皆さん、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, the site that takes you by the hand and leads you across the street, through the fields, and over the mountains, teaching you every step, every twist and turn of Japanese language. We’re your guides, your humble hosts, Kiki and Koko! We’re joined again by our good computer robot friend: QUIZBO™! Without him, it would be very difficult to illustrate the literal twists and turns of writing Japanese. If you’ve never joined us before today, you’ll definitely see what we mean by that later. But, if it is your first time, we recommend you take your time and start at the beginning where you can learn the first set of 「ひらがな」. And, after learning 「がぎぐげご」, current students and friends should have a bit of fun being able to actually read the word 「ひらがな」. It’s a very rewarding feeling! But, it’s important to learn the basics before you go to the next level, as we build upon these so we don’t have to repeat too much information to bog down the lesson. So, before you move onto this remix of a classic, be sure you’re comfortable with the first set of 「ひらがな」before moving onto those with 濁点、(だくてん). And after today, you’ll even be able to write 「だくてん」with 「だくてん」after some revision and practise. It’s all coming together!! And, remember, the previous writing lessons have quite a lot of useful advice and reasoning that can help not only your understanding but bolster your motivation.
That’s right, we’ve made it even easier for you~! Maybe you’ve already learnt the basic characters, but just really need to jump into the characters with 濁点、(だくてん). Each lesson will not only help you learn the characters, but there really is quite a bit of extra information we weave into them. But, if you’re caught up, and this is all just a blast from the past to you already, then be sure to quickly familiarise yourself with the previous lessons to perfect your pronunciation and engage even more senses whilst you practise writing and revise the characters.
You can keep these out as references, and in fact, we encourage it. Each time you write a letter, you can listen to the character sound, repeat the sound—it’s just a great opportunity to learn so much and make learning even that much more engaging. So, open these even on a different device or a different window, and return any time you’re ready!
brought to you by 「だぢづでど」
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 「だぢづでど」– 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:
Firstly, be sure to note that the main part of this character is identical to its いろは counterpart in 「たちつてと」, just with the additional modifier of dakuten. The placement of the dakuten is in the top right corner like most of them. It even has a perfect little shelf for it next to the 「t」and above the part coincidentally looking as if it were こ. You usually won’t find it anywhere else as it’s such a convenient place in any font.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
Now, you’ll want to be sure to keep a strong differentiation between 「ぢ」 and 「ざ」in the same way as 「ち」 and 「さ」. But, you can do it! If you can do your best to differentiate d, b, p, q, and g, then you can differentiate these. It may not be easy at first, but with practise and time, you’ll eventually get it, just be patient with yourself and make up tricks that click with you.
Now, as for dakuten placement, it’s usually next to the first stroke and above the bump of the second stroke. But, if the font or handwriting is different, it still just defaults to staying in that top right quadrant.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
Now, usually, if there’s a one stroke character, and it’s facing the other way, the placement of the dakuten will seem different, but in this case, you just stick with the upper right area, keeping it above and close enough to make sure it’s a part of that particular character.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
This dakuten has a special case with this character. You’ll see it placed as we have here very often, BUT there are times you’ll see the dakuten under the sort of umbrella of the first turn in the stroke. You’ll see it placed in that little crescent moon, or the bow of the 「て」. This can be seen in a lot of fonts for kerning purposes as well. 「で」 will leave better spacing between characters than 「て˝」(if the font will show it correctly). So, if you’re writing and you write 「ぐ」with the dakuten on the inside, then you can just keep it consistent by doing the same with 「で」, or vice versa. Either way, it’s about being able to recognise the dakuten in the general top right quadrant no matter the handwriting.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
Depending on the font or handwriting, you’ll see the dakuten for 「ど」placed on top of the horizontal area of the second stroke, still in the upper right hand corner, or you’ll see it sort of at the end of the beginning of the second stroke. Now, the discrepancy is really just based on how wide and long the handwriting is as well as the font’s kerning. Obviously, if it’s written (font-willing) as 「ど」, it will fit better in with the rest of the uniform text than 「と˝」. Sometimes the second stroke will be more of a 「⊂」than the wider and less acutely angled look. It just really depends, so just keep it consistent and be on the lookout for different placement. You’ll always find it in that upper right hand corner, either way.
And, there you have it! 「だぢづでど」! If you’ve already learnt 「たちつてと」, this should hopefully just be a useful revision with the addition of dakuten. But, even still, you should be sure to keep your eyes open for similar characters. That’s why it’s so important to solidify each of the characters in your memory prior to moving on, so that you aren’t juggling concepts that haven’t quite locked themselves as concrete concepts in your mind. For example, if you’re memorising a phone number, and you’ve only repeated it to yourself once without writing it down, but someone immediately gives you another phone number to also repeat to yourself, unless you’re specially skilled and can memorise extremely long strings of numbers, you’ll probably find yourself tripping over it and forgetting most of the previous phone number as well as mixing up the current one. We give you this obscure example to give you the feeling of what learning new very similar characters on top of others with which you aren’t yet comfortable can feel.
Of course, it’s not as though your mind is a shelf where new information pushes information you’ve learnt off of it…but when it comes to short term memory, that might be an apt metaphor. See, those without any maladies with their memory, don’t have an issue with learning one fact, actually learning it, and then forgetting another in place of it. But, that’s when you’ve actually learnt something properly, not just keeping it in your short term memory long enough to write it down or even further down to take a test, then forget it shortly after. When you are just juggling the immediate ideas in your head and keeping it in your short term memory, it’s not the same as when you have fully ingrained linguistic concepts that you won’t simply forget. You may have trouble recalling if you don’t use those concepts stored in your long term memory, but they’re not going to be pushed off of the shelf. Think of short term memory as things you keep on the shelf, and your long term memory is what’s stored in the cupboard. It’s a giant cupboard, but it’s locked up and safe from being pushed out. The point is to connect these concepts using as many different ways to remember them as possible, coming back to the concepts often, and then you’ll be able to not only store them in the cupboard, but remember where you put it. Because, at the end of the day, it is also about being able to recall them, and if you have them in a messy corner of the cupboard without any way to find it, it’s going to just end up thrown away the next time you clean the cupboard.
So! After this slightly meandering metaphor, you can take away that in order to recall items, easily, you’ll have to travel to that place in your memory cupboard often and you’ll be able to get to it quicker and quicker. But, if you haven’t experienced it enough with enough of your senses, it will stay on the short term memory shelf where items will be juggled and pushed off the shelf and similar items will teeter off of the edge and fall off if you don’t already have one solidified in a safe place to eventually properly put in the cupboard; but it’s always safest when it’s stored properly whilst you learn the new ones so they don’t get mixed together, mixed up, or stain.
It’s also sort of like a wet canvas… but we’ve given you enough metaphors for one day to illustrate the importance of returning here to properly learn the items and store them in your long term memory! Maybe there’s a trick you have that’s helped you? Be sure to leave a comment as maybe it’ll help someone else, as well. But, maybe you’re ready for even more information to store in your mental cupboard. You can subscribe 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 alerts, tools and resources for everything from surviving in Japanese language to our latest projects sent straight to your inbox. That’s articles, videos, podcasts, and more!
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