Kiki+KoKo: Let's NihonGO!!

✍Let’s Write HIRAGANA!!【きゃきゅきょ】第16課|拗音|Youon|Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! (書き方/筆順) | (+Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko)

皆さん、こんにちにゃあぁ!「Kiki+Koko:Let’s NihonGO!! Online」 ! Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online, your guides to Japanese language and culture. If you understand the concept of  拗音, youonyou may wonder why we have a writing lesson specifically focused on it. And to that, we say, no worries! We always have a special and useful reason for every one of our lessons, and each of them has their own specific usages which are meant to guide you on your journey. Now, one of the reasons why it’s important is not only to make sure you continue to use proper stroke order for your characters, but for two other important reasons. One being practising the size difference between little and regular sized hiragana characters which is essential to proper communication, and two being that all-important kinaesthetic learning aspect.

Engaging as many senses as possible is important in making concepts concrete and properly ingrained. And, when it comes to differentiating 拗音、youon, and their 五十音, gojuuon, counterparts, you’ll find that this will begin to become even more important to keep properly differentiated than before. The more similar characters that are added to your repertoire, the more you’ll need to be sure you keep the new information separate from the old information. We help you do this by encouraging you to put a spotlight on these similar characters and similar combinations and blends as many people find themselves sticking with what they’re most comfortable writing and reading. And though it’s still important to remember your milestones and remind yourself of your accomplishments as well as keep the characters fresh in your mind, it’s just as important once you’re comfortable with those characters to keep yourself easing on down the road towards the next characters. So, if you’re to progress, it’s important not to become complacent or only gravitate to the things that make you feel comfortable and competent. One should always feel like a student, even teachers and experts. There’s always more to learn, and it’s important to have good habits and methods that facilitate this.

These are useful habits that will guide you on exactly how to learn in future, as well. Once you find yourself learning slightly similar kanji or characters with combinations of other kanji incorporated into them, you’ll hopefully use the same method of staring those similar characters in the face and making very apparent what the differences are between them. That way, your eye will go towards the differentiated elements of that character and you’ll have a less difficult time differentiating them down the way.

As you write these, we recommend you take the usual steps along with a few others in order to get the most out of your study sessions:

  • Open up the reading lesson on a different device or in a different window
  • Play QUIZBO™’s soundbyte of that specific character (or blend)
  • Repeat after QUIZBO™, pronouncing it aloud
  • Write the character (or blend) using the stroke order
  • Say the character (or blend) aloud once more
  • Listen to QUIZBO™’s pronunciation once more to make sure you have it correct

And, you can repeat this in any way or fashion that suits you! That way, you’re engaging visually, aurally, and kinaesthetically! Though some people learn better using one method than the other, it’s still been proven throughout many pedagogical studies that humans tend to learn with all of these styles to an extent at once rather than only using one method or the other. So, even if you learn best by reading and someone else learns best by writing, everyone can still benefit from using each of these methods to varying frequency.

Now, you’ll also want to apply the above method to differentiating. You’ll just get out the previous similar characters and go through those in the same way, maybe writing and saying them before you open them to test yourself that you’re still using the correct stroke order and that you’re still pronouncing them correctly. You don’t have to spend hours and hours on studying this way, either. You can equally spend just a chunk of time, maybe even fifteen minutes on revising and comparing these previous characters daily to a few times a week in order to get a better grasp on them as maintenance rather than initial intense study. With time, the more you learn, the more you’ll find yourself being able to learn!

So, take some time to put these methods into practice! No worries, we’ll be here waiting for you when you’re ready!

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brought to you by 「きゃきゅきょ」, 「かきくけこ」、「やゆよ」, and 五十音順

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頑張りましょうよ!⭐Lets do our best!!

Now, once you have your reference ready, you can take a look if you should forget how to pronounce them, if or if you’re just making sure your pronunciation is accurate, or if you’re using the previous lessons for differentiation and revision. 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 「きゃきゅきょ」– 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. And, remember, if you’re having trouble with the step-by-step bits, just have a look at the previous stroke orders to see how each character is meant to look throughout each step of the process.

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, be sure to take a look at the original related stroke order.

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 youon! 

Let’s NihonGO!!


Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:

Whilst our usual helpful hints tend to be focused on the form of each character, we reckoned it more important to focus on placement, as if you’d like to get a bit more hints about how these characters are written individually, you can always have a look at the previous lesson 8 and lesson 2

So, with 拗音、youon, you’ll want to focus on size and placement of the 小さいや、chiisai ya, aka:「ゃ」. In handwriting, the 「ゃ」is about a fourth of a regular character. To reinforce this, QUIZBO™くん placed guidelines to show these quadrants which should also help with placement.

When writing horizontally, (e.g. left to right), you’ll place it in the lower left corner.

However, if you are writing vertically, (e.g. top to bottom), you’ll place it in the upper right hand corner of its own space / the space below the「き」 character in its own width.

This is the perfect time to start thinking of spacing when you’re writing. If you write using 原稿用紙, genkou youshi, known as manuscript paper, that has grids similar to the ones QUIZBO™ is currently displaying, with the exception that these are full pages long and don’t have rounded edges, it may make you more aware of this sort of spacing. It’s important to keep each character from getting too terribly close to each other, but also important to make sure they’re not too far away. Always think of every word as if you were writing with a word processor where each letter has its own space and even if the kerning is a bit close, each character has its own width and space to occupy. 


Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
Again, if you have trouble with these stroke orders on their own, have a look at lesson 8 and lesson 2. But, otherwise, all of the same hints from the previous hint apply to this one. 

If you’d like one extra fun observation: Often, you’ll see when people use 原稿用紙, genkou youshi, manuscript paper, they’ll put the small character in the centre of the square, however! this is completely incorrect, and a strict teacher would be quite cross. Even if it looks as though it’s spaced out quite a bit from the next character, when one writes for some sort of testing or in a professional manuscript, you’ll see 「ゃ」「ゅ」「ょ」and even 促音、sokuon,「っ」 vibing in the bottom left corner in horizontal handwriting, and in the upper right corner in vertical writing. It may seem strange for a JSL student, but with time, the easier legibility within a sea of text can make this proper handwriting a life-saver. But, again, not everyone follows the rules, and it’s important to adapt to reading messy handwriting, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the one with the dodgy penmanship. 


Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
And, as we reach the last character blend, we’ve exhausted any more hints we have on these ひらがな拗音、
hiragana youon. But, you will notice that while you could technically be quite strict and cram the 「ょ」into the quadrant, we did make it a teeny-tiny bit larger in order for you to be able to see the letters. So, if you are going for the best penmanship, you’re technically meant to keep it inside of that quadrant without having it spill out into the rest of it. But, realistically speaking, if you’re not writing with guide lines, this is a bit arbitrary. But, if you do happen to be writing with guides, then just give it your best!

And, there we have it! That’s 「きゃきゅきょ」!「き」taking their little pets 「ゃ」「ゅ」and 「ょ」for individual walkies down the footpath of Japanese writingーa short but hopefully fulfilling journey. We hope that you had a good grasp on the previous characters before this so that you were able to get the most out of just practising the placement and scaling as well as placement. Also, we hope you were able to differentiate the pronunciations such as 「きゃ」vs「きや」. In that same way, we encourage you to write some vocabulary words or simply write these characters with their different sizing whilst saying their pronunciation aloud in order to fully engage yourself in knowing the difference size makes with 「やゆよ」. This should surely be a good first step into these character blends. And, once you become comfortable with these, we’re sure you’ll be able to apply those same skills to the next sets and future characters. All it takes is a positive attitude, some time, patience, and a good bit of effort! Just give it your best, and we’ll be there for you every step of the way.

We do our best to give you all of the tools you need with each new lesson and article, and whilst humans usually have a generalised learning pattern, there’s many cases where certain methods help more than others. 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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Categories: Kiki+KoKo: Let's NihonGO!!, SpeRaToBo, 平仮名の筆順 | How to Write Hiragana, 書き方 | Write!

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