Last modified on 10 February 2012, at 12:04

Japanese/Kana/Lessons/Hiragana/Lesson 8

Hiragana: [ a ] [ ka ] [ sa ] [ ta ] [ na ] [ ha ] [ ma ] [ ya ] [ ra ] [ wa, wo, n ] [ ゐ and ゑ (ancient hiragana in disuse) ]
Katakana: [ a ] [ ka ] [ sa ] [ ta ] [ na ] [ ha ] [ ma ] [ ya ] [ ra ] [ wa, wo, n ] [ ヰ and ヱ (ancient katakana in disuse) ]

In this lesson you are going to learn how to read and write "や", "ゆ" and "よ".

Brush Stroke: や-bw.png
Sound:

ya

Mnemonic:

Someone shouting 'Ya!' as they punch through a board.

Example:
  • やま (yama) mountain
  • やえいち (yaeichi) campsite
  • やせい (yasei) wild, rough
Brush Stroke: ゆ-bw.png
Sound:

yu

Mnemonic:
  • Picture a monkey sitting on a curled tree trunk. The monkey says, "Hey you!" (yu).
  • It could also be you with your arm around another's arm.
  • You are cutting up a fish.
Example:
  • ゆらぐ (yuragu) to tremble
  • ゆめ (yume) dream
  • ゆげ (yuge) steam
Brush Stroke: よ-bw.png
Sound:

yo

Mnemonic:
  • Yoyo - It's a hand playing a yoyo. First you draw the hand, and then the yoyo itself.
  • Alternatively, imagine a Y conjoined with an O.
Example:
  • よこう (yokou) rehearsal
  • ようかい (youkai) ghost, demon
  • よあけ (yoake) dawn

Yōon HiraganaEdit

Certain sounds ending with -い(i) ( き(ki), し(shi), ち(chi), に(ni), ひ(hi), み(mi), り(ri) and their voiced variants) can be followed by small versions (ゃ, ゅ, and ょ) of the hiragana や(ya), ゆ(yu), and よ(yo). In this case, the two hiragana are not pronounced individually, but rather as one sound.

In most cases, the compound sound is the consonant of the base syllable followed by the modifier (fjord may be an example of a similar compound sound in English):

きゃ (kya)
きゅ (kyu)
きょ (kyo)

In other cases the y sound disapears entirely:

しゃ (sha)
しゅ (shu)
しょ (sho)

Look at the Kana Chart for the others.