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! We’re your guides to Japanese language and culture, Kiki and Koko! But, we’re not alone. We’re joined again by the incomparable, QUIZBO™, who shall be assisting with the most essential portions of the lesson. And, as always, the lesson itself is quite usefulー as is the goal for each and every lesson and resource we provide. Whether you consider yourself an auditory learner, a visual learner, or a kinaesthetic learner, it’s important to engage in all of these types of learning styles. Though you may enjoy one over the other or one may stick in your mind a bit more, engaging as many senses at once is paramount to learning! It creates more connections in your mind and therefore strengthens the concepts you’re learning. This still applies to you skilled beginners who already know ひらがな五十音, hiragana gojuuon! Of course, you can use this as an opportunity to practise your handwriting and be sure you’re sticking to your stroke order, but writing theseー along with the other steps we’ll include later in the introduction of this lessonーwill help you to differentiate ひらがな拗音, youon, versus 五十音, gojuuon, with their 小さいゃゅょ, small ya yu yo, and will serve as another lead to anchor the characters and pronunciations into your memory and hopefully will cause them to become second nature to you.
There is a concept that we wanted to mention, though, before you delve too deeply into this lesson. So, you may know how 拗音, youon, works alreadyーand if not, you can have a read of our now often referential article 「拗音とは？｜What is youon?」ーand some have already wondered something about 「にゃにゅにょ」。So, as we mentioned, the pronunciation of the 「い」in 「に」is completely erased in 拗音、youon. But, a beginner may think: Why not just use 「ん」? To which, we would still appreciate the critical thinking skills. The engineering of it to beginners would make sense in theory, but it would break down the system as a whole. 「ん」is a concept all its own, isn’t (normally) found at the beginning of everyday Japanese words ーones that aren’t some form of loan word or Okinawan or…well, that makes things a bit more complicated. In short, we hate to give spoilers for 「The Necessary Nebulousness of 「ん」(The Mysterious Maverick of Japanese Morae)」as it’s best just to give it a read and its origins will reveal why this early concept of Japanese 拗音, youon, wouldn’t have used this character as it doesn’t align with the other characters used historically. Just always keep an ear and eye out for the differences between this pronunciation alongside the others, as well, though. And, speaking of differentiating characters: we have some quick tips before we hop over to the main part of the lesson to be sure you get a powerful impact from your study sessions~!
Get the most out of your session:
As you write these, we recommend you take the usual steps we mention in the writing section 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
brought to you by 「にゃにゅにょ」, 「なにぬねの」、「やゆよ」, and 五十音順
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 「ちゃちゅちょ」– 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!
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 5.
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「に」 character in its own width.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
There’s not much else we can add that we didn’t mention in the beginning or in the previous lesson, and we’d rather have you apply your time to proper revision and writing practice rather if you already have the previous hints taken to heart. But, again, if you have trouble with these stroke orders on their own, have a look at lesson 8 and lesson 5. But, otherwise, all of the same hints from the previous hint apply to this one. Also, if you’d just like some hints on 拗音, youon, writing in general, we have some useful ones in the previous lesson.
Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints: Have a look at lesson 8 and lesson 5 if you’re finding any trouble with these or would like some character-specific hints. But, otherwise, all of the same hints from the previous hints apply to this one. You’ll often see this one and the previous one written with 長音, chouon, as well. So, it can be useful to practise writing 「う」with this or practising with some words that include 長音, chouon.
And, there we go! That was 「にゃにゅにょ」！We hope that assisted you in properly writing these characters in relation to each other as well as hopefully helping you brush up on the basics when it comes to stroke order! Just be sure that even if you feel like you’re comfortable with the initial 五十音順、gojuuonjun, that you don’t let your comfort slip away before it becomes a part of your long term memory. And, if you’re still struggling a bit with the first fifty, no worries! Just take your time. Not everyone learns at the same pace. And, with time and getting accustomed to your own style of learning and simply internal ways that you make sense of these in conjunction with the resources we provide, things will become a bit smoother. It still takes time and patience, but it can become smoother. But, always be sure to be in a learner’s perspective, always treating each new lesson as important as the last, and never take your previous knowledge for granted. Take it at your own pace, and give it your best go, but treat it as a holiday from the usual. We hope to continue to help you on that journey.
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