Hiragana

KI – One of the basic Hiragana characters. Hiragana is phonetic in nature. The characters represent sounds, and can be combined to form the sounds of words. Hiragana characters are used for Japanese words only.

Hiragana is composed of 50 sounds, of which 46 are currently in use. One interesting thing is the base characters can be modified to other sounds with the addition of small marks.

し じ

Above left is the sound si and with the addition of the dot, it becomes zi or ji sound.

I can see there will be much to learn for me, but what I’m hoping to gain first is a familiarity with the various symbols. Once I can recognize a majority, it will easier to begin the work book.

Thanks to @thepete and @pacificIt for the recommendations about entering Japanese characters. I played with that on the computer at work today, and now used it here on the Mac. Rocks!

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2 Responses to “Hiragana”


  1. 1 Stephen January 31, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Hmm, tips? I have a Windows machine.

  2. 2 tojosan January 31, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Stephen,
    Thanks for noticing. Yep, on Windows:
    Control Panel
    Regional
    Add Japanese – in actuality – East Asian
    Enable the Toolbar

    I don’t have a PC in front of me to walk through the exact names, but once you find it to add the language, adding the bar is an advanced option. Makes it easy to switch between English and Japanese character sets.


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