Though we liken them in our metaphors to something like coffee, for those who are new here, the blends we’re actually referring toーdespite both being an essential part of many people’s dayーare 拗音, youon, and if you’re interested in learning Japanese, it’s important to know how to read. And, of course, we don’t recommend you just dive in headfirst without any knowledge of what you’re getting into. Of course, if you’ve already gotten passed differentiating 濁点, dakuten, and 半濁点, handakuten, modifications of 五十音順、gojuuonjun, as well as 五十音順、gojuuonjun, itself, then you’re certainly ready to take on blends. But, even if you’ve achieved the latest blends, it’s still important not to rush yourself. If you need a bit more time to review/revise with the previous ones, then that’s completely alright! It’s best to keep your studies an enjoyable experience, and that includes taking it at your own pace. The essential blends alone that we’ve covered before this include:「きゃきゅきょ」, 「しゃしゅしょ」、「ちゃちゅちょ」, 「にゃ、にゅ、にょ」 , 「ひゃひゅひょ」,「みゃみゅみょ」,「りゃりゅりょ 」, and「ぎゃぎゅぎょ」 . Again, it’s important to give each of these as much attention as you would the original set in order to prevent it getting garbled. This also brings us to those who still may need a bit more time to get last session’s characters etched in the language centres of their mind. If you’re not completely comfortable with the characters, this is still a wonderful opportunity to take them out for a test run. Sometimes the sort of ‘flashcard’ method of studying works well. But, if that method doesn’t work as well for you and you’d rather have everything much more concrete in your mind before you go taking it out for a drive, then no worries! You can come back to this lesson any time! We’re always here for you, whether it’s in the middle of the night with a bag of shredded cheese or out at the supermarket through foggy spectacles waiting in queue. Take as much time as you need wherever you need it! (Though, in the safety and tranquility of your own study space at home is ideal, of course.)
And, here to take it at your pace with you: we mentioned him in the intro, and now he’s here to help! We have our computer friend, QUIZBO™, here to read each of the hiragana aloud to you. Press the 「▶」button and listen to the pronunciation. Then, you can do your best to identify which character they said! If you’ve been here since the previous lesson, you’ll know that QUIZBO™ is always available to listen to in his mobile form as QUIZBO™ mini; so, no worries if you need to have him repeat something, he’s here to help!
Maybe you’re not quite sure about how each of these are read… But, that’s okay as well! If you’re not quite sure of the matching moji (文字, characters), you can still guess to study/revise. Or, if you want something a bit more concrete, be sure to visit the Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! blog or online site where we have a whole lesson for you on how to read from あいうえお to– well, the current lesson! QUIZBO™ is there to help you read as well!
As for this quiz: the overall questions are in the same order each time, but the answers are randomised, so you can always return or refresh to study/revise!
So, without further ado:
Let’s NihonGO!! じゃじゅじょ!!
[Questions with QUIZBO™]
#1.) Which hiragana youon do you hear? Hint: 【jyu】
In romaji, 「じゅ」 is transliterated as 「jyu」which sounds sort of like the 「ju」 in 「juice」 .
#2.) Which hiragana youon do you hear? Hint: 【jyo】
In romaji, 「じょ」 is transliterated as 「jyo」which sounds like the name「Joe」
#3.) Which hiragana youon do you hear? Hint: 【jya】
In romaji, 「じゃ」 is transliterated as「jya」which sounds like 「jah」
BONUS: #4.) Which of the following is NOT hiragana youon?
BONUS: #5.) Which of the following IS hiragana youon?
And, that’s all for now! How was it? Did you get them all correct? Were they a bit tricky? No worries! You can refresh and retake this as many times as you wish, whenever you wish. For most, it’ll take more than one or two exposures before these characters become easier to use, read, and recognise, and it always takes a bit of time for them to become as second nature as your native alphabet. But, again, with patience, dedication, and a positive way of looking at things, you can do it! We know you can. And, if you’re advanced and already feel this is second nature, then don’t hold yourself back, now! Try your hand at some grammar, vocabulary, and sentence creation! Maybe even go back to some very early lessons in order to keep them fresh in your mind or remember how much you’ve learnt so far. No matter how far you’ve travelled in your Japanese language and culture studies, it’s important to cherish each milestone. It can motivate you to your next step and strengthen the steps you’ve already made. No matter where you are in your journey or where your steps will lead you, we’ll be there for you every step of the way!
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