こんにちにゃあぁ～！Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online, the blog, the only Japanese language learning blog on the planet run by twins and a robot computer. We’re your hosts, your guides to Japanese language and culture, Kiki and Koko! If our efforts have failed and asteroid 2006 QV89 has made impact with Earth, then we hope you’ll join us for our classes on the Moon which should still be close to its initial orbit for a short while. Future class locations TBD. If our efforts have succeeded, then classes will continue as per usual. (UPDATE: It seems Earth is saved. No need to thank us. We’re just humble Japanese language and culture teachers.)
If you’ve studied with us since 「あいうえお」, you’ve come a long way! This is the tenth and last quiz of the gojuuon-jun! And, even if this is far from the last hiragana quiz, and even further from the last reading quiz, this is still something that should be celebrated! At the beginning of all of this, we illustrated how many words you could create with simply the first five hiragana! There were almost 50 words and that wasn’t even the whole of them! (If you want to take a look, they’re in Category: あいうえお [aiueo]) Even though there’s more to learn, there’s so many words you will be able to create with the 48 hiragana learnt over these past lessons~! That’s why we’ll definitely include some more creative reading quizzes in future. Whilst you’ve been tested on contrasting and identifying characters from the same row/column/sets, we haven’t turned up the difficulty by comparing characters from different sets. Of course, it’s probably easier to differentiate betwixt characters from the same set, but we think it may be true that you’ll only be truly acquainted when it’s betwixt any of the characters~! But, we reckon it’s best to stick with the basics until we’re through this initial series; this quiz, will only include the most pressing question known to man and mankind, the first question, the oldest question in the universe, hidden in plain sight! ‘Do・・・・ you know 「わゐゑをん」?’
So, we’re absolutely chuffed to bits whether you’re here for your first lesson or you’re eager to get to the last instalment of gojuuonjun, (五十音順). Well…. we say that, but there are some other very fancy things that we’ll still need to cover even with in these characters. These are things like blends, modifiers, things that change the pronunciations of the words, which technically aren’t part of the gojuuonjun, but still use what you’ve learnt from those lessons. We’re sure you’ve picked up on some of the words we’ve used having different pronunciations than are available in the basic 48/46 characters. But, it’s truly helpful to take baby steps as not to get characters confused once we start modifying these original ones.
So, of course, if you’re someone who is simply eager to get further, we just want to make sure you stay on track. We notice when people learn the modified characters at the same time as the regular gojuuon, they seem to get a bit mixed up. It’s not necessarily everyone of course, but this introduces so many similar characters that we found many people misinterpreting characters more easily. And, our goal is not only to make things a comfortable pace, but to make sure none of the information is muddied or ambiguous— (Come back to this lesson when we get to the new voicing lessons as you’ll see the irony.) But, this is why we’re going to make sure you can differentiate the characters that already seem very similar in future quizzes.
You may have noticed as you went along through the lessons that many characters are VERY similar. Sometimes almost as similar as 「b, d, p, q」in English. But, luckily, there are differences to cling to that allow for much easier differentiation. This is why we’re going to really pinpoint these similar characters. We will definitely have to assist QUIZBO™ in formulating quizzes that highlight these similarities in a way that will disambiguate them. If you simply have these characters floating around in your mind, it might be easier to mistake them for one another, but when you have them right in front of you to spot the differences, it should be very helpful.
Speaking of QUIZBO™, here he is now~! Here to help us test your knowledge, you know him from his Word of the Week segment, and his lovely quizzes, it’s our helpful quiz generating robot computer friend. With the amazing technological advances of the internet and sound relay, he can assist you 24/7 in telling you how to read each character in the previous lesson, and reading hiragana to quiz you in this lesson. If you press the 「▶」button on the virtual sound player, QUIZBO™ will read the random hiragana to you. From there, all you have to do is answer which character he’s saying from the options below. (No worries, you can have him repeat it as many times as you wish, that’s what he’s here for!)
And, remember, you can just refresh or return to the page to try again as many times as you wish!
Now, without further ado, let’s test our skills!
#1) Which hiragana do you hear? Hint: 【we】
(Technically Obsolete) In romaji, 「ゑ」 is transliterated as 「we」which sounds sort of like 「way」, but can sometimes be written as 「うぇ」
#2.) Which hiragana do you hear? Hint: 【wa】
In romaji, 「わ」 is transliterated as「wa」which sounds sort of like 「wahh」or the ‘wa’ from the American pronunciation of ‘water’
#3.) Which hiragana do you hear? Hint: 【wi】
(Technically Obsolete) In romaji, 「ゐ」 is transliterated as 「wi」or 「i」which sounds sort of like 「whee」, but can be written as 「うぃ」
#4.) Which hiragana do you hear? Hint: 【n】
In romaji, 「ん」 is transliterated as 「n」which sounds sort of like how you would pronounce the regular「n」or a nasalised「ng」depending on the placement in the word.
#5.) Which hiragana do you hear? Hint: 【wo】
You did it! 出来ました! Dekimashita! Did you get them all correct? If so, we congratulate you!! Did you miss some of them? Maybe you saw more red than green? If so, we STILL congratulate you! You may wonder how we could congratulate you if you didn’t do as well as you’d planned? Failure is a part of learning, a very important part. If you don’t know what you don’t know, you won’t be able to suss out what you have to learn and improve. It’s not about the failure, it’s about improvement. Not everyone will have every lesson memorised right away. It takes repetition and time for most people without an eidetic memory. If you still haven’t gotten through all of the characters yet, you can take all the time you need. It’s about going at your pace and doing your best at your level.
And, even still, for some people that memorise things quickly, make sure to return after different intervals of time to make sure it’s actually in your long term memory. A lot of people have the tendency to memorise for the test rather than for the long term, and this can just be the way some schools have trained students. That’s why repetition is key~! Even if some people think it’s old fashioned, it’s really the core part of learning, but it’s all in HOW you repeat it as well as the attitude you have.
We hope you’ll continue to take our advice and make learning and studying / revising a relaxing time. Make it an oasis, something that’s a fun break from your usual, something different to other studying, but something that you can feel good about as you’re helping to expand your mind and your horizons.
This is far from the last quiz, luckily, and if you want to know what’s coming your way next, stay up to date without even having to look at the calendar by subscribing to the Electronic Mailing List of Tomorrow, today, found usually at the bottom of the site page or the sidebar on desktop. You’ll get the latest tools and resources to surviving (and thriving!) in Japanese language in straight to your inbox. That’s articles, videos, podcasts, and more.
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Thank you for joining us! We hope that you continue with us on this adventure, and we appreciate that you’ve chosen us to assist you on your Japanese learning journey!