + [a]
- りゅ / リュ
ryu
[r] + "y" (year) + [u]
- りょ / リョ
ryo
[r] + "y" (year) + [o]


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