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 couldn’t guide you through the twists and turns of these blends without our good friend, QUIZBO™, your friendly neighbourhood computer robot. Without his visualisations, it would be quite difficult to describe and assist with these lessons. And, along with his contributions, the lesson itself is also an important and essential piece of anyone’s Japanese language learning journey! For those who are beginners who may already know ひらがな五十音, hiragana gojuuon, it’s easy to want to write off this lesson because they feel very confident in the original charactersーor perhaps not writing off the lesson would be the issue…writing on the lesson? Anyway! For anyone who just wants to give themselves the best chance at properly differentiating characters and their pronunciations, especially in combination with one another, this kinaesthetic aspect is essential to properly absorbing these educational nutrients. Everyone to some extent or another is a kinaesthetic learner (even if one prefers one or the other of the few styles) as engaging as many senses as one can to sort of encode them into those memories and muscle memories can be quintessential to language learning itself! As language is something that isn’t simply reading, writing, or speaking on its own, it’s important to try to engage more senses, even if you’re already comfortable with bits and bobs of the concepts already. The point is to focus on this specific set of characters, giving them the same attention you hopefully gave the initial sets of characters, overall, helping you differentiate and identify 拗音, youon, versus 五十音, gojuuon, and a time will hopefully arrive where you find these as second nature as you may feel now or will feel in future.
Again, if you’re someone who is already becoming comfortable with the first set of ひらがな五十音, hiragana gojuuon, and their modified counterparts, we encourage you to get the most out of your session, as well! Handwriting is an invaluable part of communication, and even in a digital world, there is still something inherently rewarding about writing neatly and legibly. And, culturally, it’s simply important to give these unique characters their due attention, as writing is an essential part of the language that is not only unique, as mentioned, but subjectively, quite fun and enjoyable. It is important to have fun with these. We know just saying to have fun won’t make it so, but just think of your goals, visualise how you wanted to see yourself writing these characters and how you’re actually doing it! Lots of people talk about learning to read and write Japanese, but you’re out here, actually doing it. And, we just want to say… good on you, mate! This applies to new beginners as well. Even if you’re not comfortable writing these quite yet, you’re still out there, you’re still spending your time wisely, and you’re doing your best! So, that’s certainly something positive to think about as you get the most out of your study session.
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 「ひゃひゅひょ」, 「はひふへほ」、「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 「ひゃひゅひょ」– 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 6.
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「ひ」 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 6. . 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 6 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 「ひゃひゅひょ」！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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