Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online, the site where everything is real and the points DO matter. That’s right, just like our belief in your ability to learn Japanese!
Today, we’re going to learn how to read the first five hiragana. If you’re not sure what hiragana is, then be sure to take a look at this article to see how the Japanese writing system works.
But, without further ado, we’ll need to enlist the help of our computer friend, QUIZBO™くん！(The ™ is silent) This is a portable version, QUIZBO™ Mini, who lives here on the site. He’ll be here to help sound out these hiragana for you.You can click the sound ‘bytes’ as many times as you’d like, QUIZBO™ won’t mind. ( Get it, bytes? … Computer? …We’ll stick to teaching Japanese. ) Afterwards, you’ll be able to take a quiz with QUIZBO™ to help you review them or test your knowledge! Are you ready!?
Let’s NihonGO!! あいうえお!!
We’re going to show you the character, then you can click the play button to hear QUIZBO™ sound it out for you. But, as a better visualisation of each sound, we also have the romanised pronunciation of each character so you have something in English to which you can compare it.
In romaji, 「あ」 is transliterated as 「a」which sounds like ahh
In romaji, 「い」 is transliterated as 「i」which sounds like 「i」 in 「Pisa」
In romaji, 「う」 is transliterated as 「u」which sounds like 「oo」 in 「fool」
In romaji, 「え」 is transliterated as 「e」which sounds like 「ay」 in 「bay」in neutral American pronunciation.
In romaji, 「お」 is transliterated as 「o」which sounds like 「o」 in 「hope」in neutral American pronunciation.
And there we are! That’s how you read: あいうえお! If you study these, and repeat them aloud, and revise, we’re sure you’ll be able to read and recognise あいうえお in no time!
Maybe you’re not sure if learning just these five characters is meaningful– But, you’d be wrong, friend! When you can sound out these five hiragana, you’ll be able to say/read about 45 words! Of course, there’s kanji, but you’ll be able to expand your vocabulary, and it’ll make things so much easier to learn how to pronounce things in Japanese. Feel free to take a look at these– watch the video on how to write あいうえお and you can use these words to practise writing! Combining reading, writing, and learning vocabulary can not only be helpful, but very motivating.
We hope this was/will be helpful for you on your Japanese learning journey!
Until next time, thank you for visiting! And have a lovely day!