こんにちにゃあ！Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online! We’re your guides to Japanese language and culture, Kiki and Koko. And, we’re here, once again, asking you to get out those writing utensils because it’s time for some kinaesthetic learning! We understand that when you’re practising characters on their own, while some can get fulfilment simply mastering the characters, many benefit from the extra level of multitasking. What we mean by ‘multitasking’ in this case is practising multiple skills at once! For beginners, we recommend practising your hiragana, whether 拗音, youon, or 五十音、gojuuon, with vocabulary words. The main point of this activity is writing the words, as we’ll leave indepth vocabulary study to Word of the Week with QUIZBO™ and our other vocabulary compilation lessons. Writing entire words and feeling as though you’re not only accomplishing the task of revising the reading and writing of said character(s), but then you can feel as though you’re adding the skill of actually adding to that word bank in your mind for future use. And, perhaps, you want to go even further! The more senses and concepts you connect, the more tethered into your memory these skills will become. So, don’t be shy, use that grammar we’ve taught you along the way and create some sentences using this activity’s vocabulary. The extra steps of associating these words (which we’ll try to keep to nouns mostly, so it’s easier with which to work, but today’s will have some fun verbs) add more tethers to the concepts and skills. With each new exposure and activity, you’re adding threads to those tethers and hopefully, with time, they’ll become as second nature as a bungee cable, snapping your mind to these concepts as quick as elastic! But, that doesn’t happen over night (save for the memory consolidation that occurs in the brain during sleep), it takes time, patience, and a positive attitude!
However, a positive attitude and gumption will only get you so far. If you don’t have the previous threads to weave the cables to connect these concepts, your cables won’t have any hold or give. So, before you start repelling down the side of any mountains, it’s important to have a good grasp of the original set of hiragana. And, even if you have had a great grasp of them, this activity should also only strengthen those connections and maybe even improve your handwriting. The point is to never forget about practising stroke order or accidentally jumbling it up in your mind over time. It never hurts to go back and have another go at the basics. You can try for neater strokes and maybe even start to formulate your own consistent handwriting. You’ll find once you’ve already had a grasp of them, you can start to go back and polish your skills. As even when you become more comfortable writing them on command, you may find them becoming as messy as you’re native language’s handwriting. (We’re not saying this happens to everyone, but you know the difference between handwriting on a quick note to yourself versus a fancy handwritten letter? Well, it’s just important to be able to get that fancy handwritten letter handwriting down, so that you have the option of quick messy notes to yourself.) And, even still, stroke order is paramount in messy handwriting! If you’ve ever seen native Japanese handwritten notes, they can differ widely to what you may be used to. But, when your hands and eyes get used to the strokes, you’ll find yourself more easily able to decode even the messiest of handwriting. (And, another disclaimer: Not everyone has messy handwriting, of course, but it’s just an eventuality in every language for which you should be ready to decode!) Overall, just think of this as a writing health checkup.
And this brings us to the challenge! You can use this activity to practise reading, writing, and a bit of vocabulary along the way. That’s right, practising three skills at once! You’ll be unstoppable!! This will cover the hiragana from 【あ】through 【ちゃちゅちょ】. That way, you can focus on the characters you’re already learning, or have learnt, without bogging yourself down with new characters quite yet. If you don’t quite have the stroke order properly memorised, and you’d like to practise writing, you can open a separate tab with our stroke order lessons. We really recommend you use this as an opportunity for writing, and even if you’re confident in your characters, it can be helpful to make sure your handwriting improves. There’s something very fun and impressive about nice handwriting that is timeless and rewarding.
So, we’ve created a 12 word activity to help you recall your hiragana. In this mini-activity, you basically have digital flashcards. By clicking on each of them, you’ll reveal a kanji (or katakana) version that defines the meaning of the word, and of course, the translation in English. Many words have several homophones, so we’ve just included some common meanings as not to bog your studies down.
No worries, we’ll keep it simple and stick to a few words that use only the hiragana: 【あいうえお】through【ちゃちゅちょ】!
Ready? Let’s NihonGO!!
As a reminder, these are just a few vocabulary words. Knowing hiragana from あ through きょ opens up a HUGE amount of words to you! Some are less common then others, but are useful and interesting to help you connect some concepts to your writing, and recognising the characters in new configurations. We hope you get the most that you can out of these digital flashcards~!
[ピント｜Focus]: We’ll be providing you with a focus on 「ちゃちゅちょ」 vs 「ちや、ちゆ、ちよ」Be sure when you read and write these to focus on the differences between these very similar characters and their 拗音、youon, counterparts.
Refresh or reload page to restart.
(to make a fuss; to spoil; to fawn over; to pamper)
(to take a seat; to sit down (in one’s seat))
(to have both wisdom and courage)
(for ever and ever; till the end of time; countless ages )
(strong point; advantage; merit)
(absurd; senseless; excessively)
(*This word has many more definitions depending on usage, context, and part of speech. But, just know that this is pronounced differently than it seems, usually sounding closer to mu-chak-cha, omitting the う sound on the く.)
(all day and night)
(injection (i.e. jab / shot))
(to walk down the road)
Wowee, that was quite a few interesting vocabulary words! How did you do reading these characters? Did you have a difficult time differentiating between 拗音, youon, and 五十音、gojuuon? Did you recognise some of the previous 拗音, youon, used again? Do you feel a bit more skilled after this? Whether it was difficult or a breeze, we hope that this enriched your Japanese language learning experience. It can be a bit of a pain to search for focused vocabulary based on the characters you’re studying and only including ones that you’ve encountered before. That’s why we hope this will help you to just focus on the activity, writing, and possibly some composition if you’re overachieving. Just give it your best, and you can return any time to practise reading and writing as long as you wish!
Remember, we’re always adding new explanations and hopefully helpful lessons about grammar and vocabulary so you can create proper sentences and express your thoughts in Japanese! (And, if you want the VERY latest, even before we organise the articles into their sections on the site and even before they’re organised onto our Pinterest boards, you can go the category: 文法｜Grammar! And, better yet, if you’d like to be sure you have the latest hiragana writing lessons before they’re categorised elsewhere in a prettier way, you can just get the list of the latest to access them quickly in the category: 平仮名の筆順 | How to Write Hiragana. And, with that, we hope we’ve given you all of the resources you need to make the most of your current study time! We’ll continue to add more and more for you as the days and weeks roll on during your Japanese language learning journey!
We hope this is a helpful revision / study tool! But, maybe all of this wasn’t quite clicking if you hadn’t been with us from the very beginning. Feel free to take a look at our Reading and Writing sections to revise / review / study, as it’s essential to learning any language. If you want to make sure your Japanese language survival kit is stocked with the latest tools, you can make sure you stay up to date 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 in Japanese language in straight to your inbox. That’s articles, videos, podcasts, and more!
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