皆ちゃま、こんにちにゃあぁ！「Kiki+Koko：Let’s NihonGO!! Online」へ ようこそ！ Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online!! Did you notice how you could read 「ようこそ」?? If you haven’t been with us for the previous eight lessons, you might not have done, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t learn~! Each one of the characters is a link to their respective lesson, so after you’re done here, you can take a look. But, that’s the fun thing about learning Japanese. Even when you may not be expecting it, something will jump out of the shadows and into your consciousness, and you’ll point to it, and say, ‘Wowee, zowee!‘ or ‘Jiminy Jillikers! I understood that!!’ And, that’s always a magical moment. Magical moments like that are always worth it, whether you’re learning for fun or for fluency, or both!! But, maybe simply going through the quizzes and listening isn’t quite enough for you to memorise these characters? Some people learn by listening, some people learn by looking, and some people learn by doing. But, all in all, the more senses you engage, the more effective your revising / studying will be!! That’s where writing comes in.
If you’re learning a language, knowing the basic act of writing seems important. But, there are always some that wonder how little they can get away with whilst still learning. And to those people… we understand, life is busy, sometimes you don’t have time, but sometimes you just have to put in the effort. But, that being said, learning might take less time than you think! And, if you don’t expend the effort, you might simply become discouraged, and give up, missing out on opening an entire world that would have been open to you.
If you take just a few moments a day to return and revise / review, then with time, you’ll be able to absorb the knowledge. But, where does writing come in, you ask? Here’s the activity that will save you time, as well. But we want to mention again that when you’re revising / studying, you should make it a chill time, make it a break from your normal studies or work. Learning Japanese can be an oasis where you do something to expand and strengthen your mind. Learning shouldn’t be stressful deadlines, it should be fun goals and achievements. It’s all in how you look at it, and if you look at it our way, learning to write is helping you learn five things at once!
So, this isn’t only meant for if you haven’t been able to memorise the hiragana with just quizzes and self-study alone, this will also help you learn to write without mistaking similar characters as easily. What you wanna do is either have multiple tabs, a split screen on your スマホ, or your スマホ and your computer. With the main page open to our writing page, you can open the other to the reading page where QUIZBO™ can read the hiragana aloud. Now, when you follow the writing guide, you can say the character aloud. Remember to have QUIZBO™’s repeat it sometimes to make sure your pronunciation is still accurate. With this, you’re engaged in learning pronunciation, hiragana recognition, stroke order, romanisation, general writing, and general reading. That way, when you recall the hiragana, the sound you’re looking for will be recalled in your head.
Also, think of it this way: You already have to learn a bit less as you don’t have to learn the ‘names’ of the characters like in English like: A [eɪ], B [biː], C [siː], D [di:] or even Korean with actual spellable names you have to memorise:「ㄱ」 [기역, giyeok ], 「ㄴ」 [니은, nieun ], 「ㄷ」 [디귿, digeut]「ㄹ」 [리을, rieul]. And, each of those make their own sound other than the name that they make. In Japanese, hiragana are basically Pokemon, the sound they make is their name.
So, the moral here is to take a holiday with Japanese learning. You can learn a lot with just a few easy steps. But, if it still takes you longer than you expected to learn, still no worries, because it’s not always about deadlines, it’s about goals. If you’ve made it this far with us or if you’re just joining us, whether it’s one character or 48, you know more than you did before. You’re going above and beyond, and you can be proud of that.
Maybe if you have just stumbled upon this article, though, you might be confused as to things like what is a hiragana? And, we have answers for that and the very general workings of Japanese language to get you started on the right foot, or the left: How Do You Write in Japanese? | Japanese Writing System Demystified.
And, even if you’ve been with us since the beginning, this is still a great time to go back and revise / review to make sure it’s still fresh in your mind! Like 大福餅, daifuku mochi! But, even if it’s a few days old, you can grill or toast it, and it’ll be renewed. That’s right, if you can’t eat them all in the first couple of days, even after keeping them refrigerated, cooking them oddly makes them feel fresher again. If you think of marshmallows, it’ll make a bit more sense how toasting it would work. And, of course, you can use these to complete our revision / studying / reviewing idea!
brought to you by らりるれろ
Now, once you have your reference ready, you can take a look if you should forget how to pronounce them, or if you’re just making sure your pronunciation is accurate. And, if you’re new, you might wonder who this blue computer gentleman is. This is QUIZBO™くん, our favourite quiz generating robot computer who also functions as a very useful display generator, will be using the latest technology to show you how to write 「らりるれろ」– This will be with the age old device we know as… numbers and arrows.
Sure, these methods could seem simple, but after years upon years of methods this seems to be the one that helps people without going to fast or slow. That way it will show each character’s stroke order properly whilst also giving a good view of the actual character’s overall look. Whilst you’ll be able to see how the character will look through each step of the process, we’ll also be there with helpful hints!
How to use stroke order
Before we properly begin, we figured it would be best to give you a quick overview on how to read these diagrams. For each character, there’s mostly 3-4 strokes that are written in a specific order. Each number signifies which stroke should come first. Start where the circled number begins and write the stroke in the direction in which the arrow is pointing. If you want to see what each step looks like and what yours should look like at that stage, then take a look at the squares on the right. They squares are ordered up to down and right to left in Japanese order. And, that’s the whole of it!
It’s time to equip your pencils, grab a pen, take out a notepad, a digital device and a stylus, anything you need to write safely and comfortably. Let’s write hiragana!
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
「ら」sort of looks like a number 「5」but is a bit different, and the difference might be helpful when you think of the stroke order. If you look at this version of 「ら」it has a trailing off point where the first and second stroke want to meet, but don’t quite make it. This is just as in calligraphy and can often be seen in handwriting. Equally, you’ll see it with the other less serif font. But, know that when you write, the trailing part happens when you’re continuing from the first to second stroke~
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
「り」is an interesting character that can be written three ways, but they all follow the same stroke order. In the main writing guide, you’ll see there’s a line trailing from the first to second stroke. In more dramatic calligraphy or in many fonts and handwriting, you’ll see this stroke completely connect with the second one, making it look like one stroke rather than two. In that version, just be sure to make the first stroke obvious and the character tall enough so it’s not mistaken for a fancy 「つ」.
The other method takes out the trailing line entirely and simply looks like a small bracket and a larger bracket next to each other. All in all, you can still recognise 「り」by its stroke order. It has a very certain look when written correctly that makes it more differentiable.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
We like 「る」.「る」is just a fun loopy boi. You’ll see him at the end of a lot of dictionary form verbs. He’s only one stroke, but just keep going, make the right turns, and you’ll get the correct shapes.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
Déjà vu!! I’ve just been in this place before— Remember「ね」? He’s back… In pog form. Instead of a fancy curl, he has a beautiful swoop. Oddly enough, they rhyme this time, unlike 「ぬ」and「め」… 「れ」follows the same tips as 「ね」, but just with a little kick instead of the swirl.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
Déjà vu!! I’ve just been in this place before— That’s right, within the same lesson. You’ll notice a lot of characters are just other characters with or without a curly swirl. The difference between writing「る」and「ろ」can result in very different outcomes, though, so definitely pay mind to it. It could be the difference between purchasing some expensive real estate and buying soup. Or, painting your house white, or painting your house with soup.
しろ (城)= castle
しる (汁)= soup
しろ (白)= white
And that’s that! 「らりるれろ」! It’s almost as if you only had to learn three characters instead of five as there were so many cases of Déjà vu!! Even still, it makes things a lot easier when you try your best to differentiate these characters. By recognising the differences and making sure to mentally or verbally identify them each time you write them when practising, you’ll have a much better chance at memorising them.
Maybe, even still, you’re wondering how you’re ever going to tell these apart. Think of the text you’re reading right this moment. Have you seen 「b」「d」「p」and「q」? English has been doing the same thing~ Recycling characters.. But, it is a bit easier because of that. Each character isn’t something totally new and different, but something to which you can connect or associate with mentally. This will be very helpful when we start delving into kanji.
Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll recognise the characters if they’re written different ways. Think of cursive, or better yet, think of the letter 「q」, again. You’ll see it in fonts as a straight line, but when you were taught how to write it in school, there was probably a loop on it. All it takes is some getting used to, and you’ll find yourself more comfortable with it all. Even though languages can be completely different, there are a lot of concepts such as these that connect them. And, if you learnt how to read and write in English, then you can learn to write and read in Japanese.
And, remember, you can still try your best and have a chill experience. We’re here for you 25 hours a day and 8 days a week. That’s right, we’re giving so much of our best, we don’t even obey the laws of space and time. If you’re interested in doing your best and chilling, you might be interested in our previous Word of the Week and the positive spin on a common term along with a music visualiser by Indigo East, featuring us. We’ll take a little road trip.
And, no matter where you go or where you’re headed, we hope you stay the course and continue the journey with us, Kiki, Koko, and sometimes QUIZBO™.
We hope this was/will be helpful for you on your Japanese learning journey!
Until next time, thank you so much for learning with us! We can’t wait to see you again!